Festive Ride aboard the Jeep Express

Have no doubt, I will miss my Dad greatly. But I am not one to curl up in a ball until the hurt goes away. One thing my Dad’s life taught me is that, whatever storm you face, you have to keep going. He wouldn’t want me to stop living. He wouldn’t want me to stop laughing. He certainly wouldn’t want me to stop loving.

That said, will you join me? Would you climb aboard the Jeep Express? I promise you won’t regret it. It is a new tradition born out of an idea from Shell in your Pocket’s mini van express ride. I read her entry several months before Christmas and fell in love with it. I’m giving her all the credit because I couldn’t possibly think of something so creative.

I must saying starting a tradition requires a lot more effort than following one. First, you have to set the scene, have the props, then follow through with it all. Not easy to do with a three and five year old, who doesn’t quite get it, although I think next year they will catch on much quicker. This year, it took them a bit to warm up.

I set the scene by telling Molly the story of the Jeep Express. I said, “Sometimes during Christmas when the kids get their jammies on, and head to bed, they discover under their pillow a ticket to ride the Jeep Express. The Jeep Express has popcorn, candy, and drinks. It goes to see the Christmas lights.”

Molly decided she didn’t want to do that. She thought the Jeep Express would take her someplace scary. I had to convince her that Daddy drives the Jeep Express and he wouldn’t take her someplace scary, right? Then, she said didn’t want to go look at Christmas lights this year. WHAT???

Don’t worry I didn’t panic, I just went to look under Daddy’s pillow for a magical ticket. Lo and behold there WAS a ticket! It read Praire Lights one admission tonight only on the Jeep Express! (not that they can read….)

Now that pretty much did it, we began the great hunt for Jeep Express tickets. We found tickets under both of their pillows. We began jumping around the room, holding our tickets above our heads, dancing, and waving them around. YEAH! Tonight we ride the JEEP EXPRESS!! TOOT! TOOT! (good thing Dad drives a Jeep, wink)

The conductor (Daddy) took the tickets at the door. Inside the express they went, with their goody bags of candy, Christmas necklaces that blink, and warm fuzzy blankets.


The Jeep Express had to make one stop on the way. It was to pick up Sydney and Kyle, question was, did they have a ticket to ride?

Why yes! Yes, they did! Upside down and all. Off we go on the Jeep Express, which is not to someplace scary, but a place of festive wonder. A display of FOUR million lights, along two miles next to the lake. A place to transform Daddy’s Jeep into a junk food smorgasbord. You can eat, drink, and be merry. It was incredible. We had popcorn, candy, and soda. There were many exclamations, “Look at that!” “Wow!” It seemed like the more you looked, the more you saw something else in all the glow.

I think this new tradition will stick. As much as I miss my Dad, I can’t miss these opportunities to begin anew. Dad never remarried, maybe he was scared to, or maybe he never had the chance. I know had it happened, he would have been greatly rewarded. So Dad, this ones for you. Enjoy the ride.

The finale, which was who knows how many LED lights in a tunnel. Unbelievably, spectacular!

May your traditions burn as bright as you are this Christmas, and always. Thanks for riding the Jeep Express.

24 thoughts on “Festive Ride aboard the Jeep Express

  1. blissbait

    You are BEYOND wonderful! I love coming here! What a BRILLIANT tradition. I will tell others about it, and if I’m blessed with grand kids…..it will become part of our family! Thanks for the Wonder! Cheers and Namaste. πŸ™‚

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  2. What a wonderful idea! I love that kids make Christmas sparkly and awe inspiring. I think you have done an amazing thing to keep that spirit alive in them.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

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  3. that is the coolest thing… if we were not moving right here at Christmas we would definitely do this… thank you so much for sharing… next year!

    and it is very good to know that you are ok…

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  4. OooooooooOOOOooooooooOOO I WISH LAUREN WAS STILL LITTLE!!!!! That is an awesome idea and a great tradition to start! I love it!!! She would have loved it!

    Ur flippen fabulous! And your dad is with you everywhere now. Watching and smiling!

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  5. What a marvelous idea!! And I think I’ve got just the little girls around here to start this with.
    And I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing okay. I knew with faith and love you would be.
    Stop on over at Weezers Haven to see what I’ve left for you there.
    Peace, my friend.

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  6. Just popping over from Lance’s to check out your site. Oh, I love this. I smiled right out loud after reading it. What joy you exude in your writing and what a stellar idea. It made my long for when my children were little and we did something similar, but not with such fun props as tickets and popcorn and treats. Oh,what a delight! Thank you for this. You made my morning. May you and yours have a blessed and joyous Christmas.
    Jan
    awakeisgood

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  7. Awesome…may all of you recieve wonderful lifelong memories of the jeep express! So cool that your daughter particpated in making memories for the little ones as well as the rest of you.

