Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in December 2021, where holiday pops concerts—and Santa—returned this year. Photo by Winslow Townson.

Holiday concerts, a December tradition for many orchestras, were greatly missed by audiences in 2020, when most of them were put on hold due to the pandemic. Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra returned to Symphony Hall in December 2021 for three weeks of holiday concerts. Music included Duke Ellington’s version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Mexican Christmas songs by Silvino Jaramillo, a medley of holiday spirituals, and seasonal songs signaling the arrival of Santa at Symphony Hall. Seven matinees for children featured music from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Highlights included the Tanglewood Festival Chorus returning after a two-year hiatus from performing as an ensemble to present favorites such as the “Hallelujah” Chorus, and a sensory-friendly holiday concert was given for people on the autism spectrum and their families. At all concerts, masks and proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test were required.