Tired of looking at xmas lights, we decided to head North and visit Willow Bend, where a larger than life snow globe stands on display with fake snow blowing overhead.
This year the attraction showcased characters from the movie, The Polar Express.
We've watched this movie several dozen times already (unfortunately it has some questionable dialogue) but still, it's entertaining and fun to watch - AND there's a train in this movie - and if there's one thing Noah has loved from day 1 - it's trains.
The Polar Express is a story about skeptical children who journey to the North Pole, get lost, witness tiny elves wrapping gifts for those on the "good list", and cheer for a Santa kickoff to fly around the world and deliver a toy for every child - and only through this myriad of adventures, do they come to believe in "Christmas." And how will you know if you're a believer? According to this movie, if you can hear Santa's sleigh bell ringing- then you are.
While this is a highly entertaining movie - there's a lot to draw from and put into perspective for the kids, especially now as they are absorbing insurmountable information from everywhere. Scary scenes (like the ghost on top of the train) initiate more questions - and this is when we reiterate how cartoons are make-believe. Pretend. Not real - Contradicting the movies' main point of - believing in what you can't see.
Polar Express is just one of many cartoons that portray Christmas to be a time to get gifts ("My favorite part of Christmas is gifts for me" - Ming Ming from The Wonder Pets), after all, Santa knows exactly what you want (Diego gets his telescope) and "naughty" kids don't get anything (Swiper on Dora the Explorer). So in other words - there's an incentive for being good. I have a hard time swallowing that - shouldn't kids strive to be good for no other reason than for themselves and the greater good?
So if we don't place gifts under the tree for them Christmas morning - will they think they are bad? Or what if we get them something they didn't want - because they secretly wished it from Santa?
While I love to live in a world with my children where we can make believe about anything - some things just jump the hurdle. This is one of them. So in the car, when Ava brought up Santa, I explained that he's just pretend like in their cartoons. BUT that it was based on a true story from a long time ago when an old man named St. Nicholas made gifts for children who didn't have any.
Ava seemed content with that answer - so I left it alone.
And will let the magic of Christmas be what they believe from their hearts...