unless you've been under a rock, i'm sure you've heard of the movie. computer animated, Tom Hanks in it, came out last year in theaters...
ever read the book?
i got hooked on it a few years ago. it was read aloud on a radio show i used to listen to, and after sobbing at the end of the book, i knew i had to own it.
OK, so we don't have kids of our own. so what?
this is not a children's book. this is a book of faith...regardless of what your faith is or isn't.
here's the synopsis for you rock people:
one night, a young boy is still awake on Christmas eve, waiting to hear Santa's sleigh. what he does hear, is the whistle of a train that is suddenly outside his house.
a train waiting to take him on a magical journey to the North Pole...the Polar Express.
once aboard the train, he finds it filled with kids from all around the world, all excited beyond words to see the real North Pole...and Santa. for Santa will choose one of them to receive the first gift of Christmas.
when they arrive at the North Pole, they are greeted by all of the elves gathered in the center of town for Santa's grand entrance and eventual departure on his rounds. when Santa appears to a deafening roar from the crowd, our hero is chosen by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas.
what do you think he chose?
the boy could have any gift he wanted. any toy in the world. but instead, he asked for one simple thing.
a silver bell from Santa's sleigh.
when the boy asked Santa, Santa smiled and hugged the boy. then he asks one of the elves to cut a bell from a reindeer's harness. the elf does so, tosses it up to Santa who holds the bell high above him & calls out, "the first gift of Christmas!"
a clock strikes midnight as Santa handed the bell to the boy, who puts the bell in his robe pocket. then, as quick as a wink, Santa and the reindeer are off on their rounds.
the children file back onto the Polar Express, and surrounding the boy, ask to see the bell. he reaches in his pocket...but only finds a hole. the bell is gone.
the train arrives at the boy's home. as he waves good bye to the train, the conductor says to the boy...
the next morning, the boy & his sister had opened their gifts when a small present is found behind the tree...when the boy opens it, he finds the bell...and a note:
"Found this on the seat of my sleigh. Fix that hole in your pocket." signed, "Mr. C"
the boy shakes the bell and it makes the most beautiful sound he or his sister had ever heard. but his mother says "oh, that's too bad...it's broken."
his parents had not heard a sound.
at one time, the boy's friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. even one year, his sister found she could not hear its sweet sound. and, the boy said, even though he had grown old, the bell still rings for him, as it does for all who truly believe.
i can still hear the bell. i still believe.
may you still hear the sweet sound of the bell.