When I stumbled upon this idea on Pinterest, I knew we had to try it and make it a yearly tradition!
The idea was created by Erica on Confessions of a Homeschooler. The premise is that it's just an ordinary night like any other. The kids get ready for bed, but they find a golden ticket for the 'Minivan Express' in their beds! The family jumps in the car and set off to look at the best Christmas lights, complete with Christmas music and snacks. Not having a Minivan, we went with the title 'Christmas Express'.
Erica has kindly created a free printable, which I printed and laminated today while the boys were busy playing outside. I placed a ticket in each bed just before bedtime. They were so excited to find the tickets! Felix said "I just love it!" and Victor held onto his ticket all night, even falling asleep holding onto it at bedtime.
Phil got some Christmas music started with the Pandora app, and we set off in search of the best Christmas lights. Luckily, we didn't have to go far. About five minutes away is a beautiful walk-through light display. So much effort has been put into it and the boys' faces lit up when they saw the lights. We wandered through and saw the illuminated reindeer, candy canes, shooting stars, even moving images. Afterwards, we drove around looking at other local Christmas displays before finally heading home for bed.
It was such a wonderful experience. Felix was so overjoyed at the surprise! I thought Victor would be too young to understand it but he honestly seemed just as excited. Of course they both loved watching the lights.
This is definitely going to be a yearly tradition for us! Now if I can find a way to get those tickets back to use again next Christmas...
Apologies for the image quality, all photos taken with my iPhone while holding a baby.