A Magical Night Aboard the Polar Express

January 2, 2015

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them.  Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound.  Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”  The Polar Express

by Doug Robinson

The train whistle blew and the Polar Express train was on its way to the North Pole.  Every child has had their ticket punched and were comfortably sitting aboard the train.

The children were dressed for reading of their Christmas classic, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.  Each child had come prepared for the event.  Some wore pajamas with footsies, while others wore slippers shaped like animals.  Some had hooded sweatshirts.  Every pajama was different, brightly colored, and festive with various pictures of Disney characters.  Some wore pajamas decorated with their favorite comic book hero.  All the children looked comfortable and huggable.

The Polar Express narration tells the story of a young boy who once adored Christmas.  At the sound of a train whistle, he arises from his bed and runs to the train.  Upon seeing the conductor, he is told that this train is the Polar Express, and is going to the North Pole.  He boards the train, and, aboard the train are many children like himself-dressed in their pajamas.

Upon reaching the North Pole, the children see thousands of Christmas elves awaiting the arrival of Santa for the start of his yearly trip around the world.  The boy is then handpicked to select the first present of the year, and he asks for one bell hanging from one of the reindeer.  He puts the bell into his pocket, and then hops back on the train for his ride home.

While travelling home, he discovers that the bell has fallen through a hole in the pocket into which he had placed the bell.

On Christmas morning, under the Christmas tree, he finds a small package tucked at the back of the tree with his name on it.  He opened the box and discovers that it is the bell that Santa had given him.  When he rings the bell, both he and his sister are filled with joy of the beautiful sound.  His parents, however, do not hear the sound and believe the bell to be broken.

The narrative of The Polar Express ends with “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them.  Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound.  Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

When Superintendent Lane completed the story, Santa arrived at the Polar Express train station, and gave each child a bell for them to ring for themselves.  Gripping the attached red ribbon, every child rang that tiny golden bell with great enthusiasm, and the sounds of those bells could be heard ringing throughout the halls of H.O. Smith for all to enjoy.  What a wonderful sound they made.  Smiling, laughing, while others were jumping up and down with excitement, they truly believed in the sound of the bell.

Do you believe?  If so, then, you too can hear those bells loud and clear!