Houston is home to one of the nation’s largest and best theater and performing arts societies. With many performance houses in downtown Houston as well as a thriving community outside the city, there are many opportunities to see holiday shows this season.

• The Houston Grand Opera is performing The House Without a Christmas Tree at the George R. Brown Convention Center’s Resilience Theater. This is a heartwarming story of a girl who wins a Christmas tree at a school contest.

• The Alley Theater continues to host its annual performance of A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. As Ebeneezer Scrooge travels through time to confront his misdeeds, he realizes the true meaning of Christmas in this holiday classic. Performances are recommended for adults and teens, young children are not permitted.

• The Best Christmas Pagent Ever, performed by the A.D. Players at Mainstage Theater is perfect for kids and families. Based on the children’s book, the story is full of laughs, pranks and fun when a group of kids crash a holiday pagent.

• No holiday season would be complete without a performance of The Nutcracker, and the Houston Ballet is putting on its second season of the show with a revamped set and costumes. This show is not only visually breathtaking, but the music is amazing as well. Performances this year will be at Smart Financial Center before Christmas and at the Hobby Center after Christmas.

• The now iconic holiday music group Mannheim Steamroller performs all of their hits at the Smart Financial Center beginning on December 29.

• The Houston symphony will put on a spectacular show this weekend as they play Handel’s Messiah at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.

• The Trans-Siberian Orchestra presents The Ghosts of Christmas Eve on December 21 live at the Toyota Center.