A woman with curly blond hair wearing an elf costume and singing. She is seen from the torso up.

Solutions Specialist, Tessitura Network

Transforming holiday traditions for 2020


5 min

Now more than ever, we need a little holiday magic, whether virtual or distanced.

It is time to start planning how to share your organization’s gifts with your communities. So for your inspiration, here’s what some Tessitura community members are doing to celebrate this holiday season, both online and in person.

A Christmas Carol — virtual and free

The Alley Theatre is presenting their annual production of A Christmas Carol in a new way. They are offering their virtual production of A Christmas Carol free as a gift to the entire Houston area. Closed captioning in both Spanish and Vietnamese will make the show more accessible to all Houstonians.

Screenshot showing Alley Theatre: A Christmas Carol with a photo of an actor in Victorian period costume

Nutcracker Online

The holidays might look a little different this year, but San Francisco Ballet is keeping another holiday tradition with Nutcracker Online.

Screenshot showing a ballet dancer in white leaping in front of a light blue background with snowflakes falling 

An interactive, virtual experience available from the comfort of home, Nutcracker Online is San Francisco Ballet’s fantastical, digital holiday offering, available November 27 – December 31. Participants can watch the Ballet’s spectacular Nutcracker stream in HD, tour the virtual opera house full of fun activities, send downloadable holiday snaps to friends and family, enjoy historical highlights of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, and even learn steps from the choreography. And dance lovers can check off items on their gift list with a visit to SF Ballet’s online Holiday Shop. 

Hear from Tessitura members like you on how they’re creating and selling digital content in this webinar on virtual events. And learn how to get started with Digital Content on TNEW in this recent Pop-Up Skill Builder

Nutcracker in the Park

Over on the east coast of the US, the Miami City Ballet is presenting fourteen magical, socially-distant outdoor performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® in the Park. Pods of seats can be purchased in downtown Doral Park in the heart of Miami-Dade. Guests can select either a chair pod or a blanket pod, including VIP options for both. 

Selecting a chair or blanket pod 

The Secret Theatre

Across the pond, the Scottish Ballet will bring the magic of the theatre right into audience’s homes. In the feature-length film, The Secret Theatre, viewers will be treated to a show filled with acrobats, snowflakes, clowns, princes and of course ballerinas. The performance can also be enjoyed with audio description. To access this performance they offer patrons the option to pay what they wish as a donation, utilizing the new TNEW Editable pricing feature.

Screenshot of a ticket purchase with optional donation for 'The Secret Theatre - audio described' at Scottish Ballet

Tessitura’s pay-what-you-wish feature provides you a way to encourage patrons to make a purchase based on how much they desire and can afford to support your organization.

Christmas Vacation 

Screenshot showing 'Christmas Vacation: Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo' with a promotional image from the movie National Lampoon's Christmas VacationMovie fans can join Christmas’ favorite couple, Ellen and Clark Griswold, for the Lensic’s virtual salute to the holiday classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase (Clark) and Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen) lead audiences through this live event as they share fan-favorite clips from the movie, reveal their favorite memories from the making of the Vacation franchise, and answer questions in a live audience Q&A.


Holiday Lights

And for those craving real lights, there are many options, from Zoo Lights at Calgary Zoo or Dallas Zoo to the Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens to the Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon (pictured at the top of this page).

Zoo Lights at Calgary Zoo

Many include a drive-through or socially distanced walking path. Visitors can grab a cup of cider or cocoa and bask in the twinkling glow.

Fantasy in Lights at Calloway Gardens

Nutcracker Gift Boxes

All of these experiences can be shared with loved ones, but some patrons might be looking for gifts to send to friends and family they might not get to see in person this year.

In addition to a virtual performance of The Nutcracker, the Pacific Northwest Ballet is offering a Nutcracker gift box, filled to the brim with Nutcracker cheer hand-selected from Amusements gift shop to bring home the magic of The Nutcracker.

Screenshot headed 'The Nutcracker' with two mice standing in the snow and buttons to purchase Nutcracker Tickets or a Nutcracker gift box

Two options at Pacific Northwest Ballet: Nutcracker tickets — or a Nutcracker gift box.

Screenshot from the Met Opera online shop showing an array of holiday items

Met Opera Shop 

The Met Opera Shop has a magnificent selection of cards, CD’s, DVD’s, ornaments, and other gifts that are sure to delight opera and music lovers. 

If you would like to extend your retail sales to the web, you can — via the integration with Tessitura ecosystem partner SalesVu. Learn more here

Creativity— and the resources to bring ideas to life

We’re in awe of the all the creativity we’re seeing from arts and cultural organizations. Your inventiveness paired with the flexible, robust suite of Tessitura products can create magical experiences for your audiences.

As you’re making your own holiday plans, we have tools to help.

Digital content: Sell virtual experiences such as embedded videos, live-streamed events, virtual tours, or invitation-only online events, and manage access to that digital content — all through TNEW. 

Pay what you wish (Editable Pricing): Encourage patrons to make a purchase based on how much they can afford to support your organization.

Gift certificates: The holiday season is a great time for your customers to give the gift of what your organization has to offer. 

One-page giving: Create an unlimited number of streamlined contribution forms for your supporters. 

Physically distanced seating: Display “not for sale” seats on your seat map to support physically distanced seating, while giving your guests the comfort and security to select their own seats. 

•     •     •

If you have an idea you need help executing, we’re here for you. Whether you have any questions or would like to talk it through with our expert support team, we are available 24/7.

Happy holidays from Team Tessitura! Wishing you a warm, safe, and successful holiday season.  


Top photo: Christmas Illuminations at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. 

A woman with curly blond hair wearing an elf costume and singing. She is seen from the torso up.

Ragan Rhodes

Solutions Specialist
Tessitura Network

Ragan started with Tessitura Network as part of the Support team and recently joined the Client Solutions team as the Solutions Specialist.
She previously worked in the education and community departments of the Houston Symphony and Alley Theatre, where she led the Tessitura database optimization for their education departments including launching their program sales online with TN Express Web.


Arts & Culture


Customer Service




Ticketing & Admissions


Virtual Experiences