|While the Polar Express may not be as traditional for Christmas as, say, ’Its A Wonderful Life’ or ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, it is quickly becoming a family favorite for our family and many others.
The story takes place on Christmas Eve and centers around four children and a conductor (played by Tom Hanks). In their dreams each child is invited aboard the ‘Polar Express’ and given a golden ticket. Collecting the golden tickets, the conductor punches out several seemingly meaningless letters and returns them to the children.
The journey begins, full of twists and turns and hidden storylines as the ‘Polar Express’ races to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. In spite of many obstacles, the ‘Polar Express’ reaches the North Pole just in time. Santa tells the children “Christmas is the spirit of the season you can feel it in the air. The bell is a wonderful symbol of the season just as Santa Claus. But remember…the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”
It’s not until the return trip home that you fully understand the lessons learned aboard the ‘Polar Express’. The conductor punches the return tickets adding letters to each ticket to complete the lesson learned along the way…LEARN…LEAD…RELY ON…BELIEVE.
We must LEARN from our past and always remember that there is always more to learn, not just from books, but from one another.
We must LEAD with strength and compassion to protect us and unite us not divide us. Leadership is not always doing what is easiest or most popular. We must never be afraid to stand for what we believe is right.
We must be able to RELY ON each other as neighbors regardless of Race, Gender, or Ethnicity, remembering that in America, we have more things in common than things that separate us.
We must BELIEVE in each other and the ideals that make our schools, our community and our nation great.
We live in exciting, yet challenging times. It is important during this holiday season to reflect upon what has made our country great and what we must do to keep it that way.
If you haven’t seen the Polar Express, I recommend it for entertaining and inspiring messages for the holiday season. Sometimes life’s most meaningful lessons come to us from the most unusual of places…even an animated movie about a magical train ride.
From us at Mount Vernon Schools to our Community
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!