Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Wander to the Wayside: Christmas Parade

I'm a real scrooge when it comes to Christmas parades. It's been my experience at the one's I've been to over the years that there's way too much advertising - for churches, plumbing, landscaping, cars, banks, politics, whatever - and very little Christmas caroling and kids. I'm sorry, but a politician with a wreath hanging on his car and the wife and kid waving is not Christmas to me. Nor is a backhoe just because it has lights on the cab. I know that the city needs the registration fee that these participants supply for - well, for what, exactly? For the cops that wouldn't be needed if there wasn't a parade? Why can't the businesses that pay the registration fee just decorate their vehicle and keep the advertising out of it or at least minimal...for the simple joy of entertaining the kids?

Garrett and I went to Ringgold's parade a couple of weeks ago, and once again I was disappointed. Sure, there were floats with kids waving, and maybe a speaker blaring carols from it for two seconds as they passed. But I get really irritated when there are fifteen minutes of politicians and plumbers between every one float with kids. The float with Santa took forever to get to us, maybe thirty minutes into a one hour parade- oh wait, it wasn't a float at all, it was Santa on a motorcycle - and he went by so fast that I wasn't even able to get my camera on him for a quick shot! WTF? Even Garrett almost missed seeing him!

I guess the important thing is that the kids enjoyed it for the most part (though there was some whining along the lines of 'when will it be oooveeer?'). I think most of them just wanted the candy that was occasionally thrown at them. We had a problem with some bigger kids standing next to us - every time the candy was thrown out, one of the three boys would jump in front of us and grab up Garrett's share, and the parents did NOTHING. After this happened maybe a dozen times, and Garrett had maybe four pieces of candy, I called them out on it. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU'RE REALLY GOING TO KEEP JUMPING IN FRONT OF A SIX YEAR OLD SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE MORE THAN YOUR FAIR SHARE OF CANDY?" (with a side glance at the parents, who had been visiting with someone behind them and not paying attention to their children). One of them apologized and handed over some of the candy they had just picked up from in front of me, and they didn't jump in front of him again...and the parents turned forward and started paying attention.

Anyway, here are the pictures from our evening together! We got there early and walked up the street to some of the stores (which takes about three minutes) and to the old train depot that is now a community building and tourist attraction. Garrett and I are like two peas in a pod, so just being together was a huge plus. Then we went to the drive-thru at Taco Bell on the way home - woohoo! When I have the kids for the evening, I really go all out!

























As a side note to the parade, here's what I had to eat today: chocolate fudge from David's stepmother that came in the mail the other day, more fudge, a bowl of hot fudge pudding and peach cobbler (side by side) that Melody made for Brent's office luncheon, more fudge, a cookie from a bag that was actually going to be a gift for anyone who might have given me one and for whom I did not get one (because Melody wanted to know if I had any cookies she could take to Conner's play group tomorrow, and I needed to taste them to see if three year olds might like them, which they wouldn't have, so now I have to eat them), and more fudge. Ah, one of the joys of Christmas!

16 comments:

Ginger said...

Ah, doesn't sound like you were enjoying the parade too much. I don't like all the advertising either. Good for you, for speaking up to the kid hogging the candy.
Sounds like something I would do.
You need to go get a big juicy cheeseburger to tone down all the fudge you ate today. lol.

ethelmaepotter! said...

The first time I ever remember going to a Christmas parade was the year I started dating my now-husband. His family had always gone, every year of his life, and he was so excited to be showing me something new. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was. I hadn't expected Macy's - after all, this was Nashville - but I had expected something more than the politicians, ambulances, fire engines, etc, that comprised the major potion of the parade. There were lodge brothers and clowns trudging along like the Three Stooges on Benadryl, and the ones in their tiny cars merely grinned at other while they rode around in increasingly large circles. To make matters worse, it was something like 15 degrees, and all the little ballerinas on the dance School float sat frozen and miserable, and all but three of the high school bands had cancelled. But i tell you what - those bands that did play, played their hearts out in that frigid weather; and the baton twirlers, in their skimpy sleeveless outfits didn't miss a beat.

glnroz said...

