Every city has its holiday traditions. Portland’s traditions are built on the arts. Generations of families have planned celebrations around classic carols, sugar plum fairies and Scrooge. Here are some of the highlights of a busy month of performance in Portland.

Maine State Ballet stages a lush and lavish version of “The Nutcracker” at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium beginning Saturday. This is the classic version of the ballet, directed by the ballet’s artistic director, Linda MacArthur Miele, who trained with George Balanchine.

WHEN: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Nov. 29; 7 p.m. Dec. 4; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 5; 2 p.m. Dec. 6.

HOW MUCH: $15 to $60.

MORE INFO: porttix, 842-0800.

Good Theater stages a one-man version of “A Christmas Carol,” adapted and performed by Maine actor Will Rhys, who plays every character in the classic tale of redemption. It’s at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Nov. 29;

HOW MUCH: $20.

MORE INFO: goodtheater.com, 885-5883.

Good Theater also stages “Broadway at Good Theater” for six shows, Dec. 2-6, at the St. Lawrence. It’s a tribute to the 1930s and the shows that opened on Broadway during the decade, with holiday flavors.

HOW MUCH: $27 to $40.

MORE INFO: goodtheater.com or 885-5883.

 Portland Stage Company continues its every-other-year retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Snow Queen.”

WHEN: 21 performances, Dec. 5-24.

HOW MUCH: $15 to $45.

MORE INFO: portlandstage.org, 774-0465.

 The Portland Symphony Orchestra’s “Magic of Christmas” is back for a dozen performances at Merrill Auditorium beginning Dec. 11. Robert Moody and assistant conductor Norman Huynh will lead a program of familiar Christmas songs that range from playful to sacred, with a guest performance by a team of acrobats and dancers from Cirque de la Symphonie.

WHEN: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 13; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; and 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 20.

HOW MUCH: $32 to $77.

MORE INFO: porttix, 842-0800.

Portland Ballet turns back the clock on the city with “The Victorian Nutcracker” at both Merrill Auditorium and the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. The Portland Ballet version substitutes Portland characters and landmarks in the familiar story, giving it local spice.

WHEN: Westbrook – 2 p.m. Dec. 12-13, tickets $39 and $45; Portland – 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, tickets $23 to $58.

MORE INFO: porttix.com, 842-0800.