The day had been full of preparations getting ready to see the ballet company perform.  We all were in our finest attire along with grandma in her newly purchased long dress.  Our family had arrived early to the auditorium admiring the ornate structure with red carpeting and red seats.  While sharing programs we looked at the colorful pictures of the dancers.  Different members of the orchestra were tuning their instruments.  The excitement was building, we were about to see The Nutcracker ballet!

Then the lights dimmed, and a hush came over the auditorium.  The director raised his arms with the baton poised in the air.  As the baton began to move the music started to flow out from under the stage.   All the sudden I was swept away into this magical moment as I watched the curtain rise and in front of my eyes unfolded a Christmas scene full of dancers.  I felt like I was a part of the story watching Clara and the Nutcracker, AKA the prince.

I was in my happy place.

Before I knew it, it was time for the last dance of the first act.  The prince came out on stage decked out in his white sparkling top with white tights gracefully leaping and twirling around like he had done this a million times.  The string section strummed out the music while the brass section came in adding a crescendo to the Journey Through the Snow song.  The prince pranced towards Clara as she twirled around in her pointe shoes with the stage lights cascading off her sequenced tutu.  I watched Clara longingly look at the prince as he gracefully reached towards her and took her hand.  This could be me someday, I thought as the two danced around in perfect sync twirling and leaping to the music with the prince lifting Clara here and there.

Then the dancers stopped at the edge of the stage in front of me and the prince gracefully lifts Clara and turns around.  But wait!  What is this I see?  The prince has a rip in his tights.  I mean a BIG rip right in his crouch!  I sat stunned wondering if anyone else had seen it.  Peering at my sister it was obvious that she was unaware of the unfortunate happening of the prince.  A gurgle of laughter started to rise within me, but quickly I covered my mouth begging my body to wait.   Finally, the dance ended.  The applause erupted and I busted out laughing.  When I looked over at my family, I knew that they too had seen the same thing.  We laughed so hard.

This was one family event that we talked about for years.  The poor prince had ripped his tights!

The nutcracker doll has always fascinated me with it’s large head, long legs and of course the lever in the back that moves the mouth.    Over the past 250 years many nutcrackers have been created to be placed in homes to decorate for Christmas.  The dolls originate in Germany and it is said that the nutcrackers bring good luck and keep evil at bay protecting the house and all who are in it.  I’m not sure how or when the nutcracker was first created but there is a folktale that tells a story about a farmer who needed a way to crack walnuts.  He created a contest to see who could come up with the best idea to tackle the nuts.  The winner turned out to be a puppet maker who created a doll in a shape of a soldier that cracked walnut shells.

The all-time favorite ballet was composed by Peter Tchaikovsky who created the story about a nutcracker that would turn into a prince and protect Clara from the bad mice.  The prince would then sweep Clara away to visit a magical place where he was from.

As much as I enjoy having a nutcracker in my home to admire, it is not my protector.  I have a mighty living God who protects me from the evil one and guides me through difficult times causing me to grow stronger in my faith that could move mountains.  No nutcracker can do that.

Psalm 18:2 – The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress.  My God is my protection, and with him I am safe.  He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.

This Christmas season remember God is with you regardless of your circumstance.  You only need to say, “God help!”  His protection is always better than any ole fancy nutcracker standing at attention in your home.

Oh, if you get a chance, check out The Nutcracker Ballet.  Several ballet companies are streaming their performances online or purchase a DVD to watch with your family.  It’s worth seeing!





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