This has been one of my favorite things we've done this season. I was a little unsure how this would go down because James is NOT a movie watcher and The Polar Express is, at almost two hours, a bit long for any child. After his class party yesterday I told James that at lunch (he and I were by ourselves) he could open one of our Advent books and we'd read while we ate. It was quickly obvious that he wasn't into the book so I gave a pretty darn dramatic reading of it. Fortunately, that seemed to make it more interesting.
All afternoon I played up how fun it would be. "If you take a good nap and have good behavior ALL afternoon, we'll watch the movie after bath time. It will be just you, Daddy, and me! Won't that be fun?" We had a handful of "bad behavior" moments yesterday, one which involved roughly swinging Will and banging his head and one which involved a rock being thrown AT MY BACKDOOR, but each one was handled by quick discipline so I sort of felt like he didn't deserve to get punished again. (Let me assure you that he got the message! Ha!)
Anyway, after baths and jammies we all snuggled up on the sofa to watch. For the first twenty minutes or so we had rowdy Will with us. After I put him to bed things were much better. James watched. And watched. And watched. Any time I suggested we stop and finish it tomorrow he shook his head no. He had LOTS of questions throughout the movie. Bottom line is that he LOVED it. Eddie didn't make it through the whole thing so it was just me and The Boy, but he LOVED it. He snuggled, he watched with wide eyes, and he took it all in. Our favorite part, of course, was the HOT CHOCOLATE song!
For sure this is a tradition we'll keep! Maybe we'll add hot chocolate next year!