The Must List: Balanchine's The Nutcracker, 24th Annual Gingerbread Village and Can't-Miss Local Retail Events

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Must Watch
Balanchine's The Nutcracker
(11/25-12/28, times vary) It's one of Seattle's favorite holiday traditions, and this year marks the sophomore season for Pacific Northwest Ballet's revamped and redesigned version of The Nutcracker as choreographed by George Balanchine. The two-act ballet promises ballet fans—especially young ones—visions of sugar plums dancing. mccawhall.com

Must Wonder
Sheraton Seattle’s 24th Annual Gingerbread Village
(Through January 1, 2017, 24 hours a day) Since 1992, the Sheraton has presented this good-enough-to-eat gingerbread village, a free and open to the public event with all donations benefitting the JDRF Northwest Chapter, a charity committed to curing Type 1 diabetes. The hotel's culinary team donates thousands of hours, an equivalent amount of sugar, candy and dough and partners with local architects—this year featuring Ankrom Moisan, MBAKS & Gelotte Hommas, MG2, Bailly & Bailly, CallisonRTKL & Hargis and 4D Architects—to assemble these confectionery creations that organizers say "keeps more than 150,000 visitors coming back year after year." gingerbreadvillage.org

Must Mingle
Light in the Attic's Opening Party at KEXP
(11/25, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.) When one door closes, another opens: So it has been for independent record label Light in the Attic, an imprint that recently closed its tiny retail shop in Ballard but shortly after announced it would relocate to KEXP’s gathering space. The label, known for releasing obscure and out-of-print records, celebrates its new—albeit temporary; the pop-up runs through March—home this Saturday with 10% all regular stock, special Black Friday titles and free records with every purchase. blog.lightintheattic.net/brand-new-light-in-the-attic-record-shop


Must Make Merry

Macy's Holiday Parade, Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting and Santaland
(11/25, times vary) Love it or leave it, there’s no denying Westlake is Seattle’s Christmas capitol. There’s the 26th annual Macy’s Holiday Parade (that starts at 9 a.m. at 7th and Pine), the department store’s beloved Santaland meet-and-greet (beginning at 11 a.m.) and the Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration, which kicks off at 5 p.m. (at Pine Street between 4th and 5th avenues) and includes the lighting of the Macy’s Shining Star. In tune with the excesses of the season, post-celebration fireworks follow, weather permitting. social.macys.com/eventshub/event/?id=17037

Must Shop Local
Local Retail Event Round Up
(11/25) Forget Black Friday! Save yourself the mania and the mayhem with our round up of local retail events online (OK, there are some really good brick and mortar options here). Click Your Local Gift-Giving Guide and avoid the Black Friday nightmare by shopping on Seattle's smaller scale at shops like Momo, Clementines, E. Smith Mercantile, Babeland and more. (Hint: Download the Little Boxes app and you’ll save money and be entered in a raffle, too.) sea.shoplittleboxes.com

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"As an artist in Seattle, I pledge that with every bit of my life energy, I will continue to give more music to the world for the purpose of spreading more aloha and, as I sing in the song “First Avenue,” 'reteaching the world to love.'"