You can keep your big-city Santa Claus parades with their downtown venues and their Swarovski swans. My Christmas treat was last night with the Tractor Parade.
It's held each December in the village of Tyrone, a little hamlet near my house. A number of farmers get together and decorate their tractors and farm equipment with lights and drive along the rural roads, and people park on the side of the road and wait for them to come along. We always go about two hours early and nab the primo spot in a little driveway in front of a historic site. The parade only takes about 15 minutes but it's worth the wait.
Last night was one of the best ever, with more tractors than I've seen in a long time. And my favorite one was out, a little Bobcat done up to look like a Christmas tree. It's funny enough seeing it motoring along the road, but then he stops and spins it around. There were two horse-drawn wagons, a giant angel, a combine covered in real Christmas trees and of course Santa bringing up the rear on a vintage Case tractor. And once the parade passes, you go to the Tyrone Mill for hot apple cider and freshly-made cider doughnuts. And that, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.