# A Christmas Carol # Charles Dickens

The Chic Assignment | December 2019

To all of my American readers, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I truly enjoyed my time off. We had family in town and it was wonderful to take a break and just be really present and enjoy their company.

What an amazing year this has been! The Chic Assignment has been an enjoyable addition to each month. The final assignment of the year is going to look a little different. My hope for you this month is that you remain present and enjoy your time with your family and friends. I know that we all have so many commitments and it can get stressful, so I do not want to add to that stress. Let's jump right in to this month's assignment, which is designed to bring joy.

🎄 Chic Assignment no. 1 Enjoy Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite Op 71a. You knew we had to enjoy Tchaikovsky this month. The Nutcracker ballet is one of my favorites and the music is amazing in its own right. At least once this month have this enchantingly beautiful music playing in the background to accompany your day.

I am listing a YouTube video that you can watch for free that has the Nutcracker Suite, Op 71a

The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky made a selection of eight of the numbers from the ballet, forming The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, intended for concert performance. The Nutcracker Suite should not be mistaken for the complete ballet. The outline below represents the selection and sequence of the Nutcracker Suite culled by the composer in the YouTube video I am featuring here.

I. Miniature Overture 0:00
II. Danses caractéristiques
--a. Marche 3:29
--b. Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy 5:59
--c. Russian Dance (Trepak) 7:47
--d. Arabian Dance 8:58
--e. Chinese Dance 12:04
--f. Reed-Flutes 13:05
III. Waltz of the Flowers 15:15

During The Chic Assignment check-in, I will share Tchaikovsky's biography with you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy listening to The Nutcracker Suite or seeing the ballet in person.

🎄 Chic Assignment no. 2 Enjoy Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens... an absolute Christmas classic. This month we are reading an excerpt from this famous tale. I will begin the excerpt and in The Chic Assignment check-in, Ben will read the second half. You can leave it there and simply enjoy the readings, or you can read A Christmas Carol for yourself, or watch one of the films made based on the story. Here is a link to A Christmas Carol on Amazon.

🎄Chic Assignment no. 3 Remain present The next two Chic Assignments are quite simple. During this bustling and hectic time of year we can get overwhelmed. I just want you to remain as present as possible and enjoy the season. Perhaps cut back on social media during this time, for example. Be very present with your family and friends while you are with them and enjoy their company.

🎄 Chic Assignment no. 4 Don't stress over the small things If you are hosting over the holidays, but tend to stress out over the house, food, and everything else. Be aware of your stress levels and don't sweat the small stuff. Often the things we get stressed about are the details that only we notice anyway. Prioritize enjoying the season over having everything perfect.

I am looking forward to all that December has to bring!

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