Monday, November 14, 2011

a big deal

as a child, one of my very earliest and fondest christmas memories, was the first time i ever got to see ballet west's nutcracker at the capitol theater in salt lake city.
it was a big deal.
something that my brother's weren't invited to (not that they would have enjoyed it in the least). but this was an outing that my parents and grandparents had planned...just for me.
as a little girl, the privilege of going on a date - not only with mom and dad, but also with grandma and grandpa - was huge.
and then being able to dress up in my very best, and go to the ballet?
it was beyond my wildest dreams.
afterwards, grandpa suggested that we hit up the snelgrove's ice cream on 8th east and 21st south. anyone who has ever lived in salt lake, or ever visited for that matter, has got to be familiar with it's 1960's iconic sign featuring a giant three dimensional, double-scoop ice cream cone.
as a kid, making a stop for ice cream at the snelgrove, was like being taken by hand, straight through the pearly gates of heaven.
i'm telling you, this date was a really big deal.
i'm so grateful for it too, because just a few short years later, grandpa passed away, leaving that trip to the nutcracker, and the snelgrove's for ice cream, one of just a handful of memories i still have of him.
he was a giant of a man. a beautiful man.

as a mother, i want to create similar memories for my children...memories they will be able to take with them into their adulthood.
i've had ruby in dance for three years now.
she's definitely a dancer, and loves all things dance.
i have wondered, though, if she may still be a bit young to enjoy the full production of
the nutcracker.

lucky for me, a couple of years ago, i discovered the perfect solution.
every november, to gear up for their busy season of the nutcracker, a local ballet company presents a
nutcracker sweet tea party.
it's held at a reception center with beautiful gardens in the which you can walk around and meet the dancers, perhaps get a picture taken, or an autograph.
they have a station where little ones can decorate their own gingerbread men,
and a boutique featuring unique nutcracker and ballet items.

also offered is a luncheon buffet - the menu including items such as
dew drop fairy's chicken salad on croissants,
russian ham rolls,
clara's cucumber triangles,
baby mouse cheese hearts,
fritz's fresh fruit,
snow queen's shortbread cookies,
drosselmeyers peppermint bark,
bon-bon fairy's mini cupcakes,
spanish marshmallow puffs,
and party girls' lemonade punch...
just to name a few.

after lunch, the guests are then invited inside to watch just a few short numbers from the production, and then all the little girls crowd around clara's mother, who reads the story of the nutcracker.

the children are all given a little toy soldier as a favor for coming, and the whole ordeal lasts no more than about an hour from start to finish.
perfect for little ones and their short attention spans.

i personally love it, because it gives ruby a chance to experience the nutcracker...
without having to sit in a theatre for two and a half hours.
i think in a couple of years, something like that might actually appeal to her.
until then, though, this has become one of our special holiday traditions.
we always go to the store and pick out something fancy for her to wear.
this year, her favorite part of the outfit was a little gold necklace with interchangeable charms. for this event, she chose to wear the unicorn.
she wanted her hair in a bun like a ballerina, and put on her favorite gold glitter flats.

i did my best to make it a big deal.
because getting to spend an afternoon alone with my princess...

is a very big deal, indeed.


Hello my Name is Rachel... said...

This is the cutest little event! Something I would never forget as a little girl! Ruby looks so adorable!!!

Scarlett said...

Wow! What a great tradition! You are such a great mommy!