While family truly encompasses the spirit of the holidays, New York City is like the tinsel on the Christmas Tree. The magic in the air swirling around the chilly buildings within the streets of Manhattan is nearly palpable. Up until we moved to the city five years ago, I had never felt Christmas like I do there, and I’m all but certain I cannot live without it now. I certainly want my children to be a part of that magic, too.
In New York City, the weather begins to usher in the holidays by rolling out rainbowed carpet of fallen leaves, the cold winds whipping around the buildings and city dwellers donning their black boots and mittens clutching red coffee cups. Nothing is more grand, though, than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year we lived in the city, we made sure to bring the kids out those the cold, early mornings after I had put a turkey in the oven to catch a glimpse of those balloons marching down the avenue like royalty. As a child, the best part of my day on Thanksgiving was huddling around the television to watch with my sister, hardly believing that it was actually a real thing. In person, it still feels that way.
It is so nostalgic and wondrous and spectacular, it feels like being on a movie set. It its just too good to be true.
We were invited by Lindt Chocolate to sit in the grandstands this year, all six of us. The only way I can describe the feeling of sitting on Central Park West with my babies and my husband for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is like we were holding the keys to the city. Justin and I know full well that this might be the last time any of us get such an honor, so we got there early and we stayed, planted firmly on the frozen steel benches, until the very end when Santa himself made his way down the avenue with his reindeer and sleigh.
The kids absolutely loved it. I had a hard time focusing on the actual parade because I was so busy watching their faces light up at every balloon and street performer. We sat next to an older, larger man with a beard and a leather jacket who bent down to scoop up a handful of the confetti that kept raining on us. He put a few pieces in his pocket and told Jack, Zoe and Beau that he wanted to keep them in his pocket so that he could remember this morning every time he wore the jacket. It’s hard for me to convey to them how special something like this is, especially how they got to see the parade in the actual grandstands, but I think this gentleman might have done that for me in his own gesture.
When I asked them what their favorite part of the parade was, Jack and Zoe immediately responded “Santa” of course, with the Hess Truck Float, Hello Kitty and the “candy” floats coming in as close seconds. Zoe recognized the bears on the “candy” float from the night before when we visited the new Lindt Chocolate shop on 5th Avenue. The kids had their own Wonka moments, picking out LINDOR truffles, snacking on hand dipped strawberries, and gawking at the golden foiled, chocolate holiday Lindt Bear chocolates. Justin and I also grabbed stocking stuffers of golden bears and LINDOR truffles for the kids and even took home a souvenir from our trip of Lindt’s New York City Gift collection that’s available in their Manhattan stores. It was an incredible night and even more amazing morning.
I’m hoping that when the kids see their stockings, they’ll remember the parade and seeing Santa, all of us bundled together in the streets of our favorite city during the most wonderful season of the year. The magic of the holidays is real for children and adults alike, and I intend to always make this a priority, however I can. I am so grateful to have had this experience with my children and will certainly never forget it.
Thank you to Lindt Chocolates for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!