Arguably, one of the fondest holiday traditions in our region is gathering around those dear to us and hearing a re-telling of a classic story that warms our hearts. This year, consider take a step outside the static and embrace a new twist on the season’s favorites: Go see a local play. Our area is home to two different theaters, both of which are showing holiday productions sure to jump-start the spirit of even the most miserly Scrooge.

The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, located at 125 W Main Street in Jonesborough, has a special piece showing December 6-16 for veterans and military families. The play, titled “1940s USO Christmas Show,” centers around a time when radio was the most efficient way to communicate across the country. Radio broadcasting was especially important to military families in the 40s due to the upcoming U.S. involvement in the second world war. Having a radio in your home was the easiest way to keep up with your loved ones before the modernization of cell phones or television.

“It is a good way to remember the military and appreciate the freedom we have today because of them,” said Pam Johnson, publicity coordinator for the theatre. “The play will take you back to a time when radio mattered much more to the public than it does today and really bring a feeling of nostalgia. It definitely pulls at the heartstrings and really brings on happy tears.”

The play will consist of several skits and musical numbers, ending with a special scene titled “Military Medley,” in which a song based individually around each branch of the military will be performed, and actors will request veterans in the audience take a moment to stand during their section.

Tickets are available on the Jonesborough Theatre website. The cost is $16 for general admission, $14 for students and seniors, and $12 for groups of 15 or more.

The Johnson City Community Theatre will host a particularly reminiscent production based around a holiday classic. The show, “A Christmas Story: The Musical” is a lively re-telling of young Ralphie’s childhood Christmas experience. Tickets for the show are $14 for general admission and can be found on the Johnson City Community Theatre website.

“The kids are the best,” said Director David D. Hyde. “We have fifteen kids between the ages of six and sixteen, and they are so fun to work with and full of energy. I have had a really good time watching them grow into their characters over the past two months.”