There were more than 70 entries, and it was obvious that much effort was put into all of them, but I can’t really say I had a favorite float; they were pretty much all beautiful to look at and to photograph.
What was just as impressive was how many people came out to see them. That’s part of what the season is about: people coming together.
Too many times I hear people needlessly argue about nomenclature, when they can best live out the Christmas (or holiday) spirit by clothing those who are cold, feeding those who are hungry, giving to those who have none, and coming together with their families and friends and lovers with a loving, generous (Christ-like) spirit. And actually, I see a lot more of those last things than I do the first thing, especially around here.
Purely anecdotally, I’ve not yet met anyone who was actually offended by Merry Christmas – not Christians, not even atheists or other non-Christians. I think most people understand that it’s a statement of well-wishing.
Many Christians throughout history haven’t even celebrated Christmas; the Puritans famously kept it from being celebrated via force of law. And even some Christians today view it as a pagan holiday, and to be fair, celebrations around the winter solstice do have pagan origins (the Bible doeesn’t mention the time of year in which Jesus was born).
But I digress.
The parade this year was very well organized and very well attended, and I’m glad they have decided to keep putting on the parade.
And although the Reindeer Run that immediately preceeded it didn’t have as many runners as last year, there were still more than 160 people that attended.
I was one of them, and out of the 160 or so, I placed 14th, completing the 3.1-mile race in 22 minutes and 37 seconds - my fastest time yet.
It was unseasonable warm for December (60 degrees) but it was just about perfect running weather. And somehow, I was able to complete the race, get to the parade to get pictures and come back to get my medal for finishing second in my age group.
This was my second Reindeer Run. My first race period was last year’s Reindeer Run, and I was eight minutes faster this year than last year - and probably about 30 - 40 pounds lighter, for that matter.
After having been running for a year, and doing other active stuff (kick-boxing, water aerobics, land aerobics, lifting weights), and after actually sort of watching what I eat somewhat, I feel better at age 30 than I did at age 20. Possibly I look better too, but the former is much more important.
The support I have gotten from family and friends in this endeavour has definitely helped keep me going.
Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.