In years past, Reetz and I would stroll behind the crowds, stopping on our tip toes to peek above the sea of winter hats crowding the curb. In those days, the excitement of the night was more about the hustle bustle and the jumbo mocha in my hand than the Christmas Parade itself. Of course, I’d always try be part of the news coverage, most years to no avail.
This year was totally different. Love for my family warmed my heart as we sat still in the chairs I had set early that morning. Dear sweet Amy Beck to my right, Reetz to my left, and Maple standing in front of us. Her eyes sparkled above her rosy cheeks, fixed on the floats rolling down the street. Her little boots stomped along with the marching bands. She would have clapped if we hadn’t bundled her so well. Four layers didn’t quite allow her arms to hang at her sides, inviting many comments, “She looks like that kid from A Christmas Story!” Amy was nice enough to buy us warm drinks from Copper Rock. I shared my hot cocoa with Maple. Her first sip of chocolaty winter warmth. When it was all over, she rushed out into the street, then turned around and shot us the biggest smile she could. It was like she knew. This is Christmas. Magical.
Top three favorite floats: Chipmunks singing Beyonce, llamas, and of course, Santa.