Right back when I first met him, my friend Moliére had this brilliant idea for a holiday event for age players, which he called the Littles Express. We would take a holiday themed train ride to the North Pole, to meet Santa Claus.
I thought it was a brilliant idea. I can't recall who suggested it, but one of us decided it would be even more awesome if I read The Polar Express to everyone on the train. This year, we made a plan, and actually made it happen.
We needed help though, and we got it. Moliére and I were joined by Zorro Daddy, and our friends Smart Alex, and Squee in our Christmas Caper Cabal. The five of us spent months on the details. Zorro, who's a great guitar player, added a Christmas sing-a-long. Squee stepped up to be our Santa, and did an amazing job of it. Alex, Moliére and I turned the story reading into a sort of comedy show, involving the story, some crazy ridiculous signs, and a call-and-response interaction with the audience, facilitated by a not-so-subtle plant in it.
We added a pizza party nearby after the ride, and a white elephant gift exchange which we supplied all the presents for, too.
When the day came, which was this past Saturday, it went off beyond our wildest expectations. We had close to 40 people on the Express. There was hot chocolate. There were cookies. There was singing, and laughing. When the train pulled up to the station for us to board, white smoke billowing out of the engine chimney, I heard more than one little watching go, "oooooh!"
It was magical.
Things worked out mostly like we had planned, and when and where we had to improvise, that went off great, too.
Later that evening, Team Express unwound in a very hot hotel hot tub, as we did a post-event review and mutual admiration meeting. Moliére drew me aside and gave me an enormous engraved silver sleigh bell. When it rings, the sound makes my heart flutter in my chest.
I'm so grateful to have such good friends, and that we banded together to make something so great.