GRAPEVINE, Texas — Some holiday traditions in the "Christmas Capital of Texas" are sparking joy in the hearts of children and their parents to help end a difficult year on a cheerful note.

Precautions have been put in place to keep families safe while enjoying attractions the City of Grapevine, Texas, has prepared for the holidays.

Sanaiya Porter was one of the first riders of the North Pole Express for the 2020 holiday season.

“We just moved down here and I've never been to a Christmas train so I’m very excited,” said the 8-year-old rider.

Moving to Texas from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her mother and baby sister has been a fun adventure. It’s a nice way to end the year after the pandemic made things tough at the beginning.

“Very challenging losing my job,” said her mother, Erika Diggins.

Little Sanaiya stepped up to help her mom in every way she could.

“She was a big help, she helped to comfort me a lot and helped with her little sister. She’s a very outgoing, friendly little girl,” said Diggins.

Children aboard the North Pole Express created on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. (Spectrum News 1)
Children aboard the North Pole Express created on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. (Spectrum News 1)

We all know being on the good list has its rewards come Christmastime--like being on the North Texas train ride that makes Christmas come to life, spending time with the good ol’ Saint Nick, singing carols with her best friend, and elves who keep the Christmas spirit meter at the highest level.

The experience takes parents back to their childhood dreams as well.

“I remember all these songs as a kid, singing, so it’s just cool, it’s like reliving my childhood again,” said Diggins.

It’s an experience they all know they can enjoy because their safety is a main priority for organizers.

“We’re operating at 50% capacity so we have an opportunity to spread passengers out on the train and keep them as socially distanced as possible,” said Ken Adams with the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.

Every detail has been carefully planned and the magic does not end when the train ride is over.

“It doesn’t really snow in Grapevine, but now that I’m here it’s snowing,” she said.

A Christmas miracle, getting to see the snow you thought you wouldn’t get in your new Texas home.