Now that the Thanksgiving turkey is only a memory, the wreaths, ribbons and lights have been hung to signal its Christmas in Petoskey. To prove it, Santa Claus guided his sleigh through the streets during this weekend’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday parade. Hundreds of us lined the streets in the bitter cold to cheer the merry man along his way. Along with Santa there were marching bands, floats and plenty of holiday cheer to go with the coffee.
Small-town Christmas parades bring traditions that radiate a sense of community. I wish I had known this tradition in advance and brought a toy with me as members of the U.S. Marine Corps. were collecting new, unwrapped toys as part of the northern Michigan Toys for Tots program. Also a local grocery store collecting food and toiletry items needed to benefit families in northern Michigan who are unable to meet basic needs this season. That’s a wonderful way for people to give back to the community while becoming involved in the holiday parade.
And for many, it’s not just about the parade. I looked around to see people catching up with old friends and neighbors. It’s a chance for many spectators to reconnect with those they don’t get to see throughout the year while having fun. It was a great morning in Petoskey.
May you find true holiday spirit wherever you are!