Prop master Karin Rabe still remembers the first time she stepped foot inside the Alley Theatre after Hurricane Harvey.
"Seeing it made it real," she said. "Over 100,000 items."
All of them soaked and floating in almost 15 feet of filthy floodwater.
"The heartbreak was the one of a kind items we'll never get back," said Rabe.
The theater staff members knew they'd have to close their doors.
"We've had to go through a lot the last couple months," said Alley Theatre managing director Dean Gladden.
But in three days, the Alley Theatre will be back in action.
"It is an emotional time for people coming back getting their lives together, celebrating the holidays together as a family," said Gladden.
It will be a performance theater staff can't wait to witness, a show everyone wants to be a part of.
"I hope that people who come to the show can take a step outside of their recovery and all their efforts to let that go for two hours and just enjoy the story," said Rabe.
In the basement construction continues, still weeks until the theater is fully restored, but the Alley Theatre wasn't going to let ongoing repairs ruin a Houston Christmas tradition.
"This theater means the world to me, Houston means the world to me," said Rabe. "We're back home now and we'll be able to give back to this to the city of Houston. We all need it."
This year a "A Christmas Carol" is more than a performance. It's a symbol that despite Harvey, the show must always go on.
"It means healing, it means recovery," said Rabe. "It signals a little bit of normalcy in a wold that hasn't been normal over the last two and a half months."
The Alley Theatre did have insurance, about $7 million, but damages were about $18 million. The difference will have to be raised by contributed funds. You can help by clicking here: https://app.mobilecause.com/form/N5rFnQ