Planning for this year’s Christmas Show began nearly a year ago.

Since then, members of Purdue Musical Organizations and the staff at Elliott Hall of Music have been hammering out the fine details that make the University’s show a hit. Organization members and Elliott’s staff split themselves into two organizing bodies, each planning its half for months.

The show revolves around an original story written by the organization’s staff. The staff began tossing out ideas for the show’s theme last December and refined its script from there. This year’s theme focuses on balancing the stresses of the holiday season, which often include holiday shopping.

Steve Schlenk, director of operations for the organization, said that he, along with other staff members, began working on the show’s concept a week after the 2010 show.

“The Christmas Show is 24/7 and 365 here,” Schlenk said. “There is quite a number (of people) behind the scenes and making it work.”

Also part of the organization, student-performers have been rehearsing for two months. Schlenk said these students dedicate hundreds of hours to practicing for the show.

After planning themes and performances, Schlenk said the next step was to concentrate on the technical aspects of the show.

Elliott Hall of Music staff members began working on design concepts in March. During the summer, they began set construction. This staff’s main job is to control and plan all non-musical aspects of the show, including sound, video and lighting.

Stephen Hall, director of Hall of Music Productions, said that scheduling time to work on the Christmas Show was difficult.

“As a department, we do over a thousand events a year,” Hall said. “This one is pretty involved and pretty intense.”

This year’s design concept is intense as well. The department store from the film “A Christmas Story” and the architecture of cathedrals inspired Hall’s conceptualization of this year’s set.

Hall said that seeing this set come together, along with working with the organization, are the most rewarding parts of producing the Christmas Show.

“Working with (the organization) is invigorating with our staff,” Hall said. “When you can work with real, genuine people who have the same love and passion for the event, that makes it fun.”