By Janeal Downs
The light drizzle and cool weather did not stop hundreds of people from attending the Christmas Parade Saturday afternoon. Many families were asked why they attended the parade and their plans for the Christmas holiday.
Abel, buy who works at VCU, plans to relax on Christmas Day. She said in her family being with each other for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, is important. “We’re all about family, born and raised in the military, so in our immediate family it’s very important. Thanksgiving is even more important; we love to get together, fellowship and eat,” Abel said. Now most of her family resides in Richmond. Abel was also with family at the Christmas parade. “I brought my great nieces. They wanted to come, and since I don’t have children of my own (they’re my baby brother’s granddaughters) I said I would come take them because their mommy had to work.”
Charity attended the parade to see her cousin who helped carry a balloon and to see the bands perform. She hopes to relax on Christmas day. In her family, Christmas traditions include cooking Christmas dinner, having family time, and watching kids open presents.
Hunter and her son decided to attend the parade to get into the Christmas spirit and planned to put up their Christmas tree afterwards. Hunter said she plans to travel to Michigan for Christmas. “Normally it’s just family. Family and quality time,” Hunter said. “Spending time with each other, catching up on everybody’s to do list, and seeing what everybody is doing.” She said when her family gets together they like to speak about their current goals and aspirations. To her, it is important to spend time with the people you love the most and to keep Christ in Christmas.
Both Taylor and Robinson said they came to the parade for the children. Taylor said for Christmas it is important for them to celebrate as a family. She said it is important for them “just coming together and seeing the kids’ smiles on their faces in the morning.” Taylor and Robinson plan to visit both of their families’ homes for Christmas day.
Awaiting the Christmas Parade as he sat with Osborne and Suber, when asked their plans for Christmas day one boy excitedly said “I’m going to my grandma’s house.”Suber said they plan to go visit New Jersey for Christmas. When asked what Christmas traditions they had, they named opening presents, giving thanks, and drinking egg nog. Osborne said her family also has an annual card tournament for Christmas. In regards to the Christmas parade, Suber said the rain did not kill her joy and she still enjoyed seeing Santa, the floats, and the bands. “It’s all about the kids, but I’m a big kid too,” Suber said.
Horton took his daughter to see the parade. When asked about his plans for Christmas, he playfully asked his daughter what they were doing as she hid her face. “We all get together on Christmas Eve and hang out, that’s pretty much it,” he said about Christmas day. He said he plans to visit and spend time with family in Lynchburg.
Burnette said she wanted to bring the kids to the parade to see Santa, the floats, and other entertainment. “We’re actually going to be going to Great Wolf (Lodge) and they’re going to be opening presents,” she said. “We’ll probably go visit my family in Colonial Heights and his family in Richmond.”
Veney awaited the parade under an umbrella like many others. “I’m here so that I can let my daughter see all of the floats and things that go by, she’s almost three,” Veney said. For Christmas, Veney will stay home and open gifts with family. She said family from out of town, such as Maryland and from other areas of Virginia, is coming to visit. In regards to Christmas traditions, her family usually stays home in the morning to open gifts and has dinner in the evening.