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Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is a wonderful national tradition.  I could never imagine Thanksgiving morning without turning on  NBC on Thanksgiving morning and watching the stars of old and new  march down my beloved city streets.

If you work in the city, you see the preparation all around you. The wreaths gets hung on lamp posts. Store windows dawn their best dress. You can feel the change coming. The season has arrived.

The annual Thanksgiving parade, started in Newark, New Jersey, by Louis Bamberger at the Bamberger’s store, was first replicated by Macy’s in New York City in 1924.  In New York, the employees marched to Macy’s Herald Square, the flagship store on 34th Street, dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.  At the end of that first parade, Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square.

Not much has changed in it.

Now, the floats are electronic and the balloons are themed. Sure there are several other parades around the country that triumph so season, but none as spectacularly.

Yet,  the sentiment is there.

In our society where everything is social media driven, there is actually an event that does not depend on your likes. You get to watch and be entertained and warmed by the music and the scenery.  The Parade allows  for conversation that isn’t spurred on much these days. It allows for connection. You may be cities away but you can still watch the parade and share moments.

There are so few moments that we share. That is what the holiday season is about. It is about creating and sharing moments.  We connect.

Connection, it seems, denotes a very different quality of social interaction. The internet increases our levels of connection, but may decrease our ability to have actual, deep and meaningful conversations with each other.

Believe it or not, most people – young and old – find comfort in traditions. There really is something special about kicking off the holiday season with a ritual you look forward to each year. It gives you a warm, comforting feeling on the inside.

Research indicates that they are important for a number of reasons.  Traditions:

  • Help pass along cultural and family values to the next generation;
  • Provide a sense of family history and define the boundaries of the family;
  • Give each member of the family a sense of identity, strength and belonging;
  • Provide a meaningful purpose for coming together;
  • Help build strong family bonds.

This is where The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade falls in. When your life is hectic, it is easy to let traditions fall by the wayside. This Parade provides a much needed pause.

It brings us back to each other. For a little while we pause and enjoy simple watching pretty things and decent music.

How could that be wrong?

Have a great Holiday Season!


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