This past weekend we took Sebastian for his very first train ride (Note: the subway when we lived in Toronto doesn't count) on the Santa Express.
I booked the venture back in August when a friend had mentioned it to me and had anxiously been awaiting the day. We don't necessarily enforce Santa in our house... Sebastian doesn't know that elves are supposed to be watching you and that if he's not good he won't get presents. But he does know who Santa is and we're not too sure how much he believes in him. Right now it's more about the magic of Christmas than anything else.
Anyways, we boarded the train at 3 p.m. and were immediately greeted by "Jingle" and "Bells", two of Santa's elves. We were given hot chocolate and cookies and were informed that Santa was flying in straight from the North Pole to meet up with the train and that we would be meeting him along the way. At that point "Bells" started to talk to Sebastian, explaining that it was her job to make sure that all the kids on the train were good and that if not, Santa wouldn't be bringing them any presents. Sebastian's face was priceless... he just looked at her as if she was from another planet and I had to explain that Sebastian didn't really know about elves or about the finer intricacies of having to be good to get presents. She then asked him what he wanted for Christmas and Sebastian just shrugged and said he didn't know. I had to explain to "Bells" that we haven't focused our Christmas's on the presents and that overall, we were just lousy parents when it came to this whole Santa Claus thing! Poor "Bells", I think we ruined her gig but she improvised, and told Sebastian, "I can tell just by looking at you that you're a good boy."
So off we went on our trek. We were entertained by "Jingles" and "Bells" as we enjoyed our hot chocolate and cookies and then about half way through the trek who do we stumble upon?? Santa and Mrs. Claus waving to us with their reindeer beside the track! This was Sebastian's very first encounter with Santa so I had asked him, as he was sitting by the window, if he wanted to trade me seats so he would be closer to Santa when he came on our train, but he said no and mentioned that he was a little nervous.
As the train was 3 cars long and we were in the middle it took a bit for Santa to make it to us. When he did make it to us Sebastian just stared at him, which made Santa chuckle. Santa asked Sebastian if he had been a good boy and Sebastian said, "Yes" and continued to stare at him quizzically. Sebastian asked where Santa's mouth was as his beard was covering his mouth and Santa chuckled once again before giving out a large "Ho Ho Ho". Mrs. Claus gave Sebastian a nice bell before they moved along. Overall, it was pretty anti-climatic.
The rest of our trek was spent singing Christmas Carols and just relaxing and talking about how cool it was to see Santa. Sebastian was pretty smitten with "Bells", which was really funny as Sebastian isn't normally the type to get all silly about these types of things, but it was really cute. He didn't want a picture of him and Santa but he sure wanted one with him and "Bells"!
It was definitely an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon and we'll be definitely doing it again next year. Who knows... maybe by then he'll need to know about the elves but for now, it's nice not having to "threaten" our boy with Santa and his elves to get him to behave!!