On Friday evening we went to the Railroad Museum of New England, in Thomaston, where we rode the "Northern Lights Limited" train. The historic train was all decorated for Christmas, and it took us for a 90 minute ride to see Christmas lights in the area. It also made a special stop at Santa's Workshop, where Santa boarded the train and made his way though all the cars talking to everyone. It made for a fun Christmas memory for our family, especially because it was the first time Oliver talked to Santa (I'm not counting the time at 9 months old when he sat on Santa's lap in the mall and screamed.).
Mommy and Oliver outside the train, before boarding. Oliver really likes doing the cheesy grin these days!
The trip is underway, and Oliver starts to snuggle in for a long winter's nap. That train motion will do it every time. Didn't last long though.
Excuse the messed up lighting, but I actually think it made for a neat photograph.
Daddy and Oliver, striking the Mr. Cool pose
Looking out the window.
About 15 minutes into the trip, we stopped to pick up Santa. No, he wasn't in jail. This was where his workshop was located; I guess they have to protect all those presents with a chain link fence! We were lucky, the train stopped so our window was right where Santa came out, so Oliver got to see him getting on board.
Unfortunately, Santa then went to the back of the train and made his way from back to front, and we were in the front car. So we had a long time to wait.
But he finally made it into our car! Unfortunately, we had to wait for him to talk to other kids before he made his way to our seats. Oliver was definitely excited, but wary.
As Santa got closer, Oliver snuggled into Daddy more. He's not closing his eyes to sleep, but from fear.
Oliver knew it was a big deal to get to talk to Santa, so he could tell him what he wanted for Christmas. So he was very brave and when Santa came and sat down with us, he sat on his lap. But he refused to look at him.
Santa was very nice and talked to Oliver in a soft, soothing voice. Oliver almost looked at him. He asked him if he'd been a good boy this year, but Oliver couldn't answer because his fingers were in his mouth. Santa just kept on talking about how he knew he was a pretty good boy, and even if he was bad sometimes, he was more good than bad. He got that about right.
Santa asked Oliver what he wanted for Christmas, and what did he say--trains, blocks, puzzles, and cars? No, of course not. Without looking at Santa, Oliver whispered, in the quietest voice ever, "Ammo." Santa looked at Mommy quizzically for a translation, and Mommy replied, "Elmo." Santa was relieved to hear it wasn't ammo. Then Santa talked about how Elmo laughs and how laughter is what Christmas is all about and that's how you keep Christmas in your heart all year round. It was really sweet.
I know Oliver liked it too, even if he wouldn't look at him because he was too busy eating his fingers off his right hand.
Then Santa moved on to visit with the other passengers, and Oliver moved back to Daddy's lap. Then one of Santa's elves sat down in the spot where Santa had been sitting, in order to give Oliver a toy from his sack. That pushed Oliver over the edge, and he jumped on Daddy's neck and tried to climb down his back and started screaming. He didn't know what to do about this strange guy! The elf didn't seem to take the hint, and tried to offer him a toy of a little stuffed Santa, but Oliver threw it at Mommy and hid again, and finally the elf got up. Then Mrs. Claus came to the rescue, and told the elf to move along. She's so nice! I think Oliver had just had enough excitement, and was ready to be "all done!"
We returned to the station, and he recovered, and got very excited after the fact that he got to talk to Santa. The night only got better when we went to get pizza for dinner!
We might have one problem though. Santa has finished doing all his shopping, and I don't know if there was an Elmo on the list! Ack!