It was cloudy and cold when I got up this morning, but not windy or raining. I watched Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special as I ate cereal and half a grapefruit for breakfast. When Sid the Sloth accidentally breaks Manny the Mammoth's Christmas rock, Manny claims that Sid is on Santa's Naughty List. Manny then tells his daughter Peaches that Santa doesn't exist at all. Peaches, along with Sid and the possums Crash and Eddie, and the egotistical reindeer Prancer are determined to find Santa and prove that there's holiday spirit, even in prehistoric times.
Today was the day of the big Collingswood Christmas Parade. As I did last year, I headed out around quarter of 10 and made it to Haddon Avenue just in time. Fifteen minutes after I found a spot in the Haddon Avenue entrance to WaWa's parking lot, the first sounds of marching bands could be heard coming down the street. I also bought my annual pretzel from Collingswood High School's wrestling team. They were even warm this year.
The Collingswood Christmas Parade is the largest parade in the western Camden County area. Every area school has a float. (My favorite was James A. Garfield Elementary's Santa's Workshop theme.) A glass company had two trucks with machines that sprayed "snow" over the crowds. There were lots of Mummers in their spangled costumes in all colors of the rainbow. I loved the groups themed around pirates, cowboys, and toys. Two stilt-walkers, one a juggler dressed as a toy soldier, ambled down the route. The Ovations dance school around the corner from me on West Clinton had a cute high-stepping routine for their older students. The students of Hillsboro High and Camden High especially got into their flag and orchestra routines and seemed to be having the most fun of any of the bands. Two local string bands played "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Here Comes Santa Claus" from the back of tractors. A pair of women dressed as Elsa and Anna from Frozen rode in a car provided by a real estate office.
Tons of people wandered around in costume. Some, like two gingerbread people, the Grinch, Rudolph, a tree, and Frosty and Crystal, were related to the holidays. A few others, notably Spider Man and Batman, had nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas and were just there to amuse the kids.
At one point, I ran across the street to GrooveGround to get a hot chocolate. They were busy, but the line went fast. In addition to their DVDs and CDs, they apparently now sell vintage records. I bought Merry Christmas With the Supremes for $2.99, along with a small hot chocolate.
As soon as the Collingswood Fire Department brought Santa down Haddon Avenue, I left. It was 11:30, and I had to make lunch and get going to work. When I got in, I started Banana Honey Muffins as I watched The Year Without a Santa Claus. My favorite Rankin-Bass special shows what happens when Santa isn't feeling well and decides to take a vacation. Two elves, a reindeer, and Mrs. Claus are determined to prove that there's still some Christmas spirit left in the world and get Santa back on track. What they didn't count on were the perpetually battling Heat Miser and Snow Miser's feud to land them in a heap of trouble on Earth!
My neighbor's son brought a big box upstairs to me as I was getting ready to load muffin batter into the pan. It was my long-awaited Amazon.com order! In addition to a present for my friend Amanda and the last Max & Ruby Christmas-themed DVD I didn't have, Everybunny Loves Winter, I broke down and ordered two Ever After High dolls when they were on a half-price sale. Cerise Hood is the lovely, mysterious daughter of Little Red Riding Hood. Briar Beauty is the daughter of Sleeping Beauty who is determined to do the most living she can before she falls into a 100-year-sleep. I think these are two of the prettiest dolls in the line, with some of the most unique face molds. While most of the dolls were held in the boxes with rubber bands, their heads did have plastic pieces on them. That wasn't too hard to get off of Briar, but I put a hole in Cerise's hood trying to get hers off. I'll see if I can fix it eventually.
It took me so long to unpack them, I barely had the time to eat and run before rushing off to work! Thankfully, that was the only problem I had all night. Work was steady during rush hour and dead by as early as 6:30. Not only is it the end of the month, but most people just ate the biggest meal of the year. Who wants to think of food shopping two days after Thanksgiving? It was so quiet by 7:30, I was able to leave a few minutes early.