But this year we were gently nudged into the Christmas season when the East Walker County Chamber of Commerce asked us to be Grand Marshals in this year’s Christmas Parade.
I was flattered to be asked, and we agreed to serve in the role, but neither of us have had any experience in Grand Marshaling.
All of Jilda’s friends jumped right in with suggestions on what to wear, and how to act. Some of the best advice was a clip that someone sent her on how to wave at the crowd. The clip was of the Queen of England waving at people as she passed people on the streets.
Jilda stood her ground and said right up front – I’m not waving like Miss America at a NASCAR race.
We showed up on Thursday evening and they put us on a golf cart right smack in front of the parade.
When the parade got under way, I realized it was much louder than I had imagined. We were right behind police cars with blaring sirens, and right in front of the Dora Band with trumpets louder than the sirens. By the time were were halfway through the parade route, I was certain I’d sustained permanent hearing loss.
Tons of kids lined the streets as we passed. I had on a red sweater and a Santa hat. I heard one kid ask her mom if I was Santa.
During the parade, I shouted out to the kids along the way asking what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas. Many of them simply shrugged their shoulders and tried to hide behind the legs of their parents, but one little girl shouted loud and proud – I want an iPad.
I thought about telling the child she’d get it, but since I live and work here in Walker County, I was afraid her mama or daddy might not think it was as funny as I did, and have a chat with me after the parade – maybe take an iPad out of my hide.
When we got home, Jilda whipped up a batch of her world famous “Santa’s Blend” hot chocolate. After we warmed up, I pulled out Miracle on 34th Street and a stack of other Christmas movies that we’ll begin to watch over the coming weeks.
This morning I went to the shed and unpacked our exterior Christmas illumination, and I’ll put it up over the weekend. On Sunday, we’ll put on Christmas music, sip egg nog and decorate our tree.
I know there are people who can’t wait to decorate for Christmas and put their trees up before Thanksgiving. By Christmas Eve, they’re usually “over” Christmas and they’re ready to pack up their decorations until next October.
But we always leave our tree up until New Years because we love the way it makes our house smell.
Yes we may be a little slow to get in the spirit, but after the parade, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.