Somewhere, deep inside my skull, I hear Hank Williams Jr. wail, “Are you ready for some Holidays?!?!?!” I sit straight up in bed from a dead sleep. I panic. Wasn’t it just Labor Day Weekend? I won’t be the first scribe to bemoan that the “holiday season” now starts weeks before Halloween and runs through the last BCS Bowl game in January. I’m just putting away the candy corn ‘till next year when Marketing and Commerce, the most obnoxious of Santa’s new reindeer (they were the ones that ran over Grandma in that song), start making noise. Look, I’m 300 lbs. of Christmas cheer. I dig a good egg nog latte. I like this time of year, even home in Santa Wears Shorts, Southern California. I’m not the religious kind, so I celebrate the traditions of love of family, friends and being grateful for all of life’s gifts. But the holiday sale at Mervyn’s is not a family tradition!!!!! One celebration at a time, Corporate Claus, if you please?!? We’re all going to keep the money machine alive, don’t you worry. There’s plenty of gift-giving holidays about to happen, just let us enjoy it all, one bloody holiday at a time.
Why this deck the halls diatribe? So you don’t miss Thanksgiving. It may be my favorite holiday for two reasons. First, the food. You may get lots of gifts for Christmas, but none of them smell of candied sweet potatoes or hot pie a la mode. Secondly, it has an 80 year old New York City tradition, now celebrated by the world. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Next to Mardi Gras, the Macy’s T-Day Parade may be the world’s biggest block party. Folks line the streets the night before just to watch them blow up the giant character balloons that are a signature of the parade! Many years, it’s well below freezing out there, too!
Here’s a fact you may not know. Back in the 1930’s, the parade was staffed by the employees of R.H. Macy and Company, who worked in the store in Herald Square. Our mom, Diana, worked at Macy’s in 1939, that is how I know this. The best part, she was one of Santa’s helpers on Santa’s float, (I have great pix in her Rockettes-like elf outfit) always the last float in the parade. Why is it the last float, my faithful readers? Because NOW, the Christmas season begins! Santa checking in with us a month before the big day, making sure who’s naughty or nice!!! (haven’t seen the “nice” list for years) With Sears Christmas catalog in hand, a 8 year old sat before the TV and waved at the jolly ol’ elf….sorry, I’m rambling. The holidays have a way of doing that to me. So here’s the one link you need to start your holiday season, whatever that may be. It’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade page: http://www.macys.com/campaign/parade/parade.jsp
No matter what we all celebrate, giving thanks for who we are, what we have and what we can give, may not be a bad idea. Feeding others will help feed yourself. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. And save me a piece of your favorite pie!