THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE
Toronto has its annual Santa Claus parade today. My parents would take me and my brother and sisters every year.
From as long as I can remember, I was afraid to shake hands with the clowns who walked along the sides of the road shaking hands. Whey they got to me I would pull my hand away. I don’t remember why I was so afraid to shake their hands. I was not afraid of clowns. Every year I would promise myself that I would be brave and shake hands with the clowns. And every year I would chicken out. I don’t remember if I ever did shake hands with the clowns.
The Santa Claus Parade was the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. You never used to see any Christmas merchandise in the stores until after the parade. Nowadays, Christmas stuff is in the stores as early as August and September.
After the Santa Claus Parade, Ma would get out her Christmas knickknacks. She had the house cluttered with regular knickknacks the rest of the year. After the parade she would replace the regular knickknacks with Christmas knickknacks. This thrilled Dad to no end. He loved the constant knickknack clutter.
We kids fought over setting up the Nativity scene. Ma always set it up on top of the television, and we always wanted our own positions for the pieces. Ma solved the fighting by giving us each a day in which we could arrange the figures how we wanted. Since there were four of us, we each had a turn once every four days. This taking turns never lasted too long before we lost interest not caring how the Nativity scene was set up.
I never could figure out the connection between Jesus and Santa. They must have known each other. How come Santa never brought Jesus gifts at Christmas? How come Jesus was never in the Santa Claus Parade?
To this day these questions remain unanswered.