I love Christmas! I mean I really LOVE Christmas! I always have and as I get older I just get more excited for the whole Christmas season to arrive. There is nothing like my children's faces when they receive something that they really want, that is a wonderful feeling. Knowing that we are celebrating Jesus' birth. Yes, we do sing "Happy Birthday" and eat cake on Christmas Day. Some one told me she will be using birthday wrapping paper instead of seasonal gift wrap this year, isn't that an awesome idea? The decorations. Oh the decorations! We begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving and finish about two weeks later with a total of about 10 boxes, if you count the three tree boxes. When we are blessed enough to have the snow stick to the ground by Christmas then it feels like it should (how do I explain that feeling?) Even if the snow doesn't stay - the lights, the scents, the music, the joy, family. Christmas.
Advent and the Advent house. Remember that blog? Well, yesterday was Family Pizza and a Christmas Movie Night. Oh sure, we've had movie nights many times before but this is "Christmas Movie Night". We invited one of India's friends, who is like a daughter to me. After all: "There's no greater gift than friendship" (Conductor). Without fail, our first movie of the season is always "The Polar Express".
India likes to reminisce about how the first time she saw the movie was with the entire Lowville Academy elementary school (all 986 K-6th graders). It was a special showing that the PTO sponsored. The kids all marched in shifts to my brother and sister-in-law's 687 seat former opera house now movie theater in our tiny former hometown.
I like watching this movie because I love the book and because I have a love of trains since traveling several times on various gauge tracks. I love the sound, I love the beauty as it passes by, I love the way the coupling rods look when the engine is at full-throttle. I really do think that looks awesome. Conductor: "The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on."
Before I go any further, let's not forget the pizza, Doritos and soda. Goodness knows, my kids would never let me forget them.
William's favourite character is the hobo. Not so much because of his actions but more because he is a ghost. Hobo: One more thing... do you believe in ghosts? The Boy: [shakes head no] Hobo: [in a sinister tone] Interesting...
One of those moments where every time we watch this movie we try to figure out how they get off this mountain before they show the train getting off the mountain. Okay, so we are a little weird. We admit it.
Our favourite moment by far. We love to imagine what it would be like to ride in the passenger cars during the fishtailing scene. I mean, wouldn't that be so cool!?!
One of my favourite lines from the movie. It goes along with me reading "Yes, Virginia. there is a Santa Claus" to my children every year. Santa says in the movie: "This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas - as am I. Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart."
In the end the boys says: "At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe."
Why do I love Christmas?
Because I still believe.