Thanksgiving is a time for many people to reflect on what they are thankful for and to show gratitude for what they have and who is in their lives. This is a concept that should be highlighted on Thanksgiving, but focused on everyday of the year not just on a holiday. I count my blessings daily and many of those blessings include my travels. Each year I attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. I have been going to the parade for over 30 years. This year I met a man at the parade who has been going for over 58 years! He was there with his family including his children and grandchildren. At first when I saw him I was irritated by a large group of adults taking up the front row and blocking the view for the kids, but once the parade started this wonderful man moved his chairs and brought all the kids nearby up to the front so they could watch the magic take place as the floats and balloons strolled down the street. I was touched to see such kindness exist in a stranger. It was wonderful to see how many people in this world are still committed to tradition and their family. I was at the parade with my daddy, niece and nephew. They were so excited to see the parade this year and have been with me many times before. I have been going since I was a kid and now it is fun to share the tradition of going to the parade with them. If you go to the parade you know what I am talking about. You anxiously anticipate what is coming down the street next and as soon as you see Santa you head back to your car to drive home to have Thanksgiving dinner with your family. If you have never been to the parade get out there next year and have some fun! It is a simple adventure that you will love.
I travel all over the world, but there is no place like New York City- especially during the holiday season. All of the glamour and glitz of the city is intensified and more beautiful than usual. This year I was worried that the parade would have a different feeling since the heightened fear of terrorism following the Paris attacks on November 13. I noticed the streets were not as crowded as I remember from previous years and there was noticeably more police on the streets, but the energy from the people still on the streets ready to go was all that mattered to make this experience another memorable one. I will admit it was frightening to see so many more police on the street, but thanks to them and many other service individuals we were all kept safe and had the distinct pleasure of enjoying our time at the parade once again. That is what makes New York City so amazing- people come together when you least expect it. Kindness matters and there are still good people in the world. You just have to believe.