Welcome to the season of wonder, magic and treasured traditions.
For many of us, traditions are a focal point during the holiday season. They can be something we highly anticipate or completely dread. Passed down from one generation to the next, they are a historical account of the past and a window to the future. Whether it’s decorating the tree while sipping hot chocolate or playing an intense game of dreidel with your cousins, traditions will never go out of style.
Like Bus Routes & Rail Lines, Every Detail is Considered
The tradition started when my parents were given their first North Pole buildings as a wedding gift more than 27 years ago. At first, my dad would set out the original seven buildings. But, as my parents went to different stores across the Valley, they saw more and more cute buildings and their coordinating elves. What started as a two-day adventure, has turned into a two-week project.
At first, it was something that all of us put together as a family. My dad was always one of those parents who was more than eager to “help” with school art projects when I was kid. But, now that I’ve aged out of those art projects, this is the next best thing.
There are many ground rules for putting the North Pole together. The first, which I have broken many times, is to always be aware of your surroundings. Meaning, make sure you know where all the fragile buildings and elves are at all times. I may have sat on an elf or two. Thank goodness for super glue.
My dad has learned a few things over the years, too. For many years he would buy and re-carve the foam pieces used to display the North Pole. But, about six years ago, he realized he wasn’t expanding that much and could reuse the same pieces from the years before. That shortened the entire construction process by about a week.
Like clockwork, the building of this winter wonderland begins every year the day after Thanksgiving. Every evening after work and on weekends he works diligently on the North Pole features. Just like bus routes and rail lines, the location of every piece is carefully considered. He’s even created a blueprint for reference.
While we rely on Valley Metro to get us around the Valley, sleighs and toboggans are the vehicle of choice at the North Pole.
The most asked question from our family and friends is why my dad doesn’t put a train around this North Pole. I think it’s a great idea. In fact, it’s never too late to ‘train’sition our tradition!
About the author: My name is Katherine Fritcke, Valley Metro Public Information Specialist. Besides traditions, public transportation has always been an important part of growing up in the Valley. My dad’s North Pole is a tradition that I hope to pass along to our family’s future generations.