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Christmas crackers: the best shows (plus top ways to escape the tinsel)

From the Nutcracker to American Psycho, from Mary Poppins to Kurt Vile, our critics pick their must-sees of the festive season

If you wish it could be Christmas every day

Nutcrackers, various

You know it's Christmas in the ballet world by the number of Nutcrackers touring the world's stages. In the UK alone, there are close to a dozen doing the rounds, but the top three remain the Royal Ballet's exquisitely traditional version, the sparky family friendly production by Birmingham Royal Ballet, and English National Ballet's – with the best snow scene of them all. Royal Opera House, London (020-7304 4000), 4 December to 16 January; Birmingham Hippodrome (0844 338 5000), to 12 December; London Coliseum (020-7845 9300), 11 December to 5 January.

Father Christmas

Does Father Christmas use the loo? Does he secretly long for summer? Does he have strong views on the size of chimneys? You bet he does. Raymond Briggs's gorgeous picture book gets a heartwarming makeover for under-sixes.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News