We took Henry to Branson for a little Christmas fun the week before Thanksgiving. He loves Dolly Parton and the books he got from her in the mail each month for the first five years of his life. It was like a farewell event for us to go to the Dixie Stampede as the last book arrived for his 5th birthday the following week. We loved Imagination Library. It was a treat each month and I honestly think it has helped cultivate his love for books.
The main reason we took him to Branson was to ride the Polar Express. He knew nothing about it. We surprised him with these pajamas and told him to put them on. He was very confused because we had not even eaten supper yet and we were in the truck in the mall parking lot. We told him to look out the window at the train on the tracks. We told him then. In true Henry fashion, he got a bit anxious, but he was speechless and in awe for a few minutes. He could not express his excitement because it was just too much!
We boarded the train with all the other pajama wearing children and were thrilled to get out of the cold. It was a perfect setting for the Polar Express ride…cold, dark and festive decor everywhere.
We got into our train car and located our table. It was perfection. The movie soundtrack was playing and the waitress was going around reading the book to everyone. Henry yelled, “I have that book! I know it”. He could not take it all in fast enough. The decor on the train car was precious and the scenes out the window were cute too.
The train conductor came to check for our tickets. We had them ready to be punched!
Here he is punching an H on Henry’s ticket. He told him to hang on to it and not let the hobo get it. The hobo came into our train car twice trying to find loose tickets. That was a bit much, but cute too.
Henry was watching the elves at the North Pole and spotted Santa. It was big time excitement in that train car, as you can imagine.
And then Santa appeared in our train car! It was the most magical Christmas moment in the history of Henry’s life…and possibly ours too. He was perfect the perfect Santa, in every way.
This picture is my favorite. Henry’s excitement and awe. Santa was telling him he has really grown since last year. He was a lot taller and he knew he was acting good and minding his parents and teachers. He reminded him to keep being good and he would get his Case truck for Christmas. He then gave him a bell from his sleigh. I loved this Santa. That blue inside his suit is a nativity scene. As he left our train car, he looked back and told everyone to remember the reason for the season and opened the side of his suit jacket to show the nativity. It was beautiful.
I videoed it all but Blogger is so slow on uploading videos, I did not have the patience to sit here and let it load. Come see me sometime and I’ll show you the videos 🙂
There was nothing more magical than this night. We had the best time and we were now all ready for Christmas. Henry also sat in Santa’s lap at the Bass Pro Shop and for the first time in his 6 Christmas’, did not cry and actually gave Santa his list. It was a big trip for Henry and we are so glad we had the opportunity to take him. It is a fun, magical age and there were very few tickets left for the week we went. This train was sold out all but 3 nights from then until Christmas. We were thrilled to get to go and make some precious memories that will last a lifetime.