I am in the spirit! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, I was so happy to have my 3 oldest home with me for dinner. They are away at college.
The younger kids miss having them home and so do I.
I am also very excited to have finally won some tickets to the Polar Express Train event.
I enter the lottery every year and never win, not that you actually get the tickets free, you just get the opportunity to buy the tickets.
It sells out every year and the tickets are very limited.
I have been sending in my application into the drawing every year for 15 years and have never been picked.
I mean I started doing this when my oldest children were little and now they are in college.
You have to send in the application with your contact info and on a designated day in October they start calling people who are randomly drawn from a bin.
If you miss their call, they move on to the next person and you are out of luck.
This year I FINALLY got the call! At that point they give you the choice of which night you want the tickets for, which train you want to ride and how many tickets.
I picked the closest date they had to Christmas.
Everyone is suppose to wear their pajamas and they serve hot chocolate on the train and Santa shows up and each child gets a Christmas bell, its a whole re enactment of the Polar Express Story.
I am very excited. Especially since my 7 year old told me last night he doesn't believe in Santa.
I was pretty surprised by that, I figured I would have at least another year with him.
I said, well the little boy in the Polar express story didn't believe that Santa was real either and he ended up with a golden ticket to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole to see Santa for himself. I reminded him that the boy did meet Santa and got a special bell and he did believe after all.
So since I had this opportunity, knowing I have those tickets, I said if santa hears you there may be a golden ticket showing up with your name on it.
Then what I said? If you take the train to the North Pole and see Santa, are you still going to not believe?
He said, I don't know, if I actually get a ticket to the North Pole and Santa is really there, then I guess he could be real.
The thing is, they have no idea about this whole train ride event, they have never heard of it.
I am going to just have the tickets magically appear with their names on them and tell Caleb that Santa must have heard how he doesn't believe and thats why we were invited to the North Pole.
Maybe I will even have a letter from Santa that says that.
I know, I know, I am soooo corny that I am starting to embarrass myself here and should start deleting some of this post.
I hate when reality sets in so young, I am going to milk this year for sure. I only have two younger than him and the other 4 are grown and then alot of the magic of Christmas will disappear for me.
Its alway been all about the spirit and the celebrating for us. But I love the excitement that it brings when the children go to bed on Christmas Eve, the aniticipation and wonderment.
How they make me put the fire out in the fireplace so Santa doesn't get burned.
How I have to make sure we have carrots for the reindeer not just cookies and eggnog or milk for Santa.
We decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas eve after we get back from church service and eat dinner together.
We listen to Christmas music and drink egg nog and hot cider while we decorate the tree and then we watch christmas movies and read the book Twas the Night Before Christmas and tuck them all into bed.
After that, we watch Its A Wonderful Life and try to assemble their toys before they wake up at the crack of dawn.
So, it appears that I do not have much more time left of this and I will be sad when its over.
I had a gap in between when the older kids no longer believed, but the younger kids were too young to understand and it was kind of a bummer.
Although, we will just do with the younger ones when the time comes, the same thing we started doing with the older ones.
After they no longer believed, we started taking them to the homeless shelter in the mornings to cook meals.
We would rotate Christmas and Thanksgiving usually.
I really focused more on the importance of giving back, and being there for people who do not have families.
I explained that while so many people in this world are disappointed today because they didn't get something they wanted for Christmas, something they most likely did not need but wanted, there are all these people here who would just like a meal and someone to talk to today.
Never mind presents, they don't have a family member's house to go to and family to eat with.
After serving the meals my kids will sit down and chat with the people there and you would not believe how happy that makes these men and women.
I was surprised by that and its the first time I realized that the companionship we offered them that day was probably more important than the meal we served.
Hmmm, now that I am writing this I think I am having an epiphany, I realize that maybe the spirit of Christmas will not be lost when they no longer believe, the spirit will take on a different form I suppose.
The spirit of Christmas can be found serving a holiday meal at the shelter and listening to someone who just wants some company.
So now that I am totally off track here, I apologize for the long winded post.
Yikes! I hate when I do this.
I hope you all experience the joy and magic of the holiday season!!!