Earlier this week, we shared Jem’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition, so today, I thought I’d share mine! It is, without a doubt, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This spectacle of sight and sound has come to me through my television screen every Thanksgiving morning for as long as I can remember. I have watched it without fail every single year since I was probably 5 years old. I even set an alarm to make sure I wake up in time so I can catch the entire broadcast. It signifies to me the beginning of the holiday season, and makes me feel happy and optimistic no matter what is happening in my life at the time.
My love for the parade most certainly developed because of my childhood obsession with the Radio City Rockettes. As soon as I was old enough to figure out I couldn’t grow up to be a pony, I decided I wanted to be a Rockette. This dream was quickly shattered when I stopped growing at 5’2″ at 12 years old and I realized that the 6 feet tall Rockettes could high-kick right over my head. Oh well, they are still absolutely magical. Their synchronicity is unsurpassed- and those outfits! When they wear their Christmas outfits in the parade, it looks like they just busted out of a snow globe at the North Pole! Where do you think Mariah Carey got the idea?
The Rockettes really are the embodiment of the glamour of New York City. Their giant smiles and perfectly coiffed hair, their long legs, and the way they seem oblivious to their beauty is just so innocent and refreshing in a time when everything has to be outrageous or shocking to get attention.
I would guess that part of the parade that most people really enjoy would have to be the giant balloons! They’ve had countless different characters since 1927 when the balloons replaced the live animals that they would borrow from the Central Park Zoo. Mickey Mouse, Garfield, Big Bird, Sponge Bob Square Pants– You basically aren’t a successful cartoon character until you’ve made an appearance at the Macy’s Parade!
I wish I could have seen the parade during 1962-1972, when it was hosted by Betty White and Lorne Greene (of Bonanza fame). I guess I’ll make do with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. The most exciting thing for me is that this time next year, I will (finally) be a resident of New York City, and I will most definitely be as close to Herald Square as I can possibly get when that parade comes marching down from the Upper West Side! I’ll be fighting for my spot with my thermos of hot coffee and lots of warm layers for my view of this glorious occasion in the most-loved city on the planet… New York!!