Sharyn Marcuson wrote this guest blog about Holiday Express:

Every year the email goes out: Santa Train? And then at least a dozen replies come flying in: Yes! Of course!

Our group first boarded the Holiday Express in 2006 when our kids were mostly 2 and 3 years old. Friends formed from an organization called Families With Children From China, we were all excited to see our children meet Santa. Some for the first time.

The kids were all so excited to board the train. Wearing paper train hats they all sat in anticipation of Santa’s visit. They were not disappointed. Bells started ringing and Santa’s “helpers” came down the galley way announcing that Santa was on his way. The kids all shouted “Santa!” It was a spontaneous, joyous call to the man in red.

That year some of the kids cried. Some were shy. Some excited. It was memorable, though, for them all. And for us, as parents, to see the kids all get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap well, it was more than memorable.

It was magical. This year almost 50 of us will board the train again. Our mostly 7 and 8 year olds still believe in Santa (thank goodness) and so we’ll make the trek to Oaks Park this Sunday. Can’t wait!