• Mike McCurry
  • 12/7/16
From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, December 8, 2016
The Conductor: Well, ya comin’?
The Boy: Where?
The Conductor: To the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express!
We sat in our seats and took the long trip up the mountain. It was a wild ride, and routinely had dips, twists, and turns where it seemed impossible for the train and its passengers would make it to the destination. You need a golden ticket to ride to the North Pole, right? Not to fear, the “conductors” came down the aisles with one for each of us – an authentic ticket, paper-punched with the word “believe”. And then, with another magic moment sequenced to music, the piping hot, hot chocolate was served to all of the attendees, while perfectly tracking with the movie – The Polar Express.
A few years ago, my family acted on a posted announcement that the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills was hosting a free interactive viewing of The Polar Express.
It was a well-received invitation for many reasons. First of all, our daughter’s birthday was coming up soon. We knew that she loved the classic Christmas movie, and we were looking for a place large enough for a birthday party for 20 of her closest friends.
With it being wintertime (and the church within walking distance), we could have stumbled through a real polar blizzard if we absolutely needed to. It was the perfect venue to have her birthday bash!
After attending the viewing, I told their senior minister, Matthew Rogers, that the free event was a really great idea, and that it was such a gift to us and to the community. I know they’ve gifted other events over the years, including non-church meetings, for the Village of Clarendon Hills, a backdrop for the Westview Hills Middle School musical, and a voting place for the local communities. It’s just nice to have such a large, beautiful venue that not only provides a place for worship but also gives back by opening its doors to neighbors.
I think they deserve a shout-out – and also a big thanks for being good a host!
In the movie, Santa tells the boy – “This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas as am I. Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”
And with that, all twenty of our girls (sporting their pajamas proudly) were handed a bell just like the one from the movie. And yes, it was also taken from the reindeer’s harnesses. They went home with a piece of the movie.
The best part, in my opinion, is the “believe” message.
The magic of Christmas is once again upon us. And some of these classic movies help us get in the mood, to forget about the hustle and bustle, the commercial side of it all, and remember – to believe.
The Christian Church of Clarendon Hills is once again hosting the interactive showing of The Polar Express this Sunday, December 11, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. It is free and open to everyone. You are encouraged to wear your pajamas, sit back, and be served by the good folks at 5750 Holmes Ave.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princess; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlights a new business, or announces school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.

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