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Colorado Springs man reads popular Christmas book to thousands of kids over 3 decades

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 4:42 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - One of the best parts about this time of the year is families and traditions, but one local family has shared one of their Christmas tradition with thousands of kids for almost three decades.

It all revolves around a common Christmas book that has helped keep the Christmas magic alive for 28 years.

When Mark Calvert’s kids were little, he used to read to them a lot. Then he started reading to his daughter, Sarah’s kindergarten class, that’s when he discovered a book that would later mean so much.

“And one year I read The Polar Express and I thought ‘oh, I think I have my most favorite story ever,’” Calvert explained.

To this day, Calvert reads The Polar Express to dozens of classes a year at Grant Elementary.

This year looks a little different, and on Thursday he thought he was joining a remote call to read to students, but his own children were on the other line and so was 11 NEWS reporter Megan Hiler.

“I had no clue,” he said as he joined the call.

“It’s as normal as waking up and opening presents,” Calvert’s daughter, Sarah Tucker said. “It’s what we do on Christmas and for us, it’s sharing our dad and sharing the story and sharing the spirit of Christmas.”

Although he is reading the story in a different way this year, Calvert says now more than ever it’s important to keep the tradition alive.

“With this year just being out of whack --adding a good consistent, something that they can count on is very important. The kids think they enjoy it? No, amp that up a couple of levels and that’s how much I enjoy reading it to them.”

Ryan Miller, the principal at Grant Elementary told 11 News this is something the kids look forward to each year.

“And even though they have heard the story, they are still enraptured by it and love it,” he said.

A simple gesture for all that shows some things never change: kids will always love a good story and the spirit of the holiday season will be there, pandemic or not.

“It’s okay to take something at face value and just believe it. Believe it in your heart,” Calvert said.

Calvert wants to keep this tradition alive and looks forward to reading to his grandchildren at the school one day.

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