Nothing signifies the arrival of the Christmas season like the presence of the marching bands and festive floats as they strut their stuff down the street for the annual Santa Claus Parade. For years, we have bundled up the kids, piled them into the car and excitedly made our way to the Santa Claus Parade with hot chocolate in hand and letters to Santa in our pockets. We would ooh and ahh as the beautiful floats and marching bands would pass us by. Later, we would talk about our favourites and re-watch it on TV, hoping to catch a glimpse of us on the screen. This year, like so many before, we joined thousands of people to take in the sights and sounds of the wonderful parade, although, this time, we saw it a little differently. My oldest daughter had to finish a project for school so decided to opt out of our annual event. My son sat across the street from us with a buddy and our youngest took part in the parade with her Girl Guide group, leaving my husband and I to await the arrival of Santa without the presence of our children. Hmmmmm! The very reason we get out there, regardless of the weather is to share in the kids enthusiasm as the parade draws to an end and Santa appears atop his sleigh surrounded by his reindeer. Oh, he still showed up.....not much had changed, yet everything changed.