Good post. I used to have a small lumber yard in a town, maybe not this big, I was asked more than once to be Santa and ride on the fire truck. It was usually just for the kids. A lot of "hayride" floats, band, and the normal, but I didnt throw the candy. After the parade, I walked around and handed it out. I pretty much had the big kids toe the line. Then I would sit at Santa's "resting spot" and take requests and let the kids' moms take pictures. It was fun.

Bernie said...

The politicians and the backholer have to be viewed like commercials on TV. You have to bear with them because they pay for the good stuff. I know you know this but I had to say something.

We have gone to a Fourth of July parade in a little town in Minnesota for several years. And we have all the firetrucks and stuff but mostly we have all the queens of all the neighboring cities who will be in the competition for the big Minneapolie Aquatennial. This display of female pulcritude (sp?) plays to the males in our group and so between the thrown candy and the clowns for the kids, we really enjoy the parade.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I do enjoy your comments.

Bernie said...

Okay I am going to tell you something I don't go to parades but not for the same reason as you have stated....I don't like the clowns.....they honestly frighten me. Even as a child I didn't like them and now that I am older I feel the same way.....so no parades for me although I do watch the Macy's parade on TV.....Hugs

Lorna said...

Oh the Christmas fudge! At least Garrett probably had fun at the parade; he got to be with you :)

Jeanie said...

Our town has an annual Labor Day parade every year that is pretty much the same and especially bad in election years. But we go back every year and the kids love it, even the big trash trucks that bring up the rear. I like it because we always go out for Mexican food afterwards.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Hahaha! And the pounds of Christmas added.

I like the parade. Marching band, lollypop float. Taco Bell - yes, you went all out, but your grandson probably loved it all. I'm thinking I never would have been able to get my kids away from the cannon. What is it with boys and things to shoot?

Enjoyed it.

Timoteo said...

Sounds like the same Christmas parade is making the rounds of all the towns in America...same thing here, with the fire trucks blasting their horns so loud you have to cover your ears (what's Christmasy about that?) and the politicians hanging out of convertibles--they're already running for re-election and it's two years away ! LOL

dana said...

So sad. I firmly believe that the Christmas that "once was", has fallen by the "wayside" and should be given a decent burial. I'm often asked "Are you JEWISH?" nah. Just tainted.

Oz Girl said...

Ah, but all is not lost, at least it was wonderful time spent with Garrett... and Taco Bell? Hey, I rather love to eat there, at least once a week. :)

Enjoy the fudge now.... worry about it next year. Or not at all. *hugs*

Wendy said...

I don't ever remember going to a Christmas parade. It's too cold in Colorado for that. So this year, Aurora took Joey along with them to The Parade of Lights. And a fun time was had by all.

In years past, Jeff's mom has taken the kids to The Lights at the Zoo, but once again... way too cold for me. I'll sit inside by the fire with my hot cocoa, thank you very much.

Heh, remember when you used to let Melody and I play in the snow at night? I remember doing that at the house on Grandview and also in our backyard on Vivian. You'd think cold wouldn't bother me as much now, considering I how well padded I've become. ;)

kobico said...

I hate to admit this, but I could never really get excited about parades, but yay for you taking command of a situation that should have been the responsibility of the other kid's parents! I don't know why some people just allow their children to run rampant ... and then blame everyone else for it when something bad happens.

How was the fudge?

Michele R said...

It looked cold at the parade! When we started taking my kids I was amazed at the throwing of the candy. The kids loved it of course. I even learned to bring plastic bags for them to collect their booty. You go Grandma for putting those older kids in their place. Cute photos. I like marching bands too. Parades need more of them and less ads.

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Ron said...

I absolutely love your candid family photos! These are great! It allows me to enter into your world and your life--which I am honored! where exactly do you live (Sorry if I'm intruding), but the architecture and ambiance of your town seem so comforting!

I hope this finds you well and please enjoy the festive season! Merry Christmas and all the best to you and yours! I'm so happy we've found each other!

Ron