I have a love-hate relationship with the blogosphere. Love for all the great ideas that people share. Hate for not having the time nor talent to explore all of those pinterest-worthy projects. Our cousin on the west coast often shares many of these great ideas on her FB feed but usually they end up on my to-do (then forgotten about) list. The Minivan Express from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler though was totally within my reach and had the added bonus of being time-sensitive, meaning that I had to get off my butt and get the gears in motion.
I made sure that we watched the Polar Express the night before so that the story was fresh in their minds (I think we've gotta get the book now). We had an early dinner and under the premise of needing more rest, we watched a short Christmas special and went to bed. That's when the fun started...
They loved finding the golden ticket on their pillows and rushed to compare tickets, wondered what the ticket was for, and had to have some assistance in deciphering the elaborate cursive script. They were eager to get their ticket punched (I need to buy a better punch, btw) and enjoyed trying to guess what the magic word that I would punch into their tickets was. They were ecstatic about going out late at night in their jammies and were seriously thinking that there may be a real train for us to ride.
Refreshments awaited them in the minivan, as I had already stashed bags of chips and hot, hot, hot... HOT CHOCOLATE! there earlier in the evening. And if you are wondering, a warmed up Magic Bag or something similar works amazingly to keep the hot chocolate at a warm, but not scalding, temperature.
We went to our first Nativity pageant, played around the gorgeously-lit trees in the park, took pictures in the holiday cut-outs...
... and rode the Tim Hortons train again and again and again.
As you can see we goofed it up and had lots of fun. We're definitely doing this again next year and I can't wait to see how they react now that they know what happens after finding a golden ticket.
Until then Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours.