Our Birthday Month (also Nutcracker & Dave Barnes Christmas review)

December is always a busy month for families. Add two birthdays (Calvin and mine are five days apart) to the mix and it gets really fun. Over the years, we’ve started to gift and enjoy experiences with each other rather than adding to our things. So we arranged a few strong babysitters for our strong-willed kids and it began. Last Wednesday we enjoyed our Small Group Leader Christmas party at church. Then on Friday night, Calvin and I had sushi and attended the Dave Barnes Christmas concert. The following day, we enjoyed a family day in Nashville with a trip to Cumberland Transit to pick up some supplies for Uganda, lunch at Noodles and Company (free bowl during your birthday month!), and the opening show of the Nutcracker Ballet. After the show, we rushed home to feed the kids and pass the baton to our babysitter so that we could have “Christmas dinner” with our beloved small group.

Christmas season is definitely busy but it does allow us to spend some pretty special moments with friends and family.

Many of you have asked about A Very Merry Christmas with Dave Barnes and the Nutcracker so I’ve included my recaps below. There’s still time to get tickets for both:

1. NASHVILLE’S NUTCRACKER

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Call us crazy, but we brought the whole family to The Nutcracker! (I did not include pictures of the actual show as photography is not allowed.) Charlotte has taken ballet and was of course totally in awe. What surprised me the most was my swaying, enchanted 4 year old. He was spellbound the entire time. Elliott, our oldest son, enjoyed the magician in the first half of the ballet. We truly felt there was something special for everyone. There were actually a lot of kids there for those of you hesitant to take yours!

As a nice addition the Nutcracker folks offer dance instruction before the matinee show at 1:15. Charlotte was really looking forward to this but I’m sad to report that we didn’t make it in time. I suggest arriving at 1:00 otherwise the doors will close and you’ll miss the fun! Below is the remaining 2015 schedule:

Saturday, December 12 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 13 at 2 p.m.
Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Monday, December 21 at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, December 22 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, December 23 at 2 p.m.

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2. A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH DAVE BARNES

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We adore Christmas concerts! We typically choose one a year so this year Dave Barnes was up. In years past we’ve attended Matt Wertz’s Christmas and Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of Glory performance. This was also our first visit to the Schermerhorn, one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever been in. Dave did a mix of songs from his two Christmas albums and his many other albums, combined with some very special guests doing their own songs. The most well-known guest was Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum. The songs were flawless and the great talent on stage undeniable. The atmosphere was a perfect way to start the Christmas season. The most surprising (or maybe not surprising) element was Dave’s personality in between songs. His stories and song explanations give you an appreciation for his art but his jokes and antics have you belly laughing. This is why we love a live show… you just can’t capture the humor and passion in a recorded album. He also announced that he will be playing the Ryman next year which I would love to see!

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Disclaimer: The folks at the Nashville Symphony and Nashville Ballet kindly allowed us a admission for this preview. As always, the opinions are my own.

About the author

Erica

Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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