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  8. blissbait

    You know, looking at this again, I think I just might use this idea in some way this year…..hmmmmm. Thank You and Cheers and Namaste. πŸ™‚

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  9. What a great way to acknowledge all the love people put into their decorations.
    AND what a great idea to produce tickets as that must have set the whole scene so beautifully.
    I love your pictures and I am sure your Dad had a great time as well. It is this loving conversation that will always keep his love alive, how amazing is that?

    And guess what, John and I too stopped at an amazing decorated garden and were invited in to have a good close up look. We are never ever too old to enjoy and share people’s loving creations.

    Angelia and what you are creating here with your family rocks, love Wilma

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  10. Angelia, how lovely can you project Christmas in that Jeep Express! I enjoyed it. Your Dad is lucky to have you- he is telling you there is time to grieve and a time to be happy. And he will be there. He will be- forever- in your loving heart. Regards to your kids and family as a whole. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  11. we have a christmas light display in my town here that goes around the pond…in a horse drawn carriage it’s magical, we take the kids and my inlaws every year, but with the new house we’re a little tight on the ol’ christmas budget – we were going to miss it this year…after reading this delightful post, I think we may need to find the money..memories and traditions are worth the investment πŸ™‚

    merry christmas

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  12. Peggy Nolan

    What a fabulous tradition!

    now…what to do with older children…of the adult variety? I LOVE going for a drive to look at all the lights…maybe I’ll just take Olivia…the grand daughter πŸ™‚

    Ang – I so think you and Jason are off to a fabulous start – I hear wedding bells…but you didn’t read that from me πŸ˜‰

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  13. What a fun mom you are. I’m sure your dad is smiling. I love the idea, love the photos and will pass this on to my daughter, my grandson is one on Saturday and next year this would be great for her family.

    Happy holidays my friend and a wonderful blogging New Year;)

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  14. I had to look super close at your pictures for a minute, to make sure we weren’t neighbors– but no, our holiday light display did not have that super-cool light tunnel!

    I read “Shell’s” initial post, and that night, my hubby and I took our daughter to see the big light show in town. Even though she’s only a year old, she LOVED it. I might have to expand on the idea with treats and tickets next year!

    ~Elizabeth

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  15. Syd

    I thought I my eyes we’re tripping out on me, until I read you’re comments and they said it’s SNOWING on your page. Whew! I thought my eyes or the computer or something was going crazy on me! Little white specks floating down the page? AH!

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  16. Bliss-I love you coming here! Thank you!

    Heather-Children definitely bring out the magic in Christmas and remind us of innocent joy.

    Holly-Good luck on the move. Next year will be great. Luckily it’s a tradition that carries over.

    Peedee-I know what you mean. It wasn’t near as exciting for Sydney but the little girls ate it up. I’m so lucky to be “re-living” those young years.

    Heather-You have to find a ticket! It was great fun. πŸ™‚ I had a blast for sure.

    Weezer-Thank you for my sweet award. What a lovely gift. I am so happy you will share this shining tradition. I have a great post for your award coming up.

    JAN-Thank you so much for stopping by. Any friend of Lance is a friend of mine. πŸ™‚ So glad, I could bless you with fond memories. Your comment made my day as well.

    Alessandra-Thank you! I really wanted to record our “first” tradition but not leave out my Dad who just passed. The light tunnel was nothing I have ever seen in my life. It uses LED lights which burn way less energy. It pulsed as you drove through it. Very wild!

    Suzicate-Thank you! She really enjoys the little girls. She is not like your typical teen. The little girls adore her. It’s very sweet.

    Melissa B-Thank you for your comment. I love this tradition. I am glad other families share it. πŸ™‚

    Bliss-Hmmmm, goooood. Can’t wait to hear. πŸ™‚

    Wilma-I agree. Looking at lights is intergenerational. I bet the garden was beautiful. This place had a walk through too AND a little carnival but the kids were in their jammies. Oops. πŸ™‚

    Senior Debutante-What a joy it was in the Jeep Express. Thank you for your kindness dear friend. Merry Christmas to you!

    my kashi-Oh, that would be magical. I hope you got a chance to do the lights and have those memories. I know moving is hard.

    Peggy-Olivia would love it and the adults would love taking her. Hot chocolate afterward. Good times. Ding, Ding, Dong. πŸ˜€

    Mindy-I hope you do steal it! I bet just driving around neighborhoods would do the trick.

    peedee-I know!!! Isn’t that the greatest??? Guess what? There is a small, small chance it might actually snow HERE in Texas on Christmas! Seriously!

    Victoria-Hey! Nice to “meet” you. Thank you for stopping by. I agree. Our loved ones would want us to go on.

    Elizabeth-Really? Well, there are quite a few places around here. This one was at Joe Pool Lake. I think next year’s plan sounds great! These kids sure enjoyed.

    JDaniels4-They did! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

    Jessica-Yes, do! I hope you are still blogging so I can see. πŸ™‚

    Syd-Funny!

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