|The boys waiting patienty with daddy for the parade to start,|
donating our food items and waving to Santa!
I have very fond memories from attending the Santa Claus parade growing up. My parents would take us down early, we would find a great spot, grab a hot chocolate and wait. We would bring with us a toy we no longer played with to donate to the collection for less fortunate children.
It was always so much fun to see all the different floats, and the music, the crowds of people. I knew that when I had children, I wanted to continue the tradition.
Since Mr. J was 1.5, we have gone every year to our local parade (different than the one I grew up attending, we go to our local community parade). It's tradition for us to pack up early and head to my brothers house (they have always lived pretty much ON the parade route) the kids play for awhile, have a nice breakfast of fruit and croissants, my sister in law makes hot chocolate for all the kids and then we head outside to wait.
In past years, hubby has always worked the day of the parade so hasn't been with us. This year, he was not working and was able to join in. The kids were SO happy to have their dad with us.
Every year, along with the many floats that local businesses put into the parade, the local minor sports teams go around with shopping carts collecting food for the food cupboard, and the firemen (and fire-women) go around with the boot's collecting money.
In past years, I have forgotten to bring a food donation, but the boys always have their money handy when the boot's come around - this year, I remembered to bring food so they each got to put a donation into a cart as the teams went by.
Of course, the most exciting time of the parade (well, asides from all the candy and chocolate they received by parade participants) was when the fire truck rounded the corner with Santa's sleigh on top! The boys were ecstatic and couldn't wait until he passed by, they couldn't let him go without a wave!