FESTIVE ETIQUETTE: As often as we visit the bookstore these days, we can't find the shelf that has the etiquette guides that detail how to get in touch with Santa Claus in the digital ones-and-zeroes age of World-Wide-Webiana. Should we email him? Follow The Man in Red on Twitter? Does Kris Kringle update his Tumblr regularly? What if we "liked" enough of his Facebook posts to get his attention? Some guidance is needed, for sure, but, until we get it, we're more than happy to go with the tried-and-true route of getting Father Christmas's notice: An old-fashioned letter. And getting that ink-on-paper missive to the North Pole should come with a hefty dose of charming old-fashioned-ness to match, though finding that can be tricky. Unless you make for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk this season, where a "North Pole mailbox" will be erected near Neptune's Kingdom. What will happen if you stick your letter to Santa in that box? Why something as quaint as quaint can be: The Roaring Camp Railroads Holiday Lights Train will deliver your important message to the North Pole, courtesy of that pretty, puffa-a-huffa engine.
DATES AND DAZZLE: The train, which is indeed dotted with lights, will run on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, and over a handful of select December nights (we say the earlier your letter can get to Santa, the better -- that guy's December gets way hectic). Caroling, the sipping of warm cider, and other spirit-lifting happenings take place on board the train, which not only carries letters to Mr. Kringle but riders looking for a festive time. Are you looking for a festive time? Want to be aboard a rail line that's also carrying envelopes addressed to Santa? Get your letter started here, and find out about dates and such for the Holiday Lights Train.