For as long as I can remember, I have been waking up on Thanksgiving morning and rushing to the TV to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Once, my Father even brought my brother and I to to a customer’s office where we sat on a windowsill (that had no safety bars. Try and get away with that today.) and watched the parade right there in NY City. That year Soupy Sales was the second biggest star of the parade. The first, of course, was and is Santa Claus.
Now with 60 years under my belt, I still get up and grab a cup of coffee, open up the NY Times and watch the parade. I don’t think that I have ever missed a year. BUT something was different this year, I finally woke up and realized that the whole event is one big advertisement. Wow was that revelation, a wake up call. No I am not as naive as you must think. Oh sure, over the years I might not see Underdog one year but I just thought that was only because they were cycling through their collection and that if we didn’t see Underdog then we would see Bullwinkle. The floats too were a big part of the excitement. We got to see the hottest artists of ‘the day’. We saw the Rockettes, songs from Broadway shows sung by the Broadway Stars, Actors from our favorite Television shows. Marching bands from all around the United States. And much much more.
When I became a Father and began to watch the parade with my children, we would see Sponge Bob and Big Bird from Sesame Street (in addition to the Sesame Street Float), there was Pickachu and the Red Power Ranger, Barney that big purple dinosaur, and many many more.Of course the people at Macy’s were doing the natural thing, keeping the Parade relevant for the children that it was created for. But there was also a hidden reason. Macy’s was selling the newest and the best of the toys that were waiting just inside their stores for the Black Friday rush. NBC was selling advertising time to the people that needed those products to sell.
Here’s the weird thing. It took until I was 60 to realize this. All of a sudden I am looking at a float sponsored by the Domino Sugar Company with some Star that I had never heard of before singing some song about candy and cookies and cakes and then the TV fades from the parade to a commercial for Domino Sugar. There was a float for Lindt Chocolates followed by a commercial for? You got it Lindt Chocolates. And so it went right up until the moment that I had been waiting for, the arrival of the big man himself to Herald Square——SANTA!!My Dad told me that the only thing constant in life is change. I can live with that. I mean change brought us the internet, cell phones, flat screen TV’s, and much much more . But as the Parade wound down it was good to see that there is something that we can still believe in.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA (If I missed one please accept my apologizes) TO ALL AND TO ALL >>>> LET THE GAMES BEGIN!! deadhead1155