McGuigan holiday traditions

The McGuigan brothers have been performing Yesterday and Today, a tribute to The Beatles, at the Omaha Community Playhouse for seven years now; it has become a staple during the OCP holiday season. Although performing in their hometown is a big part of their own holidays, it is not the only tradition they take part in.

What are some of your holiday season traditions? What is your favorite?
  • Matthew: Every year we put up a Beatles-themed Christmas tree. It's always fun getting a new ornament to hang on the tree. 
  • Ryan: Putting up the Christmas decorations. I think even as an adult, you feel like a kid. 
  • Billy: For me, December and the holidays mean the Omaha Community Playhouse. For over 10 years, I’ve spent every December in the Howard Drew Theatre getting to perform in shows that I love, while spending time with audiences that come back year after year. My favorite part is meeting the audience members after the show. It’s like an annual high school and family reunion all in one!
What do you look forward to during the holiday season?
  • Matthew: Spending quality with my wife, Christine, and son, Lennon. After touring all year, it's always nice to be home in December. 
  • Ryan: I look forward to the full month of Yesterday and Today at OCP. It's nice to be working from home during the holiday season. 
  • Billy: I love the holiday season energy that seems to be in the air. People hustling in the mall, families making holiday meal plans in the grocery store and bells ringing in the cool air. There’s just something about it that is unique to this time of year.
Are there any traditions that you have continued from your childhood?
  • Matthew: We always open presents on Christmas Eve. It's always hard to not give each other gifts before Christmas. 
  • Ryan: The Carpenters Christmas, a McGuigan staple. Almost as much as The Beatles 
  • Billy: The Christmas Mouse story! This is a story that our dad and his brothers used to tell us every year! It’s really just an odd story about a mouse that sees Santa and becomes his helper…my brothers and I told that story to my kids when they were little. You gotta love a passed-down family tradition!
Are there any traditions from your past that you miss?
  • Matthew: Probably just the excitement of being a kid, anticipating what gifts you will receive. I will say it's more fun being a parent around the holidays and seeing the joy on my son's face when he sees all the gifts he's about to receive. 
  • Ryan: I miss the times of sitting around the Christmas tree with all the lights in the house off except for the tree and all of us sitting there listening  to
    The Carpenters Christmas and being in awe of the illumination. It's probably the only time the McGuigan household was ever calm or placid. 
  • Billy: Growing up, our Christmases were always spent in Florida with our grandparents. This not only meant great weather for the holidays, but it always meant huge family gatherings. About 25 to 30 of us would cram into a living room and an older family member would act as obnoxious Santa Claus and yell everybody’s name while we would all laugh and tell stories. Such a fantastic time!

Make Yesterday and Today part of your holiday tradition, Dec 5, 2014-Jan. 4, 2015 at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 6:30 p.m. with a performance at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14. Tickets are $38 for single tickets and $32 for groups. There will also be a 7 p.m. performance and a 10 p.m. performance on Dec. 31. Cake and punch will be served on New Year’s Eve with a champagne toast at midnight; tickets will be $50 for the 7 p.m. show and $75 for the 10 p.m. show. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (402) 552-0800, click here or visit the Box Office located in the southeast corner of the Omaha at 6915 Cass St.

Story by Madison Denkinger

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