|The hot cocoa bar.|
We arrived an hour early, found a great spot complete with bench and trees for the boys to climb, and set up our spread. Yup, a Christmas tailgate of sorts (and I though those two words would never work together). There was pizza, of course. And veggies and dip (there should have been apples and caramel but someone left the apples in the fridge and only brought the caramel, doh!). And special gingerbread cookies that the boys and I had been working on. Oh, and hot chocolate to keep us toasty warm.
A word about hot chocolate. In my family, it was always a tradition on Christmas morning to drink homemade hot cocoa out of our personal Santa mugs. Except, no offense mom, but her homemade hot cocoa recipe was the pits. And we couldn't start opening presents until the cocoa was drained. As we kids got older we finally convinced our parents that it was one tradition that needed to go. And from then on I was convinced store bought hot chocolate packets were the way to go. Well, no longer my friends! I will freely admit I've been wrong, so wrong. There are many, many great homemade recipes out there that I've tried over the years. But I think this weekend's has been my favorite. And if you're curious, check it out here. Oh my heavens my heart just lurched in my chest thinking about it...
Anyway, back to the parade. It was a beautiful evening, this was our first time attending the lights parade but I've heard that previous parade evenings have included snow, sleet, rain and wind. We had none of that. Chilly enough to see your breath, but not too warm to take away from the winter festivities.
|One downfall to living in this area: Ravens territory.|
|An Irish theme.|
I do have a few of my personal picks though.
|For my brothers, who force us to watch "A Christmas Story" every year.|
|What Jack calls "an angel with a tail."|
|I loved Rudolph out in front of this one.|
|But the best part was the man dressed in light-up Santa suit!|
|This one was playing Frank Sinatra music and had people dancing on the boat!|
|My top pick, a lighthouse complete with flashing light, fog horn and wave noises!|
|He held on to her the rest of the night and left me to handle the boys.|
|Keeping Jude close.|