There are many things that herald the Christmas season. Music on the radio. The Rockettes on Thanksgiving morning. Twinkly lights and evergreen wreaths appearing on neighbor's houses.
Sometimes these signs are unreliable. We all know that Christmas music is being played earlier and earlier every year. The Rockettes only count if you remember to watch Mr. Macy's show (*sob*... so sad to have missed it!). And honestly, my neighbor put twinkly lights up on his house in mid September. I'm not sure why, and I do like them, really I do. But it just seems sort of unreliable when you're trying to tell if it is Christmastime or not.
For me, there is only one thing, one good and true thing, that heralds the Christmas season.
|Its a monkey on the dog's back.|
A stuffed monkey.
I wouldn't normally feel the need to clarify, but there are sheep being herded down the street in this picture.
So you know...
I guess it's possible.
The Townville Christmas Parade.
It was a beautiful day for it, with the rain threatening but not making good on its promises. There was chili being cooked, although not by me this year.
You guys. I want to describe this to you. I want to do justice to this amazing festival. I just don't know if it is possible to really absorb what goes on in Townville on the first weekend in December, without being there yourself.
Hear me when I say, ANYONE can be in the Townville Christmas Parade. Last year, I loved the kid on the bicycle. And although there was a disappointing number of bicycle entrants this year, it wasn't disappointing. Nope. There was the weird Camero with the wreath on the grill and the creepy Santa/fake Poinsettias in the bed, and how can anyone be disappointed after seeing that?
We originally went there to watch. And then, we were offered the opportunity to ride in the firetruck with Santa. Although "with" is a misnomer, since Santa actually stands on the roof of the firetruck while it drives through town. I cannot make this up. Please tell me something similar happens in your town? If it doesn't, you might want to consider moving here.
|Went straight for the beard, my girl did.|
She just had to know.
Although RG did get to meet the big man himself today, that wasn't the highlight. Nor was the fact that she petted a horse for the first time ever, which pains me to admit (because I've always dreamed of owning them, and I can't believe she lived almost 10 months without ever meeting a horse face-to-face). But no. Those are big events, yes, but they pale in comparison to the feast our eyes beheld.
#doyouseewhatIsee? Please, take a moment. Absorb it. Yes, those are taxidermied deer busts, mounted on the grills of Jeep Wranglers. It appears to be Rudolph, Donner, and Prancer, but I'm not 100%. And that red in the back is "Santa's sleigh", a wrangler with skis instead of front tires. Oh, and Rudolph's nose?
Because what else would it be doing!?
Today's experience was further capped off with the fact that Alison (who lives in DC) and I (who am, regrettably, not a Townville native) were asked, in the 11th hour, to serve as judges for this lovely parade.
I couldn't even make this up.
Here's how it went down:.
Lady in charge: "Excuse me ... <gap where she forgot my name because we've only been introduced twice>... did you have your heart set on riding in the parade?"
Me: "No. I mean, if a kid wants to ride, that's fine!"
LIC: "Oh, no, its just that we need judges. Can you do that? The parade starts in 4 minutes."
Me: "Uh, YES!"
And that is how we ended up here.
Because where else would a judge sit?
Oh my goodness. It was definitely filed under "best day ever". Today just re-confirmed for me what I've already known - This is my place. These are my people. I was made for Townville, and Townville for me. I can't even. You guys. There were deer heads. On the Jeeps. And no one was appalled. No one was concerned. No one was phased. I LOVE THIS PLACE.
<sorry for shouting>
I do know realtors in the area, if you need help with relocating.
One more for the road.