Friday, December 14, 2007

A Caroling We Will Go!

Boy, it really isn't Christmas until Dolly Parton has sung the Hallelujah Chorus now, is it? Wow.


I think there's hardly anything cozier than singing carols together in a group around a lit Christmas tree. And so, we do, to practice. And then we hit the streets.


I have taken my children caroling for many years, and it's a tradition we look forward to each December. Practices take place on Monday nights as part of family home evening, but at this point we don't really need the practice. We go out after dark and canvas the neighborhood singing our hearts out to unexpecting friends and strangers alike, and the experience is one that everyone should have.


When Adam and I first married, and I wanted to carry on the caroling tradition with our new, blended family, he balked a bit at the idea. Well, a lot. He was a downright Scrooge, and I worried that his blatant bad attitude would spoil the evening for the children. Fortunately, the Christmas Spirit intervened with the knock at our very first door. We knocked and began singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", and a white-haired old man opened the door. I could tell he wasn't expecting visitors, and he didn't want to be disturbed, but almost instantaneously upon hearing singing on his porch, and seeing a family (and not a salesman), his wrinkled face melted and the corners of his smile reached up to catch the tears that soon began winding their way down his aged face. He wanted more and more, and we gave it to him. He lamented that he wished he had known we were coming so he could have had hot chocolate ready for us, that we might come in and visit. He was lonely, and we had been Christmas angels. And his eyes weren't the only wet ones.


Dear Adam caught the spirit, and led the way from there. He had been changed, softened too. He's now a caroling convert.


We walk the neighborhoods for an hour or two each season now, and love the joy we see on the faces of the strangers who answer their doors to us. The children receive an instant gratification for their service. They know it makes a difference.


We have had people open their doors to us, and then turn and call the rest of their families to come and listen. We've had whole groups gather out on the porch to get a view. We often receive gifts from those we sing to. People are so happy, and so touched, that they want to do something, and they disappear into their kitchens, returning with cookies, chocolates, gifts, even a few dollars. We always try to refuse, but then again, they received our gift with gratitude.


It always makes for a wonderful evening that the entire family anticipates. Maybe caroling is a forgotten activity. Maybe people have become too shut in, too closed up, too involved in their own little circle. Maybe people have become too scared of people they don't know, too affected by the news reports, and too nervous of knocking on a stranger's door, but every Christmas we hope to sing a carol or two and give our brothers and sisters a little cheer, and a little more belief in the basic goodness of people, especially at Christmas time. After all, a song is a powerful tool, and a universal language.

14 comments:

Corey~living and loving said...

WOW! Can I just say WOW! What a blessing you and your family are. And YOU are so very blessed as well. I love love loved this post. thank you!

Abby said...

awww you make a just out of bed Abby weepy. Caroling is indeed heartwarming and I remember the few times mom took us around and how lit up everyone's faces were. Tis the season, indeed. Love you!

Kimberly said...

We do this every year as well...so very, very heart warming!

Holly said...

What a wonderful gift to give to others. I'm not scroogish but I don't sing well and am so self-conscious about it that I've always avoided caroling. But, what a wonderful thing to do with your family. Neat memories.

Sarah said...

*wipes the tears* I love you guys! You tell your stories so well! We need the Christmas Caroling Spirit to convert Josiah! I LOVE caroling and we don't get to do it. I'm sure we could, but it gets shoved to the side by things that seem more manageable. We do still have time this year, so maybe I will have to be a little more persistant and make sure it gets done!

suchsimplepleasures said...

hi there...i think that, this may be the first time i've stopped by. i wanted to tell you...i'm a full time mom and step mom to 5...it's nice to find people who have that in common with me...it's a rare occurrence...living full time with a blended family!
have a wonderful holiday season! keep on caroling...it's always wonderful to keep family traditions and see them passed on!!

suchsimplepleasures said...

i found you through cr8buzz. i was just going through all blogs...it's a little obsession of mine. i came across yours. i was excited to see someone who had a blended family, like mine. well, you have one more than i do but...it's all the same, after 1 kid!
it isn't what i ever expected my life to be like but, i'm not complaining!!!

Momo Fali said...

I'm jealous! I couldn't pay my husband to do that. Though, I would probably have a hard time doing it myself. I even lip-sync at church!

Luisa Perkins said...

I love the Scroogey Adam story!

I tagged you for a meme today; I hope you'll play. You could Christmas-ize it, if you wanted to.

anjmae said...

I love that you carol! It is so good and wholesome and sharing! You are amazing, Jenna!

Luisa Perkins said...

The double tag is okay--once will satisfy both of us!

piper of love said...

I used to go caroling all the time...when I was a kid. I loved it!! I should take my boys! I should!! I am going to.

That was so inspiring! Thank you :)

Annette Lyon said...

We had a neighbor family growing up who always caroled on Christmas Eve. It was a great part of the evening when they arrived each year and sang to us. Ah, the memories.

I, however, get too embarrasssed to carol, so I understand the Scrooge effect here.

Julie Wright said...

I have always known you were cool, but you've just seriously topped my cool-o-meter. This is a beautiful and completely awesome family tradition. You are such a good mom!