The Nutcracker is such a shift from the popular ballet we all know and love, and it was wonderful to read during the holiday season. Even more wonderful was getting to immerse ourselves into the inspiration behind the music that lead to the ballet, and revel in Hoffman’s incredibly creative literary work.
This was one of those dinners where Michaela had a vision, but couldn’t fully articulate it, so between a little bit of telepathy and trusting her vision, we brought it to life together. It was a literary dinner party dream come true. Twinkle lights forever, y’all.
We brought in a trimmed piece of a pear tree from my backyard, hung it with fishing line and decked it out with Christmas lights and gold ornaments. A simple, yet striking focal point. The table was layered with a tablecloth and runner, with a large nutcracker as the focal point, balanced on either side with tall candle tapers, bottle brush trees, candles, and some fake snow to add to the glittering effect we often associate with The Nutcracker. We were going for a kind of “enchanted forest” feel, and I think we nailed it.
It was so great to tie in elements from the actual story, but also parts of the ballet that have left an imprint in our minds. We wanted to keep a classic and traditional Christmas feel, but also different from what we’ve done before. We were both pretty thrilled with the results!
While a tasty pumpkin and sausage soup simmered on the stove, we had an elaborate charcuterie platter and a custom cocktail to go with it. We used additional branches wrapped with lights on the counter by the window, a small floral and greenery centerpiece with evergreen branches and red roses, along with candles and few small nutcrackers to keep the theme cohesive.
A blackberry simple syrup to amp up the champagne, topped with cranberries and rosemary was a delightful treat as we snacked and waited for dinner.
We went ahead and splurged on a bakery made buche de noel for dessert, and swapped out cocktails for cocoa as we ended the night. We talked quite a bit about the magic of the story and how great a read it was this time of year.
This concludes our holiday season as we ring in the New Year. Cheers, friends!