There are certain things that have to happen in everyone’s world to make the holidays the little bits of magic that illuminate our lives.
For some, it’s Christmas carols and cookies while hanging decorations.
Maybe it’s a nighttime car ride to find the best light display. It might even be the reverent solace of a midnight mass.
I love the little moments that buildup to the big day. The day that Big Santa goes up at Cold Stream Dam. The lighting of the tree in Philipsburg’s South Park. The house around the corner putting up that fantasy land of giant candy canes.
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But on Saturday, one of my favorites will happen when the Philipsburg Christmas Kick-off parade rolls down Front Street at noon.
It never seems to matter how cold, how windy, how snowy that first Saturday in December is. Regardless of the weather, the street will be lined with families, with eager kids looking for their first glimpse of St. Nick as he arrives in town on the back of a fire truck.
When the floats and band and aerobic-dancing elves have all passed by, another tradition takes place.
There is no mall in Philipsburg for kids to sit on Santa’s lap and spill their wish list. Instead, Santa takes requests, and poses for pictures, after the parade. The location has a tendency to change from one year to the next, but it is the same jolly old elf. This year it will be at the Thieves Market on Front Street.
And this year, the Rowland Theatre is giving people a special present, showing the movie that has become a tradition for many, “A Christmas Story.” The show starts at 2 p.m., with tickets for $5. The door prizes alone, including the movie’s coveted “major award” leg lamp, sound worth admission.
The big day will still be weeks away. There is still time for all those little memories, wrapping presents and watching red-nosed reindeer save the day. But on Saturday, you can share the memory with your neighbors and be a part of what makes everyone’s holiday a little more merry.