Reflections on the Santa Parade

photo (24)Yesterday was the Santa Parade in Toronto. I love this parade and remember the first time I went to see it in 2003. It was our first Christmas here in Toronto and, having never seen a Christmas Parade before, we set off early to feast our eyes. Every year we made the effort to take our girls and wait in the cold until Santa arrived – until they decided they did not want to go. This year, after many years of not attending, we made the journey again to braveย the cold to watch the floats and the marching bands go by. I watched the young children, bundled up in their snowsuits, eagerly waiting for Santa to arrive. I saw the adults spending time together chatting while making sure their children were fed, warm and safely seated in their spots. People huddled together, making the hours spent in the cold one of family. Strangers chatted with one another and many pictures were snapped. One may ask what the Santa Parade has to to with the original meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. The floats are sponsored by those who aim at advertising; and the subjects of the floats are far removed from the religious significance of the holiday. The idea of a Father Christmas, and of a man who brings presents to children on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, is far removed from the birth of a child in a stable in Jerusalem. And yet, Santa (or Father Christmas) has become an integral part of Christianity. And the parade? When I look around, I see joy on people’s faces. Standing among the crowd I have a sense of community. I see family and friends spending time together. And surely this is the spirit of Christmas.

What do you think of the Santa Parade?

ยฉ Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

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33 thoughts on “Reflections on the Santa Parade

  1. It was a pleasure to share in your memories. Personally I do not believe Santa to be synonymous with Christianity and I do feel that our material focused culture loses sight on the importance of the holiday. That being said I am equally delighted to watch the little faces light up when Santa appears! Let’s just be sure that we are teaching them the true reason for the celebration.

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      1. My heart goes out to you where the ‘cold’ is concerned. I’d be too wimpy to live in Canada, as beautiful and friendly as it is up there… burrrr. Christmas begins in October everywhere, these days. The merchants have their Christmas displays out already, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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          1. Believe me, around here, the displays are set up EVERYWHERE, including the grocery stores. Nothing like a six-week old fruitcake to make you want to skip dinner for dessert. LOL.

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  2. Santa Claus was not in my culture when I was growing up. Of course, now he has invaded the imagination of most Filipinos. My husband and I did not bring up our children believing in Santa. Yet, having said that, I know that they will enjoy the parade and Santa if they have a chance to watch one. What is not to like about him? ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I agree Imelda. It is a fun experience and the children love the floats of their favourite characters. Even the adults were shouting their appreciation when the float for the Toronto Maple Leafs came by ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Great words Colline, I think you said it right when you said, the joy of Christmas can be seen in the faces of those around you.
    The parade may be far from its original meaning, but it still stirs joy in the Heart.
    Regards
    Ian

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  4. the parade sounds nice – and I am mixed about the “santa” image in our culture – like it makes me really mad that parents LIE to their children and model this deception – and well, I guess I have been there when a few kids were told that there is no santa – and so I take issue with that part – but we did see a father christmas play one time – and he put a gift in the shoes of the children and well, the way depicted that (kris kringle?) seemed to be loving and sweet. but it seems here in the states children are set up to expect so much at Christmas toy-wise and all that – oh I dunno – but the parade sounds a bit magical. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

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    1. I think the focus has become too much on gifts Yvette – which is a result of the large focus on Santa and of commercialism I think. The idea of giving a gift to a loved one though is a wonderful way to show love. The balance is a very fine one I think.
      The parade though is magical. And even though Santa is in the last float, the other floats are magical too. And personally, I love the music that the marching bands play.

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  5. We don’t have anything like that here, but it sounds like fun. Must be so different for you to see Christmas and being all rugged up. I’ve only ever experience a cold Christmas once, and it was a really amazing one too, and one I will never forget.

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    1. It has taken a while to get used to Leanne – though we do enjoy it. We were so used to having spending the day outside in the sun and now we spend the day warm and cozy inside ๐Ÿ™‚

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