We stumbled onto our small town Christmas Parade again this year. I say again as we have birthdays we celebrate the first weekend of December, and last year we ran into the parade as we were just finishing our dinner. I snapped a photo this year of a family enjoying the snowman and sleigh being pulled behind a pick up truck. The REAL hit of the parade is the candy every float throws into the crowd. Children scramble and collect it like they were discovering gold and priceless jewels.
It is wonderful to see entire families watching and laughing and signing along with the carols. Somewhere between the ugly sweaters, the Santa hats and the festive flip flops the parade is always a slice of small town America. It is our version of celebrating the season with an added Southern twist.
I love that some kid rode their bike, left it on the street, enjoyed the parade, gathered candy, and then rode home full of excitement and energy. They never even thought about someone stealing it. They never thought about being disappointed. It may never have entered their mind that not every town has a parade. For the people where we live, it may seem corny or small, this parade kicks off the celebrations that last throughout the rest of the year.
When we passed by we felt the infusion of Christmas cheer. We got excited. We waved at Santa. I thought about grabbing for candy. We all walked away with lifted spirits and a sense of seasonal joy. Who knew a bike, lights, candy and pick up trucks could contribute so much to the happiness of small town America.