where wildly different is perfectly normal
They might be faulty, but they’re my memories
They might be faulty, but they’re my memories

They might be faulty, but they’re my memories

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving. If I had to give a reason why it was my favorite, I’m not sure I could. It just makes me feel happy inside. There’s no stress about it for me, unlike Christmas, with the picture and the card and the letter and the gifts and the travel and the expectations and the music (which I do love) and the letdown. And then four months more of cold and dark and snow. Thanksgiving is just about the food and the parade and the hangin’ out. The day looks something like this:





And that’s it. Tom makes his incredible crockpot stuffing (which will be slightly different this year, with gluten free bread and low sodium chicken broth), I make pecan pie (my all-time favorite), and well…yum.

Thanksgiving has always been like this for me. Food, family, and fun.

Which brings me to my favorite Thanksgiving memory. I must have been A’s age, seven, when this happened. My Gram was visiting us for the holiday and she and I were watching the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My love for this parade probably came from watching it with her; I still get all verklempt watching the Rockettes. So we were watching the parade together, my folks were in the kitchen working on the meal, and here comes Santa. The music is playing, Santa is smiling and waving, and he stands up.

And his pants fall down.

She and I laughed until we cried. Now, what you have to know about my Gram is that she was a proud Irishwoman, native New Yorker, and her personality was exactly like A’s. Outgoing, didn’t know a stranger, great sense of humor. She and A would have been best friends. She laughed til she couldn’t talk. She laughed until she could barely breathe. She told everyone she could find. I mean, Santa’s pants fell down!

Is this story true? I have no idea. I have tried to find online confirmation of this happening and come up with nothing. But it is truly one of my very favorite memories of Thanksgiving and of my Gram. I miss her dearly, and most of all on Thanksgiving Day.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone. May your turkey be moist, your yams be marshmallowy, and your blessings be many.


  1. I still call my first aunt/mother-in-law to wish her a happy Thanksgiving. Only now she’s gone. But there is a fun twist to this story. for many years, I would call, but get the phone number exchange just one digit wrong and call some woman across town instead of across the state. One town was 872 and the other was 892. Oops. Well, the lady who answered was a sport, we wished each other happy holidays and I dialed more carefully the next time. Then came Christmas. Same thing. We laughed and again I dialed more carefully. Then came Easter, and Mother’s Day and then Thanksgiving again. Yep, every time I call the wrong woman. Every time we laugh and share news and wish each other well. Last year, my ex had not told me that her aunt had died over the summer, so I could not get through. I spoke with the other woman though, and that was nice. At Christmastime learned of her death. It was sad, but I still call the other woman. We’re old friends now. Never met, but old friends just the same. After all, we’ve been chatting several times a year for something like a decade. I look forward to calling her tomorrow morning after the turkey is in the oven and I am having my first civilized cup of coffee. Happy holiday to you out there in the mountains!

  2. Okay, I’m a REALLY good googler and this was too funny to be this hard to find! I can’t find an article but it definitely happened in 79 (or 78?) as santa walked towards macy’s after getting off the float. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday, and it’s the main reason I look forward to the seasons changing. It sure makes great memories.

  3. Fran Spencer

    This definitely happened! I remember it vividly. I was alone in the livingroom watching the parade when I saw it, and I laughed so hard, I cried. The next thing i know, my niece, who was about 5 years old at the time called me and exclaimed, ” Did you see? Santa’s pants fell down!”

  4. Cynthia Francis

    That is so wonderful! I remember it also, and every year I think back to that one Thanksgiving when watching it with my mom. She is now in Heaven with the Lord and I miss her greatly. My 2 young boys and I talk about the memory every year.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family 2010

  5. Charles

    You’re memory is correct. It happened right the end of the telecast. My wife and I did a double-take, not quite believing what we saw. But obviously we we’re the only ones paying attention. Now THAT’S a YouTube video I would like to see!

    1. Jen

      I have just been grinning all weekend, having learned that I didn’t hallucinate that! LOL! I tried finding a video, with no luck. It’s out there somewhere…
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Donna

    I remember it like it was yesterday! Poor Santa lol I doubt there would be video of it because it was a live broadcast and surely before everyone had video camera’s and cell phones.

  7. Just thought I’d share my Facebook status update with you, as you are my hero of the day:

    So, I’m taking a break from cooking for a couple of minutes to gloat.

    I was just thinking back to my best Thanksgiving memory of when I was somewhere around 8-10 years old and I was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the end of the parade Santa got off his float and began his walk into Macy’s when halfway up the red carpet his pants fell down!

    I remember it like it was yesterday. Me screaming for my mother to come see Santa with his pants around his ankles but, alas, by the time she got there he had righted the situation and my mother accused me of making it up.

    That afternoon we went to my Grandmother’s house for dinner, as we did every year and when I told her about it she turned to my Aunt Joanne and said, “See? I WASN’T seeing things!” Apparently, she had seen it as well and no one believed her either. So my grandmother and I were labeled kooks and the years went on.

    Years later I mentioned it to my Grandmother and she said she had no recollection of it. Now I’m starting to think I imagined it all myself.

    Well, today whilst preparing my turkey I thought about it and a lightbulb went on over my head. We live in a day and age where anybody and everybody has the world at their fingertips with a wonderful little tool called Google. After all, I can’t possibly be the only person in the world who saw this magical moment in time if it actually did happen. So I Googled: “macys thanksgiving day parade santa’s pants fell down”.

    What do you think I found?

    Today, November 22, 2012 I have the dubious pleasure of presenting to you THE VERY FIRST RESULT for said query:


    The end.

  8. Pingback: Jen's Unbreakable Rules for Holiday Music - Laughing at Chaos

  9. Pingback: Santa's pants...vindicated! - Laughing at Chaos

  10. I remember this, too. It was 1979 but I’ll never forget seeing Santa lose his pants. I’ve been looking for a video forever but all I’ve found so far is a few newspaper articles from ’79 mentioning it.

Whaddya think?

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