Santa Claus is coming to town!
After Halloween, I begin to switch from fall mode to Christmas mode, but it isn’t until the arrival of Santa Claus that the official holiday season begins. This weekend is THAT weekend. The weekend of the Santa Claus parade.
I remember being a child watching them set up the floats from my back window. Standing in the cold an hour before the parade began so I could get prime seats to see the floats (and collect candy!). I remember the satisfaction of the mint candy cane that melts on tongue as brass bands march past playing traditional holiday tunes. I remember the waving to friends and classmates that are dressed up in costumes aboard homemade floats. I remember the exact moment every year where you hear the first “Ho Ho Ho” of the season and see that jolly elf in red waving from atop his sleigh. It was at that moment every year that the official start to the Christmas season began for me.
As the Toronto and my local Santa Claus parade weekend approaches this year I met with mixed emotions. I long for the love and joy of the parade that I felt as a child, however I cringe at political views that are stepping in the way. Before today’s public letter from the Santa Claus parade committee asking for Mayor Ford to not participate in this years parade, I was fearful of chaos would ensue! If he can’t leave his office without being mobbed by media and angry citizens, what is going to happen when a street lined with hundreds of Torontonians? I envision children being trampled, non kid friendly words being shouted and objects being thrown. The focus of the parade would have been removed from Santa and the spirit of Christmas and turned into a political battle. Is this what we want our children to remember?
Its not only the Toronto Santa Claus parade that is poisoned this year. In my own town there is an extreme controversy over the Bowmanville zoo’s participating and the animal’s rights. One local mother announced she was not taking her children to the parade because the elephants would walk parade as they have for so many years in the past. She argues that that these majestic animals belong free and not locked up in the Zoo and as a result will be protesting at the parade. This post is not to argue whether I agree or disagree about the well being of the animals, but I am stating that it is an inappropriate time to demonstrate it. Christmas is a time of year where we celebrate peace, hope and joy. Approximately 54 local community organizations come together to celebrate by marching through our town. Hundreds of hours have been spent planning, rehearsing and building floats. There will be hundreds of children lining the streets to see, hear and feel the joy of Christmas. Its not the time for politics to get involved. For the sake of the children, please leave the politics at home and lets celebrate our community and the Christmas spirit!