Today we took our shoe boxes full of gifts for a couple young boys to the Operation Christmas Child center to be sent somewhere around the world. It's part of our focus on Christmas not being about what we get (but there'll be more on that tomorrow).
After an early supper, we bundled up and headed downtown to take the boys to the Holidazzle Parade. Believe it or not, I had not spent time downtown since I was ordained there several years ago (almost 5?--Beth reminded me it was over 5. We saw the restaurant we had a Father's Day meal in the month before Anders was born). I tend to not have reason to go there and generally hate downtown traffic. Though, I do plan to explore more sometime in the future. We're hoping to get back to see the Macy's Christmas display soon.
Today's high was 27, so it was a cold evening after the sun was down. The last light parade we had been at was The Spirit of The Sea parade in White Rock, BC. That was in the summer. We had to wait until well after 10 for the sun to be down enough for the lights to be fun. Here the sun was down by 4:30, but it was cold. Only in Minnesota can you do a parade outside in December and have people excited about it.
The theme was fairy tales/nursery rhymes/children's stories (with the exception of a Joe Mauer snowman--he's a baseball player for the Twins). It was fairly well done: Pinocchio, The Wizard of Oz, Captain Hook (Peter Pan was mysteriously absent), Hansel and Gretel, etc. Though the floats were spaced out a minute or so apart as each one had to wait for traffic lights to change going down Nicollet Mall. Nils didn't want to be there at first, but by the time the floats started coming, he was brimming with excitement (almost enough to keep him warm).