Take the melodious music from Tchaikovsky's classic "The Nutcracker Ballet", mix in eight poignant and witty stories celebrating the miracle of Hanukkah and what you get is "The MeshugaNutcracker!". The libretto tells the tale of eight Chelmniks (citizens of Chelm, the fictional town of fools) who gather once a year to perform their Hanukkah festival. Through the course of the two-act musical they revel in traditional Jewish songs and honor the triumphs of Hanukkah heroes, all in their delightfully foolish Chelm style. Add spinning dreidels and twirling "chanukiot" and you'll have visions of "sufganiyot" dancing in your head.
The regal Winchester Mystery House opens its doors and decks its winding halls with sparkling lights, garland, wreaths and candles for this special "Spirit of Christmas" tour. The 160-room mansion was built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, in the late-1880s and was under continuous construction up until her death in 1922. The magnificent, maze-like home is shrouded in legends and folklore about its architectural oddities, including 47 fire places, 17 chimneys and countless dead ends. On this 50-minuted guided tour developed specifically for the holiday season, the sounds of Christmas music and carolers will fill the air as you tour the mansion and see the 20 elegant Christmas trees adorned with hand-crafted ornaments collected from around the world and created by local artisans.