Every December when I was growing up, my parents, my twin sister and I spent a weekend in New York City to see all the Christmas decorations and attend the Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln center.
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is amazingly beautiful especially at night!
The Nutcracker Ballet is a fairy-tale ballet based on the story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffman which was set to music by Tchaikovsky. In the story a little German girl, Clara (sometimes also called Marie) and her brother Fritz and their parents are celebrating Christmas with friends and family. Clara's mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, brings a large bag of gifts for all of the children at the party. He gives Clara the gift of a Nutcracker Doll.
When the party is over and the family is sleeping, Clara creeps downstairs to look at the Nutcracker Doll which is under the tree. She falls asleep and has a long dream in which the Nutcracker Doll becomes life-size and defends her against a large mouse king and his band of mice! At this point in the ballet, the Christmas Tree begins to grow until it takes over the room! (In the next scene it has disappeared from the stage)
Upon winning the battle against the Mouse King, the Nutcracker Doll is transformed into a Prince. Clara and the Prince travel to a world where they are greeted by dancing snowflakes as they enter The Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Fairy and the people of The Land of Sweets perform several dances for Clara and the Prince, such as a Spanish Dance representing Chocolate, an Arabian Dance representing coffee, a dance by Candy Canes.
Eventually Clara awake sunder the Christmas Tree with the Nutcracker Doll in her arms. And the curtain closes.
There are a few different productions of The Nutcracker and the story varies a little bit from production to production,. But Tchaikovsky's music is beautiful. The Russian Dance is very recognizable, The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies is beautiful as is Waltz of the Flowers and March. Every time I hear any of these pieces I immediately see images of the Nutcracker Ballet in my head!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a beautiful Christmas Tree with a handmade nativity scene at the base of the tree with wise men, shepards, men, women, children and animals along the base of the tree all the way around it who are on their way to visit the nativity. Beautiful angels cover the tree from top to bottom. It's splendid and beautiful!
Several of the large store in NYC such as Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue, decorate their windows with holiday scenes. They are lovely and so much fun. People wait on lines just to view the windows. Sometimes they're fantasy or child-like fun or Christmas scenes of people celebrating...They are different every year!