Cold but happy experience with grandchildren at Christmas parade | To select

I’m not sure my husband forgave me for this one. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I convinced him we should go to a Christmas parade. The grandchildren would love that – all the lights and joy of Christmas and Santa Claus – how could we not?

His hesitation was due to the fact that said Christmas parade was going to take place one night when it was supposed to be around 30 degrees with a wind of 25 miles per hour. With the kids wearing their heavy winter coats, beanies and mittens and then wrapped in blankets, I assured her they wouldn’t even feel the cold.

Looking back, I should have reminded myself that winter is cold in Nebraska and you usually need to park away from any Christmas event involving children. We carried the kids, but it soon became clear that the caps and blankets could have been a good choice for Grandpa and Grandma as well.

We got there early and were somewhat protected from the wind, a fact that I pointed out to Tom. Soon, the emcee announced over the loudspeaker that the festivities were starting with the singing of five Christmas carols from a local choir. I love Christmas music, but around the fifth song I wished they didn’t have to sing all the verses of each of the familiar Christmas carols.

After chanting and cheering from the crowd that now numbered in the hundreds subsided, we were assured the parade would begin soon. I pointed out the crowds to Tom, noting that many people have to agree that the outdoor winter parades are a wonderful Christmas event.

After a while we heard more music coming from a few blocks away and soon a marching band with Christmas lights on their instruments rewarded our wait with more music.

Slowly but surely, the Scrooge walked down the street, then local dancers dressed as fanciful elves – frozen fantasy elves. By the time Santa and Mrs. Santa slowly walked down the street, greeting all the good children, we were ready to respond enthusiastically and get the hell out of.

As we quickly walked down the sidewalk, I took a quick selfie of us with the 30ft tall lighted Christmas tree in the background. Looking at the photo now, I see four people who appear to have made a round trip to the North Pole and who were hoping to see a warm bed soon.

Christmas parades are very important and many communities in Nebraska have a night of lighted vehicles hurtling down a brick paved street as parents, children and grandparents stand and freeze on the sidewalk. It’s a new Christmas tradition.

Next year I plan to take the kids to another Christmas parade in one of the small towns in Nebraska. This time I will be wearing more appropriate warm winter clothes. I’m not sure, but I think Tom will be waiting for us in the car.

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