The parade is fun for one and all.

Photos by Marty Cheek
Above left: Santa Claus takes the Christmas wish from a little girl during this year’s holiday parade. Above right: Residents admire the Morgan Hill Holiday Tree at the corner of Dunne Avenue and Monterey Road.

By Santa Claus

Ho ho ho, Morgan Hill!

This is Santa Claus, reporting live from the North Pole. I’m thrilled as crisp gingerbread to hear about your community’s 36th Annual Holiday Lights Parade. It starts in downtown Morgan Hill at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec 2. Why, that’s more than three weeks before I make my worldwide gift-giving journey on the sleigh! It must be magical to have a small-town pageant bursting with merry music and dazzling lights to get folks in the holiday mood.

I hear this snazzy parade is whipped up every year by those hardworking elves — er, volunteers — from the Morgan Hill Kiwanis Club! Why, they must work almost as tirelessly as my magical helpers up here in the heart of the Arctic! Their parade promises more than 50 jolly entries — from three marching bands sprinkling out holiday tunes to classic cars dressed up in cheerful colors bright enough to guide my sleigh! And, of course, everyone loves seeing Lana’s Dance Studio’s young ladies showing off their best steps to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

This Christmasy carnival has been a beloved Morgan Hill tradition cheered on by the entire community since back in the 1980s! It fits with the Kiwanis motto of “serving the children of the world.” For all members of the service club, it’s a beloved holiday season signature event.

You know what really warms my rosy cheeks about this parade? Its focus on letting all the good boys and girls of Morgan Hill get in on the festivities themselves! They get to ride along on floats or march proudly with their friends, spreading a fairytale enchantment through the streets. After all, every child should know the pure joy of waving at neighbors and sharing the holiday spirit from a towering float!

The parade is fun for one and all. It brings the people of Morgan Hill together like a great big family celebrating the happiest time of the year! This is a chance to cheer your neighbors, civic and youth groups, heroes — and even boo the Grinch. Making it extra special, it’s a rare, night-time parade, allowing participants to showcase their celebration illumination. The decorative lights are sure to fill everyone with Yuletide dreamlike memories. Ho ho ho!

And here comes the family favorite part of Morgan Hill’s merry parade — me! Mr. C.! Good ol’ Santa Claus! After an hour of holiday hullabaloo, I’ll sail majestically into town aboard the Magic Ship of Christmas, a gloriously decorated vessel navigated by the clever boys and girls in Scout Troop 799/2799. Why, those scouts work almost as hard as the elves at my winter wonderland workshop! I hear their boat is the brightest bash in town!

When I hop off at the Community Center, I’ll help the esteemed Mayor Turner light up the splendid community holiday tree while sweet carolers from the Peninsulaires Barbershop Harmony Chorus fill the air with their dulcet tones. After a community countdown, we’ll make that tree shine brighter than Rudolph’s nose! And later that evening, youngsters can climb aboard my “docked” ship for a photo op. I can’t wait for all you nice boys and girls to tell me your wishes before my big Christmas Eve flight on the sleigh.

It warms my heart like cocoa by the fireplace to know such merry magic couldn’t happen without the community pitching in with a jovial spirit. It takes all kinds of folks coming together to pull off such seasonal splendor. A special holiday hooray for the city for providing funding for the parade. And a nod and a wink go to the Kiwanis elves for brightening downtown and organizing all the fun. And let’s give a grateful tip of Frosty the Snowman’s hat to the Morgan Hill Downtown Association for gathering a gorgeous tree as the cherry on top!

So, children of every age, old Kriss Kringle here hopes you all enjoy this long-standing tradition. The weather may be brisk, but such heart-warming holiday cheer is worth sharing with your fellow Morgan Hillians! A final mention: The parade goes on rain or shine, but a heavy downpour will cancel the event, Kiwanis president Dennis Bettencourt told me.

Well, I oughta skedaddle back to making the toys for good girls and boys. But before I go, I sure hope all you nice folks bundle up in mittens, sweaters, scarves and warm fuzzy boots to come share the festive feelings at the Kiwanis’ Holiday Lights Parade. Making magical memories with your family and friends is the reason for the season! And a little holiday music and cheer will keep you toasty even if Jack Frost is nipping at your nose. The weather may be frightful, but the hot chocolate is sure to be delightful!

Now old Saint Nick’s gotta go — there’s nine reindeer to prep. Happy holidays, Morgan Hill! Ho ho ho!

Santa Claus is a toymaker with global headquarters in the North Pole. He wrote this column with copy-editing assistance from Morgan Hill Life publisher Marty Cheek.