Macy’s Day Parade and Me

Traditions abound this time of year. Most of these center around time spent with family and friends.

But one of my favorite holiday traditions is one that I keep for myself. Thanksgiving morning, wrapped in blankets (ignoring the high today of 70 degrees), drinking hot chocolate and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I don’t know when this tradition started in my adult life or how no one has managed to infiltrate it. I do know JB loves the guilt-free pass to play golf. (Don’t worry, I did invite him to join me in my holiday tradition of watching Love Actually, I’m not a monster!)

But back to the parade. As if Matt Lauer doesn’t have the most amazing job already (in addition to “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?”, just yesterday he had the privilege of interviewing this couple for absolutely no good newsworthy reason), he guides us through the three hours of parade coverage with Al and the current female co-hosting The Today Show.

Some people think you can just tune in at the second hour, when the parade floats have made their way to 34th Street. But for me, the first hour has some of the best action — the Broadway performances!

A great lead-in for the high school drill teams (miss you!), marching bands, and floats that will soon take over the TV screen — starting of course with Tom Turkey and ending with the much-anticipated arrival of Santa Claus.

Sure, there is a lot of NBC self-promotion and horrible lip-syncing. And it appears that the producers drink a vat of adult eggnog (which I will soon be imbibing!) and then assign the performers to their spot on the parade. Avril Lavigne on the Cooking Channel float? Um, okay!

But it is all part of the parade experience. As is crying during the St. Jude commercials and its meaningful tagline delivered every year by Marlo Thomas: “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.”

This solo tradition comes at a reflective time for me as I am just days away from turning over the keys to my condo — selling my home of four years that was a symbol of my independence. Combining traditions is truly wonderful and I’m so excited to do so with JB and his family, but I think having a few of your own is just as important.

One day I will, hopefully, share this tradition. I can picture myself sitting on the couch, wrapped in blankets, and sipping hot chocolate with a little baby on my lap. Sure, as Baby grows up, we’ll have to deal with questions about Santa and why he doesn’t visit our house and how that isn’t it fair and that Baby wishes he could live with Baby’s friends who have Christmas trees because they are more fun and Baby hates me for ruining his/her life.

On second thought, maybe Baby can go to the golf course with daddy. This tradition is mine.

Happy Thanksgiving! May we be thankful today and every day for the blessings in our lives.

Do you have a tradition that is all your’s? What is your favorite Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float?


8 responses to “Macy’s Day Parade and Me

  1. What a great post, Caryn! I’ve come to love Thanksgiving morning as well, sleeping in and watching the parade. But I have to say, it’s even more fun now because it’s a tradition for me and Sophie, who watches with me. It’s so fun and I love it — even with the cheesy copy, lip syncing and self promotion. And don’t worry too much about ruining baby’s life without a tree. It hasn’t come up here yet. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thanks Leah! And good to hear that maybe the lack of Christmas tree isn’t as big of a deal as I worry it will be. I’m glad you got a little cold weather in San Diego this year — I like living in the south, but it’s always nice for some chills around the holidays!

  2. We always watch the parade, too. This year, I watched it with my dog and my niece. Delightful!

  3. I grew up watching the parade. My mom and I mostly. The men just wanted the football games to start. I always enjoy the drill teams and dance stuff. I couldn’t believe Daniel Radcliff was singing and dancing today! It kind of freaked me out. Harry Potter can sing and dance? I enjoyed reading this about your little tradition and your dreams for the future. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    • Thank you Michael Ann! I know what you mean about Daniel Radcliffe. I kept looking for Harry’s scar! It’s hard to see him in any other role. And football definitely permeates our day too. Being in Texas, we have the Cowboys and then the UT-A&M college game. There is a lot of yelling 🙂 Hope you had a great day!

  4. This year my husband and I will be going to the San Antonio holiday parade on the river. This will be the third time for us and has become our SA tradition. This is the sixth state we’ve lived in since being married and we like to try and create new traditions wherever we go.

    My favorite parts of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade were the 610 Stompers and the balloon created by Tim Burton.

    • That sounds great to get to create new traditions in new places! I never went to the holiday parade when I lived in SA, but I loved going down to the river this time of year — the lights are so beautiful and festive!

      I agree, the 610 Stompers were hilarious. And I think my favorite part about TIm Burton’s float was seeing his son on his lap — he is a spitting image of Helena Bonham Carter!

      Thanks for reading!!

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