Most little girls dream of a hero. It could be daddy or a teacher or even a pop star crush. Because somewhere in our hearts hides a nagging nightmare that we are going to need help, we are going to need to be rescued. The nutcracker ballet is one little girl’s elaborate dream of her hero. He does it all.
First he is a soldier and saves her from danger. Then he transforms into a hot looking dude revealing that he was secretly a prince all along. How’s that for a mystery date? He dethroned the evil empire so he now has acquired a jeweled crown. Yet he presents it to her, showing that he is humble and generous. That crown is apparently a marriage proposal and proof of his love and dedication to her alone. He escorts her to a better land where they rule together in sweet prosperity as prince and princess.
It appears to be such a simple story and a great excuse to stage talented dancers, gorgeous costumes, and a timeless symphony. But if you stop to think about it, it illustrates the deep desire to be unconditionally loved, rescued, and honored.
For me, those silly looking nutcrackers are a reminder of the true hero of Christmas, the unlikely prince born in a manger. He grew up to defeat evil and overcome death. He sent his Spirit to marry with ours in unconditional love, called grace. And he prepares a future kingdom of perfect peace.
So let’s celebrate Christmas. Let’s celebrate with nutcrackers and ballets. Let’s celebrate with trees and penguins and snowmen. Let’s celebrate with gifts and music and movies. Let all creation rejoice!