Story 23: Charles Dickens, The Nut Cracker, and The Allen’s

Story 23/24: Last night, the four of us sat in the new building housing Hale Centre Theatre waiting for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to start. Lorrin sat toward the center of our row, then Nate, Brian, with me seated on the aisle.

We made it to the play one minute before the house lights went down. The stress of the hurry and worry of being late still reverberated through each of us as we caught our breath and tried settling in.

An Allen tradition is going to an event every Christmas season, either to A Christmas Carol or The Nut Cracker at the old Capitol Theatre. We dress up; the boys in ties, the girls in dresses—or at least something in sequence. We go to a nice restaurant and spend the evening building an experience together.

This tradition is one of my favorite things to do because it’s beyond our regular, our ordinary, our normalcy, our routine. The to-do lists are erased. Electronics are stowed away. The noise of a TV series is silenced. Video games are forgotten.

For one evening our reality is suspended. We are transfixed to a single moment—transformed into a line of seconds, not the ticking of a clock, but of each person’s experience connecting one being to another.

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