It’s two for the price of one today on this special holiday edition of Geek Out. Two things that always mean Thanksgiving to me: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been part of my Thanksgiving morning for as long as I can remember. I have memories from when we lived in Michigan and I was 5 or 6, the parade was on while my mom got Thanksgiving dinner started. The vivid memory here is how she would line our kitchen sing with aluminum foil and use it as a giant bowl to create the stuffing. I’d go from watching her do that to watching the parade.
I don’t think there’s been a year that I’ve not watched the parade. I love the whole thing from the Broadway shows that perform in front of Macy’s while you’re waiting for the parade to make it down there from it’s Upper West Side starting point to the giant balloons to the bands and the floats. It just keeps me riveted for two to three hours.
Since 1999 I’ve sporadically attended the parade in person. It was a huge deal for me that first year. I went up to Central Park and stood just inside the park watching the parade go down Central Park West. It was so amazing watching the parade play out live in front of me. You don’t really have an idea of how big those balloons are until they pass right in front of you.
The pictures above are from 2004, shot from Broadway & 52nd street. I’ll be on that corner later this morning (the weather should be pretty good… in the 50s, not much wind and no rain) watching in person for the first time since 2004 and I’m excited about it. The parade has always been magical to me, and even more so in person. There’s just a certain air about it that makes me feel like a kid again. If I get good pictures this year, I’ll post them later today.
The other major component of Thanksgiving is, of course, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Break out the toast, popcorn and jelly beans for this staple of holiday TV, which first aired in 1973. This classic never ages (just like the other two in the holiday trilogy: The Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown Christmas). This is also something I remember watching every year from a young age.
There was even one year that I remember trying to talk my mom into doing dinner just like the gang served (she didn’t go for that).
This show is pitch perfect Peanuts, with a bit of Thanksgiving education, a bit of etiquette (how often has Peppermint Patty actually apologized for her forceful demeanor?) and a big dose of what Thanksgiving is really about: getting together with friends and family and enjoying the day together.
I have to say it was a bit disappointing watching on ABC this past Tuesday because they trimmed it in a couple places. There’s more commercial time per half hour these days than back in ’73, so about three minutes has to get whacked out. I’ll be pulling out my DVD copy later today to watch the complete version. (And I’d love to see what gNAW would do with an update to the Thanksgiving scene…maybe someday.)
Will and I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving!