Santa Claus does not exist. Or does he? PRAYATNA, Prashantnagar embarked on a mysterious trip during our December book club as we read the Polar Express and journeyed to the North Pole . During this ride, the little boy learns one of the important lessons of life i.e., “the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.”
The book begins with a roaring train whistle. The boy finds a train waiting for him. He finds a conductor who explains that the train is the Polar Express, and is journeying to the North Pole. The boy then boards the train, which is filled with chocolate and candy, as well as many other children in their pyjamas. The train takes the children to the centre of the city, where Santa and the elves have gathered for the giving of the first gift of Christmas. The boy is chosen to receive this first gift. Knowing that he can ask for anything in the world, he decides on a simple gift: one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. When the children return to the train, the boy realizes the bell has fallen through a hole in his pocket. Heartbroken, he is returned to his home. In the morning, his little sister finds one small box with the boy’s name on it among the presents. Inside is the silver bell! The boy continues to believe in the spirit of Christmas and is able to hear the sweet ringing of the bell even as an adult.
The book club began with an explanation of the significance of Christmas and the story behind it. Children were also told about North Pole, where Santa ‘lives’. This was followed by a narration of the book and a quiz based on it. Later hot chocolate was served to the children and Christmas carols were played. Presents were kept under a Christmas tree and every child was asked to pick one at the end of the session.
(Nanditha is a special educator at PRAYATNA)