Madison's Christmas parade returned Saturday and - if one was to look at the faces of the adults and children lining Main Street - was a resounding success.

After a year off because of a lack of participants, the parade returned with floats, a cast of well-known characters and a new name - The Very Merry Christmas Parade.

The parade boasted more than 40 entries including more than a dozen floats.

Aaron Kelsey, a Madison Consolidated High School art teacher, took over this year as parade coordinator and infused new life into the event.

Kelsey had a long tradition of wonderful parades to live up to. With the exception of last year, the parade has been around for decades.

Wonderful weather contributed to the festive mood. Contrary to what winter lovers might argue, Christmas parades are just as much fun when the temperature hovers around 60 degrees.

Of course, the highlight of the parade was a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus. We appreciated them paying us a visit ... we know they are especially busy this time of year.

Holiday cheer was spread throughout the Courierarea. Switzerland, Trimble and Carroll counties also welcomed in the season with parades and special events.

The next three weeks will be hectic for many. Shopping for gifts, making plans to visit or host relatives and friends, planning holiday feast menus ... there is so much to do.

But let's not lose sight of the fact that our number priority should be taking care of one another.