If you want to relive your youth one of the best ways to do it is to be in the company of small children during any of the holidays. Yesterday my husband and I took our two year old grandson to see the Santa Claus Parade on the main street of the small town near where we live. This was not the Big City Parade Production it was a very local affair and in many ways much more fun. We lined up along the main street and waited for the parade to start. Some youngsters had hot chocolates to warm them as they waited on a cold day.
And then, right on time, we could see lights at the end of the street and hear the sound of the fire engine . The parade was starting. The decorated emergency vehicles came first.
Then floats presented by some of the local businesses including the dental office. They were not handing out any candy canes!
The local veterinarian practice had some four legged friends with them including a mini horse!
There were Viking Shriners and Scouts.
Tim Hortons and the Tim Bits hockey players were there ’cause we’re Canadian eh!
The local riding school came by with two horses. A woman standing next to me said :” Are they real?” I turned to look at her. “Are they real?” she repeated and pointed to the horses. I was gobsmacked. Had she never seen a horse? “Yes, they are real.” I replied. “They come from the local riding school .”
She looked back at the horses amazed. I was puzzled by this extraordinary question. Are they real? Had she lived in an inner city in a country where there were no horses? If they were not real what could they be? Robotic horses? Hologram horses? It had me puzzled. But the parade was moving on.
The SPCA was also represented. Cats in Santa hats!
There were big floats and little ones; Shriners marching drum bands, Canadian Air Force Cadets marching band and many more. And then, in the sacred tradition of all Santa Claus Parades……the last float of all……HoHoHo! “There he is!” ” Look here’s Santa coming!” “It’s Santa!”
I was just as excited as any of the kids to see Santa come by with a Ho Ho Ho! We all clapped and cheered and kids called out “Hi Santa” and adults called out “Merry Christmas Santa!” In case anyone reading this feels that the whole thing is too commercial I would say that , yes, it is commercial but it is also a small town event where people know all the businesses and the participants . It is a chance for the families who have lived in the town for generations and the families who have just arrived in Canada recently to join together in celebrating a mid-winter festival and the magic of being a child.
Afterwards we sat at our favorite coffee house for a hot chocolate and my grandson told his Grandad :” I saw Santa. I did!”