We bring out and set up all of our Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving day…string lights in the garden, Christmas Tree and all sorts of Holidays decor in the house. And we usually take down and store away all Christmas decorations the day after the “Three Kings Day”, January 7th. But I have ONE RULE: I refuse to take away any Christmas decorations until we have snow on the ground. Because It’s Not This Time of Year Without… snow.
So I wait…some years we only get snow after Christmas day… after New Year’s… My husband, Frank, feels awfully embarrassed to have Christmas decorations still on, days and weeks after the Holidays… and everyday I have to repeat myself – “I want to enjoy all this with the snow!”… Because there is no Christmas for me without the snow. And so, Christmas Day for me can happen anytime from November 25th to January ???… first snow day!!!
Now, the picture above… I took it in the end of January when I was almost loosing hope in having any snow for “Christmas”. The Christmas tree was already dry and many of the pine needles had fallen. But then, it snowed!! …And all the waiting and arguing with my impatient husband was worthy!! The Christmas tree never looked more beautiful!!!
I took that picture in a Holiday Season that we had no snow but a lot of memories to tell.
See that silver bell on the tree? My daughter Amber got it that Christmas – The Polar Express First Gift of Christmas. And looking at the view of the window behind it, you can almost expect to see the train standing still there and to hear the sounds of hissing steam and squeaking metal.
Amber’s recollection of our 2 hour trip in the Polar Express is filled with wonder: The train conductor punching her golden ticket, the singing and the hot chocolate milk, the Hobo jokes and the movie’s songs, the Elfs’ games and the children dancing, watching through the window Santa under a sign stating “North Pole” … Santa coming in the train and giving her this bell as the First Gift of Christmas.
Time flies when you are having fun… but it sure goes very slow when your plans go very wrong!! My first thoughts when I remember the Polar Express event are of 30 never ending minutes of frustration… an eternity!
…We left the Cape Codder resort at 7.30 pm to catch the 8 pm Polar Express train. As we left the hotel parking lot, I reached inside my purse in search for the navigator already programmed with the address of the train station… and while shuffling in the purse I accidentally turned it on and changed its setting… Every word in its screen is now in Russian…The voice was speaking also Russian!! RUSSIAN!!! Are you kidding me??!!
So here we are in the car, Frank driving in circles, me getting nauseous from reading Russian instructions with the car in motion, Amber is starting to panic!
We have not much time and so Frank stops the car and asks for directions. These directions took us nowhere!
We stooped the car again, this time at a gas station, and ask directions for the Train Station… as we followed these directions we found ourselves in an open field looking at the majestic Polar Express!!! But there was no train station in neither ends of the train. The train stood still with the engines hissing steam when we see Santa Claus behind one of the train’s windows. Santa waves goodbye to Amber and the train starts moving away!! And just like the boy in the Polar Express movie/book, Amber starts running side by side with the train through the mud and tall grass in an attempt to make it stop. I run after and catch her. Amber is in tears. We had missed the train… and it was not even 8 pm yet.
We went back in the car!! Amber is crying with a broken heart, Frank is cursing the entire alphabet and I’m on the cellphone calling the train station demanding an explanation to “how can a train leave before schedule??!”. I could hardly hear the lady on the other side of the line but she kept saying that the train always follows the schedule and she does not understand my complaint.
We are desolated back in the resort parking lot. I look at the clock and see 7.50 pm. It makes no sense! I look at Frank and say – “We have to try this again”!!
Frank ran inside the hotel and asked for a map to the train station. We drove REALLY fast! And then we saw it…
A beautifully decorated Train Station completely filled with happy families in pajamas. Christmas’ Music coming from the speakers spread throughout the entire station. I felt like crying….and I probably did. We got our golden tickets!!
The train conductor yells – “All Aboard!!!”.
Well, you know how the rest of the story goes…
– That open field was not the train station… the train had stopped there making time to arrive at the station at the exact right time on schedule.
– I had to take the navigator to Geek Squad (an American computer tech store) to fix it and make it speak English again.
– After all the frustration, this event still turned out to be Amber’s favorite memory… until we took her to Disney World.
– During the entire train ride I hoped Santa did not recognize us as “The Crazy Family Standing in the Meadow”!
– If you did not see the movie “The Polar Express”, or read the book, or went in a Polar Express trip, than nothing in this post makes any sense to you. Sorry…
Happy Holidays and a Season filled with Happy Memories and Memorable Stories!