So yesterday I was in kind of an icky mood, and I had to go downtown to work. I walked to the train, cursing as I barely missed one, and climbed up on the platform. I saw another train coming close behind the first and was pretty happy and then it pulled up and it was the Holiday Train!
Every year the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) decks up a train with fake North Pole-related ads, candy cane poles, and Christmas-y seat covers. There's also an open car with a bunch of trees and people dressed as Santa and co. They run it on different lines for the month or so before Christmas, and I just happened to catch the first run. They played carols over the intercom, and a small girl in elf shoes gave me a candy cane.
There was actually this big fuss about the Holiday Train the first year I was here, because the CTA was having finance problems and was going to have to fire a bunch of people and cut service and raise prices. People raised a huge fuss, and they eventually reinstated it. I felt like it was something I shouldn't like that much, but the truth was it put me in a much better mood than I had been in before.
The best part, though? Watching the faces of people as we pulled into each station. Think bemusement plus horror plus confusion in the majority of cases. Good times.