Events to Treasure

Relive an old tradition this holiday season, or start a new one

Holidays are predictable: Families serve the same meals, congregate at the same places and tell the same stories. Yet somehow it’s comforting. Those traditions that become so familiar over the years make us feel safe or nostalgic, if only for a few hours or days. Whether you’re looking to relive an old tradition or start a new one, check out some of these special holiday events around Sacramento.

A Christmas Carol.

Sure, this traditional play won’t pack many surprises unless it’s performed in the nude by an interpretive-dance ensemble. However, does anything communicate the holiday message of benevolence better than Ebenezer Scrooge hoisting Tiny Tim onto his shoulders? November 23 through December 24 at the Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H Street, (916) 443-6722,

Fiesta Navidad.

Who knew Christmas could be so lively? The mariachi music will have you tapping your toes and the flamboyant dancers will make you squirm in your seat. But don’t worry, you will get your star turn during the audience singalong in English and Spanish. December 6 at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center; University of California, Davis; (530) 754-ARTS;

The Nutcracker.

It’s every mother’s excuse to dress her daughter up in a tutu and pink leotard. Even if you think you don’t care for ballet, chances are some of the melodies from this holiday classic are ingrained in your mind, just waiting to be reawakened. Performed by the Sacramento Ballet with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. December 10 through December 24 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, (916) 264-5181,

The Meshuga Nutcracker.

Who needs sugar-plum fairies when you can have dancing latkes? Whatever your faith, you’ll be tickled by the National Jewish Theatre Festival’s lively, tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the traditional ballet, which takes the audience through eight nights of Chanukah. December 10 and 11 at the Luther Burbank Theater, 3500 Florin Road, (916) 974-6280.

Old Sacramento Holiday Festival.

Holiday shopping can be a burdensome chore, so you might as well have some fun with it. Load up on stocking stuffers and trinkets while you listen to carolers and watch street performers. If you’ve got kids in tow, bring them over to the California State Railroad Museum for a train ride with Saint Nick himself. December 10 and 11 in Old Sacramento, (916) 442-7644,