Bliss Nicely Wrapped

The Nutcracker bliss present Christmas

Gazing in the gift shop at the nutcrackers and dancers following the performance of “The Nutcracker.”
© 2012 MaryALivingston
Photo reference provided by
Lightly Spiced Photography by A. Adams

The holiday season is upon us. Adults worldwide look for ways to gift and treat the children in their lives.

Last year, I witnessed a most precious Christmas gift. One of our granddaughters loves ballet. Since she could stand she has twirled. Don’t know from where this comes. No one in the family dances other than for casual fun. So, her Papa and Nana took her, her older sister and their mom to a ballet performance of “The Nutcracker.” Little brother was too young to attend and Daddy was deployed half a world away.

We, Grandma and Grandpa, arrived for our visit the night before the ballet. Papa let us know his plans ahead of time, so we also procured tickets for the event.

Our two young granddaughters, ages 4 & 7, were in lovely dresses and shiny shoes. Their hair hung in beautiful locks. They were clearly prepared to attend an elegant event.

Being of small stature, it was hard for the littlest to see over the heads in front of her. She climbed in my lap for a better view.

The curtains opened and when the first ballerina twirled on her toes, the little one in my lap quivered and proclaimed, “I can do that!”

There were a few looks and even a “Shhhhh.”

Doesn’t everyone know the ballet requires silence?

She paid the naysayers no heed, for they did not register through her eagerness. As the show progressed, “I can do that,” would sound every now and again interspersed with an, “I can SO do that.”

This child’s love of ballet was coming to life before our eyes. With every pas de chat and arabesque she became more engaged.

She will remember this forever. Nana, Papa, Mama, Grandpa and Grandma will as well.

During a season when many overindulge, what mattered most to these little girls was spending time with their family at an event they treasured. Papa and Nana hit a home run with this gift, I am thankful we were there to share in the joy.

Some believe the expanse of lavish and numerous presents thrusts upon the little ones is a direct measure of love.  Quite the opposite. I never for a moment doubted the love of my grandparents. Yet, over the years, I received not even one wrapped gift for a birthday or holiday from these two people who represented clear and abundant love. This was not because of culture or religious belief. They were poor. They barely had provisions for food and shelter. Sometimes not even that. Their gift everyday was love. The kind of love that reaches to your core.  The kind of love that garners respect and delivers clear discipline.  The kind of love that has the power to stay in a heart through times of joy and sorrow.

In this season, when it is all too easy to overindulge, take the time to build memories of love your children will treasure. We will all remember the ballet with Nana and Papa.


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29 thoughts on “Bliss Nicely Wrapped

  1. My youngest granddaughter loves to dance also and her birthday is in December. Since she was about 4 I have taken her every year to see the Nutcracker for her birthday, and she loves every minute of it. This is something her and I share together and it makes her feel special.


  2. My oldest daughter danced in the nutcracker for many many years. Each year, her company had to dance in school performances and the public performances. A total of about 10 each year. I sat through every one of them and also took pictures. lol We also had gone to the nutcracker every year before she began dancing in that company and even years after. We are not able to go together now because she is in another state. Those were beautiful memories.

    I loved your story and love your picture even more.


    • Thank you! Hard to miss when painting wonderful subjects like our grandchildren. For those of you who do not know, Lynette, is Nana of Nana and Papa. I am so thankful that my 3 beautiful grandchildren have both a Nana and a Grandma.
      The girls will never forget that ballet, such a wonderful memory, we are so glad you and Papa thought of it. 🙂


  3. Loved this so much! Thanks for sharing a special pre-Christmas outing. I enjoy seeing my niece perform in the Nutcracker. It is magical. Your art is also!

    Thanks for liking and commenting on my latest blog post. I appreciate that very much.


  4. Your post brings back fond memories. The first ballet my parents took me to was “The Nutcracker”. We took my niece to the ballet when she was five and taking lessons. For several months, everytime she heard a classical piece she declared, “that’s Swan Pond!!!”. Now her daughter is old enough, and we plan to take her to the ballet this Christmas. Thanks!


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