Monday, December 08, 2008


Have you ever been caroling? I'll admit that I was apprehensive about going. Things were not playing out well in my imagination, but my wife really wanted to go, so I said yes.


Decisions, decisions. Do you visit complete strangers, or intrude on friends' homes. If you go to friends' homes, there can be a lot of driving around, and I think it's inconsiderate if they don't get advance notice.


My coworkers and I got into a discussion about this, and someone said that it can be awkward for the audience... we might call this person "the carolee," for lack of a better term. What is the correct response to a bunch of people singing outside your door? You don't know whether to tip them or invite them in, and serve hot cocoa or wassail. It is more than a little disconcerting to just stand there, twiddling your thumbs. Plus, it was COLD!! Do you leave the door open, and let the hot air escape or make everybody wait ten minutes until you suit up for the arctic side of the threshold?


We went to some town homes where they have a small courtyard between the "front entrances" At the count of three, we shouted "Merry Christmas" and then sang three songs before moving to the next courtyard.


This worked out very well, I think. Some of the residents walked up to their living room windows and watched from inside their homes. This was great for the carolers as well as the carolees. Even the shy ones could gape stealthily at the merry spectacle from the semiprivate shadows behind trusty double-insulated safety shields.


After the chill soaked through to bone marrow and the pain of frozen toes and fingers started becoming a potentially litigious health issue, we returned to the church lobby, where we thawed out to piping hot crockpots of soup and chili and yes, wassail.


lime said...

well i'm glad it worked out well. i've gone carolling and it's been cold but fun.

donsands said...

What songs did you all sing? Can I guess?
hark the herald angels sing, come all ye faithful, we wish you a merry Christmas, and God rest ye merry gentlemen.

Sounds like a great time to me. Wish I was there.

mommanator said...

O how nice! you could come to sunny Fl and I would set you some hot tea and crumpets and come out and sing along!

HennHouse said...

I would love to go caroling! The last time we had planned to go was a almost three years ago - the day we found out our baby had a life-threatening and permanently disabling birth defect. We didn't go caroling that night, but I would like to. I would really like to.

Mona said...

wow! I had no idea that there was a practice called carolling. Thanks for posting this. Now i know!

Shammickite said...

We did carrolling outside various local stores a couple of Chrismasses ago. It was fun and surprised a lot of shoppers. Interesting reponses. Some people stopped to listen and smiled and seemed to enjoy it, others barged past with no more than a glance in our direction.

Jules~ said...

How fun. It sounds like all went well. I don't recall ever caroling before. But I do remember a group of strangers showing up on our doorstep once to sing one song. Now I am blushing.....I remember I did feel pretty awkward and I didn't even open the door for them.