I had so much fun with this month's KC Parent article, "The Joy of a Family Tradition."
We have so many of them, too many, so I've tried to slow things down and focus on our favorites--gingerbread houses, Advent, unwrapping picture books by the tree, caroling with Daddy on piano, visiting the nursing home with L's violin in tow. But our most cherished tradition came by way of Polar Express minivan train last Friday night...
An overview of our Polar Express tradition, from the article:
The children and their friends, donning pajamas, faces smattered with spaghetti dinner, were giddy. They had discovered them: golden tickets and curious sleigh bells which, to grown-up ears, were distinctly broken.
“Mom? Can’t you hear it ringing? Listen!” insisted Lorelei as she and little brother Gryffin jangled them, yet again, at my cheek. I shook my head densely and shrugged.
“Just believe, Mom!”
The anticipation built as my friends and I herded our three families outside, bells and tickets in hand. The children’s cherubic faces beamed red and jolly in defiance of the frosty blue night.
“May I have your golden tickets?” the fathers asked sternly, bowing in train conductor hats and sporting thick moustaches grown for the occasion. The passengers lined up rapturously for rapid-fire ticket punches, then boarded their respective train cars. We three moms in elf hats converged dotingly with candy canes and mugs of steamy hot chocolate. Then our three minivans, windows frosted with snowflakes and the words “Polar Express,” caravanned off to the Overland Park Arboretum’s Luminary Walk—our North Pole.
Our Polar Express Luminary Walk, Year Two:
Daddy in his train conductor hat, the kids with golden tickets.
Jena, Jalen and Jennifer decorating cars.
Even our neighbor Charlie got in on the fun. It just happened to be pajama day at school. He fit right in!
We hosted a few more families this year (from small groups) for soup and chili before meeting up with Mothers Together friends at Starbucks.
The ladies, looking festive!
There's this Irish proverb I love:
"May your house always be too small...
... to hold all your friends."
Then from Starbucks, we all caravanned on the Polar Express to the North Pole.
It was a gorgeous 60-degree December night!
You cannot pull me away from the cider, bonfire and carols.
There's something so earthy and yet ethereal about the energy there, especially when huddled with beloved friends.
Lost in a maze of prairie grass.
This little furniture arrangement reminded me of Salisbury Plain.
And to crown the night, a visit with jolly old St. Nick.
December is officially here!
(We had so much fun, our family visited the Luminary yet again on Saturday night with the neighbors.)