The Polar Express

Every year, kindergarten through senior year, my school had a Christmas vacation kick off the last day of school before, well, Christmas vacation. Each division generally had its own. Lower school had its own. Middle school had its own. Upper school had its own. It was filled with stupid carols and the like. However, every year had one, well, magical part.

Father Jim, a former Catholic priest and teacher of Latin, loved holidays. He decorated his room with tons of Halloween decorations around Halloween, and he decorated his room with Christmas decorations around Christmas. I still have a little fake Christmas tree he gave me when I must have been in 2nd grade. Well, every year at these Christmas vacation kick offs, he would have some of his Latin students help him out tell the story of the Polar Express.

He would come out dressed in pajamas and a green robe. He would hold up the book for everyone to see, and he would have storytime. He’d read about the little boy who still believed. His Latin students would be dressed in those cloth reindeer antlers and would jingle at certain points. Another student would have one of those train whistles and would play out the part of the conductor. And of course, there was Santa Claus.

Now, as the story went on, the little boy, played by Father Jim, would receive a silver bell from Santa’s reindeer. He would proceed to ring it. He didn’t ring it hard at all, just lightly, yet the whole auditorium could still hear it well. Oh it had the most beatiful sound ever. It’s so hard to describe, almost like the tinkling of metallic rain drops but sweeter. As the story goes a long, the boy loses the bell because of his robe, but that Christmas morning there would be a little present, and in it, that bell.

Father Jim would ring the bells, and no sound would come out. Why? Well, as the story goes, it was representing the adults in the room who no longer believed. The boy and his sister still heard it though. The sister eventually could no longer hear it, but the boy could. Father Jim would close out the mini-play by rining that magical bell. Just a beautiful story.

Why am I telling you this? Well, they’re coming out with a Polar Express movie, CG, starring Tom Hanks. The trailer of it is up, and so far, the movie looks magical. I can’t wait. I’m sure Father Jim can’t either.

Oh man… this is gonna rawk! I loved that story. ^^

And I believe that I’ve said before that Father Jim sounds like an utterly awesome guy.

Heh, that’s really cool. I would have loved to have seen that really. Neither of the schools I went to ever did anything of the sort- both were too religious really, especially my elementary school. You guys were lucky to have a great teacher like Father Jim.

That was one of my favorite childrens stories.