1. 'The Nutcracker'
Dec. 10-23, Dec. 30-Jan. 6
The Houston Ballet presents this classic holiday performance, which tells the story of Clara and her nutcracker that came to life on Christmas Eve. The ballet will take place at Sugar Land’s Smart Financial Centre from Dec. 10-23 and move to the Hobby Center in Downtown Houston from Dec. 30-Jan. 6. 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. $35-$125. Smart Financial Centre, 18111 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby Street, Houston. 713-227-2787. www.houstonballet.org
2. 'Rock Nativity'
This musical combines the story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem with '80s music and dancing, bringing a modern twist to a Christmas story. 10:30 a.m. $20. A.D. Players Mainstage Theater, 5420 Westheimer, Houston. 713-526-2721. www.adplayers.org
3. 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this play tells the story of the ill-behaved Herdman siblings and their participation in the church’s annual Christmas pageant. 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. $20. A.D. Players Mainsage Theater, 5420 Westheimer, Houston. 713-526-2721. www.adplayers.org
4. 'A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas'
Dec. 13-17, 19-24, 26-30
The Alley Theatre presents Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The play is geared toward children ages 6 and older and runs for approximately 1 hour and 47 minutes including one intermission. 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $26-$140. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas St., Houston. 713-220-5700. www.alleytheatre.org
5. 'A Midnight Clear: A Musical Tale of Christmas'
Dec. 13-17, 20-24
Stages Repertory Theatre presents this musical set in 1964 that tells the story of the Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart and their encounter with a stranded motorist in the midst of a snowstorm. 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. $25-$68. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway, Ste. 101, Houston. 713-527-0123. www.stagestheatre.com
6. Houston Symphony presents Handel’s 'Messiah'
Under the direction of conductor Paul Agnew, the Houston Symphony Chorus, soloists and orchestra perform Handel’s "Messiah." The performance on Dec. 14 will take place at Sugar Land Baptist Church before moving to the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. Discounted student tickets are available for $10. 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. $29-$130. Sugar Land Baptist Church, 16755 Southwest Fwy., Sugar Land. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, Houston. 713-224-7575. www.houstonsymphony.org
7. Moonlight Movies: Holiday Edition
Presented by Sewell Cadillac, this event will feature a free screening of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” a holiday performance by the Houston Christian High School Choir and popcorn. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, but no outside food or beverages will be permitted. 6 p.m. Free. CityCentre Houston, 800 Town and Country Blvd., Houston. 713-629-5200. www.citycentrehouston.com
8. Screen on the Green: 'It’s a Wonderful Life'
Discovery Green presents a free outdoor screening of the Christmas classic, "It’s a Wonderful Life." Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. 7 p.m. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney Street, Houston. 713-400-7336. www.discoverygreen.com
9. 'National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation' screening
City Acre Brewing Co. presents a free screening of "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation," starring Chevy Chase. A holiday-themed dinner and beverages will be available for purchase. 7 p.m. Free. City Acre Brewing Co., 3418 Topping Street, Houston. 832-377-0237. www.cityacrebrewing.com
10. 'The Polar Express' movie screening
As part of its Family Movies on the Lawn series, Baybrook Mall presents a free outdoor screening of "The Polar Express." 11 a.m. Free. Baybrook Mall, 1132 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood. 281-488-4627. www.baybrookmall.com
11. Movies in the Park: 'Elf'
Attendees can enjoy an outdoor screening of "Elf" at the Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park Amphitheater. The event also includes a create-your-own popcorn activity and opportunities for photos with Santa Claus. 7 p.m. $30 (family of four), $8 (per additional family member). The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park Amphitheater, 6464 Creekside Forest Drive, The Woodlands. 281-210-3950. www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov
12. 'A Christmas Story' movie screening
Karbach Brewing Co. and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema present a free screening of "A Christmas Story." Drinks will be available for purchase. 6 p.m. Free. Karbach Brewing Co., 2032 Karbach St., Houston. 713-680-2739. www.karbachbrewing.com