So for those that don’t live in Chicago, I’m going to let you in on a little bit of sweetness that the city has during the holidays. That would be the Santa Train, or as the CTA terms it, the Holiday Train (which doesn’t make any sense since all the decorations are so obviously Christmas decorations. They even have “Santa Express” emblazoned on the front. Silly CTA…).
I’ve caught the Santa Train only twice, both by accident. You can plot out the Santa Train route, but honestly that’s not as fun. But every year I long to catch it. I love all the merriment and the holiday cheer and the fact that while some people seem disgruntled, most people riding the train are pretty excited to be on it. It’s one of my favorite city traditions, hoping to catch at least a glimpse and hopefully a ride.
On Saturday I had a fun loving kind of day. It started at the Christkindlmarket (an awesome German market downtown) and then went to see the Muppets (which was adorable by the way). As my friends and I came up the stairs to the train, we were bombarded by a full platform, an oddity at 6:30 on a Saturday evening. We were all a little confused, until I realized what was going on.
“I think we’re about to catch the Santa Train,” I said almost breathlessly.
I looked down the tracks and could see the telltale signs of twinkle lights and the giant SC that shines on the front.
“SANTA TRAIN!!!!” I yelled. I began jumping up and down and, basically, freaking out. “I don’t care what I have to do but I am getting on this train.” I think my friends were a little weirded out, along with the mother standing next to us who then began to guide her children away from the crazy. I kind of went coo-coo for coco puffs over the thrill I was about to get.
The Santa Train is pretty fantastic. I’m almost positive that it’s not a normal train because…
…the entire thing is decorated for Christmas! As you can see, there’s garland and red and green lights and candy cane stripped poles. The seats even have elves and snowmen on them.
All of the announcements that normally showcase real estate agents and university studies are specialized for the North Pole on the Santa Train. The normally quiet PA system plays all your favorite Christmas songs. And did I say free candy canes? Oh yeah, there’s also FREE CANDY CANES!!
Finally, there is the best part of the Santa Train…
SANTA!!! That’s right. Santa sits in an open air car in the middle, waving to children and adults alike while probably freezing his ass off.
Basically the Santa Train is one of the best parts of Christmas in the city. And it was the perfect way to end my Saturday.