Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Collingswood Christmas Parade

It was cloudy and humid when I awoke this morning. Stayed in a festive mood with the rarely-seen Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. This 1975 animated special was made by the same team that did the Peanuts specials, and it shows, from the Peanuts-like animation to the familiar voice actors. This is the first of two animated versions of the story of Virginia O'Hanlon, a little girl in 1880's New York who wrote to the then-popular newspaper the New York Sun to ask about the existence of Santa...and the touching answer by its editorial page editor, Francis Church.

Headed to Collingswood for their annual Christmas parade around 9:30. I left a little earlier than last year so I could hit Rite Aid for a Sparkling Ice Peach Iced Tea and a present for Amanda. I figured it would be a lot quieter there than at WaWa, and it was. There was only one other person in line.

They were all out waiting for the parade. The Collingswood Christmas Parade is the largest in the western Camden County area. People come from miles around to see it. I bought my usual pretzel from Collingswood High School's wrestling team and went down to the corner of Haddon and Collings Avenues to watch the show.

There were sights typical of the Philadelphia area - mummers in spangled and feathered costumes, Miss Camden and Miss New Jersey, the high-stepping Camden High School in purple, gold, and cream and Willingboro in red, white, and blue. There were two stilt walkers. One was an elf; one was a toy soldier who did an impressive juggling routine to the tune of "Dominic, the Italian Christmas Donkey," which was blasting from the Coffee House group behind him. Ovations, the dance school two doors down from Studio LuLoo on West Clinton, did a routine to "Run Run Rudolph," with the girls in reindeer tails and felt antlers. One elementary school had a winter theme, with a paper mache mug of hot chocolate that actually looked like it was steaming. Another school traded the usual float for kids and teachers riding decorated bikes and scooters. The Philly Phanatic pretended to conduct the lounge performers playing "White Christmas" on the float in front of him. A third elementary school had a Star Wars theme. Kids and teachers were dressed as various characters from the six films, including a teacher Chewbacca, several kid Vaders, one little boy Boba Fett, and at least three cute mini-Princess Leias. There was a motorcycle group that rode around in circles and at least four antique car groups.

I left as another antique car group followed the Star Wars school. As much as I wanted to stay for the whole parade, I had to work at 12:30. I dodged traffic on the back roads that were now being used by regular Collings Avenue drivers and headed back to my place.

Had a quick soup lunch while getting ready for work. Ran How the Grinch Stole Christmas as I ate. The most famous of all Dr. Seuss specials tells the story of the nasty, grouchy green critter of the title, who lives up on Mount Crumpet and hates all the noise his neighbors the Whos make on Christmas Day. He tries to steal their holiday goodies to quiet them down, but learns a lesson in the real spirit of the season when the Whos continue their festivities anyway.

Work was on-and-off steady, with a lot of down time between customers. It's two days after the biggest food day of the year, not to mention close to the beginning of the month. The last place most people want to be at the moment is a grocery store! There were no major problems, and it was quiet enough by 5:30 for me to shut down with no relief.

I went to Muscle Maker Grill for dinner. They're a fast-food place a few doors down from Tu Se Bella's Pizza that specializes in healthy versions of typical restauraunt food. I went with the Mona Lisa Wrap - grilled chicken, green lettuce, tomatoes, their special sauce. Not bad. Warm and flavorful. Little pricy, though. With a Diet Dr. Pepper, it cost me nearly 10 bucks. No wonder they were quiet at dinnertime.

Finished the night at home. finally dusting my bedroom. My bedroom always takes forever to really dust thoroughly. I have all my collectible dolls and toys and stuffed animals in the bedroom, not to mention my fiction books and comic books. Didn't help my nose, either. I've been sneezing and sniffling ever since I started. It took me over two hours, but I did finally get it all done. Tomorrow, I'll put up the first Christmas decorations

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