Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Minivan Express (our version of The Polar Express) repost

We did this last year and it was such a big hit the kids want to do it again.
I thought I'd repost it for anyone who wants to do this too.

Now for how I pulled off our version of The Polar Express, aptly named the Minivan Express.
I got the idea from HERE.

I  had the kids take showers and get dressed into their pajamas before dinner.  We usually have a later dinner (around 6:30pm) so it's not unusual to start our bedtime routine right after dinner.  I had previously printed out their tickets on metallic card stock and placed them into their robe pockets.

So after the kids got ready for bed and we read scriptures, I said how cute they looked and wouldn't it be great to get a picture of them wearing their robes in front of the Christmas tree.  I had their robes waiting for them downstairs with their tickets already inside the pockets.  The idea of this was to get them to find their tickets.  Luckily they didn't think it was odd that I asked them to put on their robes and get by the tree for a picture.  I guess by now they know how much I like taking pictures and were happy to oblige.   I couldn't believe Sweetie Pie didn't notice her ticket as she tried tying her robe.  Her hand practically touched it.  Do you see it sticking out of her pocket in this 'getting ready for the picture' picture?

Here's the cute picture of the kids.  Ignore the Babes tongue sticking out, lately she likes to pretend she is a dog and crawls around the floor panting.  (This picture was taken in 2012 and the Babes still likes to act like a dog)

The kids STILL didn't notice their tickets so I had to ask them, "What's that in your pocket?"
Sweetie Pie checked her pocket and didn't find anything,  so then I had to say (just like Tom Hanks in the movie), "Check your other pocket".

When they found them, they were a bit confused so I had to explain to them it's like The Polar Express.  I told them to get their shoes and coats on since we're taking the Minvan Express.  While they did that, I went outside to start up the van, make sure Christmas music was playing and put their water bottles full of chocolate milk in the van too.  When I returned to the house, the kids were just about ready and waiting by the door.  They asked where are we going.  In my best Tom Hanks Polar Express train conductor voice I replied, "Why to the North Pole of course".  They followed me to the van and once we got outside I pointed to the van and said, "This is the Polar Minivan Express!"

I then proceeded to punch their tickets and we all excitedly climbed inside.  Sweetie Pie said she couldn't believe she was going somewhere in her pajamas and robe.  The Spencinator asked if we were really going to the North Pole.

After we got on the road, I turned around and asked, "Is anyone in need of some refreshment?".  You know just how Tom Hanks said it in the movie.   Then I passed out the chocolate milks.  I opted not to do hot chocolate only because I wasn't sure it would stay hot since I made it earlier that evening and the Spencinator doesn't really like hot chocolate anyway.   But everyone like chocolate milk so that's what we had.  I only wish I had the soundtrack to the movie so the "Hot Chocolate" song would have been playing.   If you click HERE it'll take you to the youtube video of the Hot Chocolate song.

After a few minutes we arrived at our destination.  It was one of the houses I found through the Tacky Light Tours website.  It was in a quite neighborhood and was a small display of lights (compared to Clark Griswold's), but it was nice.  We tuned in our radio to the advertised station and watched the lights dance to the rhythm of the music.   We sat there in our van for several songs while other cars pulled up behind us.  We all  had our car lights off to better enjoy the show.  The kids really liked it too.

When we'd had enough, we drove back home, stopping by another neighborhood along the way to check out their lights.

This was a fun outing and one I think we'll be adding to our list of Christmas traditions.

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