Our Parks and Rec district coordinates with the fire department for an annual Santa and Sirens Parade. This is our third Christmas in Elk Grove, but our first experience with the event.
Last night we went to a friends house on the parade route, though it was less than a mile from our house, it was more fun to let the kids play together and eat pizza while we waited for Santa. The website described the event as a parade from 7-9pm. There was also a toy drive during the parade. I ended up buying gift cards to movie theaters, hoping some teenagers that normally get left off Santa's list would have something to open this Christmas.
I watched the clock tick past 7:30 and started to wonder if Santa was ever going to come down our street. We weren't sitting near the window so we had to rely on the good old fashioned ears and listen for the sirens as 4 adults gossiped while 3 four year olds and Finding Nemo screeched in the background. Our friends assured us, "Don't worry, you WILL hear it, it's the sirens are really loud." Around 7:35 I thought I heard something, a siren perhaps? But it sounded far away.. we have time.
Our friend got up to check the front to see if Santa was indeed coming. Not only was he coming, he came and went! We nearly missed the parade. He yells, "It's here! The parade is here NOW!" We all run to the door, no jackets, no shoes. I furiously grabbed some coats and the gift cards and sprinted out of the house. The twins didn't have their shoes on, we thought it'd be a good idea to let them chase down Santa on the side walk, in the dark in their socks in 40 degree weather. Tom and Abby's little friend's mom scooped Tom up and carried him over the grass I did the same for Abby. After all, there was no time for shoes!
The sprinting continued as we are throwing our jackets over ourselves chasing that fire truck! Finally we caught up. Kids still without shoes, no jackets, everyone panting (the adults with exhaustion, the kids with excitement)... Tom and Abby's little friend's dad had the sense to grab Tom and Abby's shoes when he went back to the house for the camera. I rushed to put Abby's shoes on and the chase continued. Who knew 2 miles an hour was so fast? All the while me and the other mom were wandering in the middle of the street wondering where do we drop our gifts? This is a toy drive after all!
Finally the van following Santa asked us if we had donations. We were able to throw the gifts in the back of the van. And still... the chase carried on! It's like we were part of the parade. By this point Tom had his jacket and shoes on, but Abby did not have her jacket. In the mayhem of leaving the house in such a hurry I didn't realize her jacket was still in my car. There was no time to get the keys and get the jacket out. We had to find Santa! And off Abby went.
We followed the parade for a good quarter mile I think and then headed back to the house. My lungs were burning and I was coughing up a storm thanks to the cold weather I think. But in the end the twins had a BLAST chasing down Santa with their preschool buddy. Maybe next year we'll sit near a window!