Over the years the holiday season has lost much of the luster it once had for me. Perhaps a career in retail where Christmas begins in October and the emphasis on acquisition over all else, can be blamed. This year there are also other events keeping the holiday lights a little less bright for me. Several people I care about are going through life changing events with uncertain outcomes. Combining all of this with seasonal logistics and hustle can make it difficult to step back and actually enjoy this time of year and what it has to offer.
In an effort to help lift the brewing holiday funk, a parade was in order. On Saturday Penny and I walked with the Isle of Wight Humane Society in the town of Smithfield's Christmas parade. My son and his buddy also came along and were enlisted to walk available dogs. All four of us had a great time enjoying a big event for a small town. Penny especially had a good time seeing old friends and meeting new dogs, plus she really liked working the crowds and soaking up their attentions. We had to leave poor Loretta at home, as she is not fond of loud noises, strange situations or crowds which kind of keeps parades off of her to-do list.
Here are a good number of the participants taking one last trip to the fire hydrant before the parade started.
Penny did not like the jingles on her costume and kept trying in vain to remove them.
While we were waiting for the parade to start, I had time to fall in love with Teegan...
... and this lovely hound.
Everyone was glad when the things finally got underway.
As much as I would disagree, most people want a little more out of a parade than seeing a few dogs walk by, and the viewers were not disappointed.
Smile and wave to the judges.
Being able to participate in the Christmas parade did me a lot of good and should be part of what keeps me grounded during the holidays. I urge each of you to steal a moment (or several) away from what can be a stressful time of year and enjoy the things that seek to make it otherwise.