Pointing to Christmas
* 'The Nutcracker' is an enduring reminder of what the holiday was before video games and licensed toys.
From the Los Angeles Times
By Hillary Johnson, Special to The TimesMORE...
Once upon a time, weary parents heaved a resigned sigh when the Christmas decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving; now the sighs are deeper and come sooner, as the garish ads and incentives begin to appear right after Halloween. But just when consumerism seems likely to swamp us, along comes the sweet, gentle "Nutcracker," which is all about the true magic of gift-giving and gift-getting.
"The Nutcracker," in all its quaint, sugary splendor, reminds us that there are ordinary gifts like silk ties, golfing gloves, miniature trains and Easy-Bake Ovens, Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmos, and then there are the gifts we are given by more mysterious forces: the gift of a loving home, of a crystal-clear day or of a child's budding talent for the dance.