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There I am last year in the Macy’s Holiday Tree costume!

As I roll into Thanksgiving week and finish my last-minute preparations, I am allowing my mind to turn to the next celebration just around the corner. That’s right! Christmas!

I love Thanksgiving for what it is but also for being the kick-off to the holiday season. This weekend will be filled with family, leftovers (turkey soup – yes!), shopping, decorating and the beginning of the most magical time of the year.

If you are in the Seattle area you won’t want to miss the My Macy’s Holiday Parade and Star Lighting to help your family kick-off the holidays!

In celebration of the 2012 holiday season, Macy’s annual My Macy’s Holiday Parade will take place on Friday, November 23, 2012 in downtown Seattle.

The parade features 25 inflatable floats, local middle and high school marching bands, over 600 costumed characters, professional sports teams and community drill teams. This year’s Parade will also include two new helium star balloons escorting Santa’s sleigh.

The parade starts promptly at 9 a.m. and lasts approximately one hour. The Holiday Parade route, shown below, will begin at 7th and Pine, then travel west down Pine Street to 5th Avenue, south on 5th Avenue to University Street, west on University to 4th, and then north on 4th to Macy’s doorstep.

The parade ends as Santa dashes in his sleigh past Macy’s, heading directly from the North Pole to his Seattle holiday post in Macy’s Santaland on the 6th floor, which opens at 11:00 AM.

Santaland is open from November 23 through December 24 where Macy’s will once again offer an assortment of digital photography packages.

Santa photos will be available every day from Friday, November 23 through Monday, December 24. For more information visit www.macys.com/holidayevents for Santaland daily hours.

MACY’S STAR LIGHTING & FIREWORKS SHOW

Later that evening, Macy’s will continue the celebration with the Holiday Star Lighting Ceremony in conjunction with the annual Seattle Westlake Center tree lighting.

I have such fond memories of this tradition from when the boys were little – a bit of shopping followed by a hot cocoa as we waited so patiently (or not so, as in the case of little boys!) for Santa to make his appearance to light up Downtown Seattle with holiday cheer! Ah the looks on their little faces!

This event begins at 5 p.m. and will include an incredible fireworks display (weather permitting) and the lighting of the famous 161-foot high, 3,600-bulb Holiday Star which is a Seattle favorite.

DO YOU “BELIEVE”?

Macy’s is also once again hosting the holiday “BELIEVE” Campaign to benefit MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION this year.

Beginning November 2 and running through December 24, believers of all ages are invited to drop off letters – stamped and addresses to Santa at the North Pole – at any Santa Mail letterbox at your local Macy’s store. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million, to grant wishes to local children with life-threatening medical conditions. For more information, visit www.macys.com/holidayevents.

What is your favorite tradition to help kick-off the holidays?

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