Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

Nutcracker Market rocks and rolls into the holidays at preview party with Elvis in the house

Nutcracker Market rocks and rolls into the holidays at preview party

Michelle Buller, Jennifer Summers/nutcracker preview party
Michelle Buller, Jennifer Summers. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
 Kirksey Gregg, Shay Calhoun/Nutcracker Preview Party
Kirksey Gregg, Shay Calhoun. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Kevin Smith, Ashley Smith/Nutcracker Market Preview Party
Kevin Smith, Ashley Smith. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Jim Nelson, Myrna Fisch, Chad Libertus/Nutcracker Preview Party
Jim Nelson, Myrna Fisch, Chad Libertus. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Philamena Baird, Darryl Montgomery, Patricia Green/Nutcracker preview party
Philamena Baird, Darryl Montgomery, Patricia Green. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Lenny Matuszewski, Michael Bickham/Nutcracker Preview Party
Lenny Matuszewski, Michael Bickham. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Nutracker Market Preview Party, Caroline Fant, Jane Jones, Cheri Fama, Regina Garcia
Caroline Fant, Jane Jones, Cheri Fama, Regina Garcia. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
 Stanton Welch, Patsy Chapman/nutcracker preview party
Stanton Welch, Patsy Chapman. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Fred Aguilar, MD, Cade Burks, Don Gullquist, Sam Malone/Nutcracker Preview Party
Dr. Fred Aguilar, Cade Burks, Don Gullquist, Sam Malone. Photo by Fulton Davenport, PWL Studio
Seeing Pink elephants/nutcracker preview party vendor
Seeing Pink Elephants is a mid-century must-stop at the Nutcracker Market. Photo by Heather Staible
Michelle Buller, Jennifer Summers/nutcracker preview party
 Kirksey Gregg, Shay Calhoun/Nutcracker Preview Party
Kevin Smith, Ashley Smith/Nutcracker Market Preview Party
Jim Nelson, Myrna Fisch, Chad Libertus/Nutcracker Preview Party
Philamena Baird, Darryl Montgomery, Patricia Green/Nutcracker preview party
Lenny Matuszewski, Michael Bickham/Nutcracker Preview Party
Nutracker Market Preview Party, Caroline Fant, Jane Jones, Cheri Fama, Regina Garcia
 Stanton Welch, Patsy Chapman/nutcracker preview party
Fred Aguilar, MD, Cade Burks, Don Gullquist, Sam Malone/Nutcracker Preview Party
Seeing Pink elephants/nutcracker preview party vendor

It’s not the calendar or the temperature that heralds the beginning of the holidays in Houston, rather it’s the annual ode to sugar plum fairies and Christmas Carols at the Nutcracker Market. The preview party at NRG Center draws serious shoppers decked out in comfy cocktail attire for an evening of holiday cheer and retail therapy, benefiting the various programs of Houston Ballet and its Academy.

The Rockin’ and Shoppin’ theme of the Nutcracker Market chosen by market chairman Myrna Fisch took a nostalgic turn in both decor and music by the Davis Caceres band. A large digital jukebox greeted shoppers as they walked in marketplace, Christmas trees were decorated with old 45 record albums and Elvis was definitely in the building. From an Elvis Presley statue to an Elvis impersonator, the King of Rock 'n'  Roll was on the holiday scene.

There were also famous local faces, too. Ernie Manouse of Houston Public Media sat down with Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch for a Facebook Live chat and local designer Chloe Dao of Dao Chloe Dao (booth 1444) was working her chic shop loaded with fashion-forward and fun holiday wares.

More than 45 new merchants were added to the selective roster of retailers at the market, adding to the mix of annual favorites like the Paul Michael Co., Donne di Domani marinara sauce (they are accepting credit cards this year) and Marye-Kelley, handmade decoupage items that are heavy on Houston Astros World Series items like frames, plates and wastepaper baskets. 

Mid-century bar lovers will raise a glass to Seeing Pink Elephants (booth 1145.) The collection of Imperial glasses, ice buckets and other items will surely make the holidays merry and bright  and are not to be missed.  Witty tea towels and socks make an even bigger mark this year, and for those looking to wow hosts and hostesses at holiday events, stop by locally-owned Vinglace (booth 1336) for portable wine chillers that fit any size bottle of wine. 

The Nutcracker Market runs through Sunday, November 12. Tickets are $20 at the market and it's cash only at the NRG ticket windows. ATMs are available in the lobby. Discount tickets, $18, are sold in advance at Houston-area Randalls stores, and online at Ticketmaster. Half-price admission is available daily, three hours prior to closing. Children under 5 are free.

Those making merry at the Nutcracker Market Preview Party included Jim Nelson, Patsy Chapman, Cheri Fama, Caroline Fant, Regina Garcia, Jane Jones, Patricia Green, Darryl Montgomery, Philamena Baird, Kirksey Gregg, Shay Calhoun, Don and Gaylon Gullquist, Hannah McNair, Ericka Graham, and Roseann Rogers.