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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Joy a Christmas Carol Brings and What Mr. Smarty Pants Needs to Understand

A friend of ours had an awesome idea a couple of weeks ago. He thought it would be fun if we all got together and went Christmas caroling. I vaguely remember caroling with the church when I was young. I haven't heard of anyone caroling in years, probably because our society is so busy, it's hard to get enough people together to go caroling and because families are always on the go and aren't home as much. Well, maybe they are, but it doesn't seem like it. I hear people talking about their schedules and I swear it seems they have every second of every day scheduled to the hilt and beyond. As luck has it, we were all free for the evening he chose to carol, except one couple who were battling the flu. Each couple chose a carol, printed the lyrics and chose a friend or family member's house to carol. I immediately knew what carol I wanted to sing.... I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. When I told him (with much excitement) the carol I had chosen, he gave
 me a typical deadpan male look. He thought I was kidding, but I wasn't kidding, that was the song I wanted to sing. Then he informed me in what I felt was kind of a  superior kinda way, that we couldn't sing it because.... "It's not a carol"  Says who?! Is there a criteria of what constitutes a carol and what doesn't? Will the Christmas carol police arrest us if we vary from Away in the Manger and sing something with a little more pep that will bring absolute joy and laughter to both the carolers and the carolee's? The rebel in me just wanted to sing it just that much more and see exactly what would
happen if we went against tradition. So the carolers gathered Sunday night with lyrics in hand and gave the carols a quick run through.... Talented we are not, but what we lacked in talent we made up for with spirit of cheer and goodwill. Each family had checked to make sure the carolee's would be home without telling them why we needed to know. We would arrive at our selected destination, ring the doorbell and when they answered announce that we had come to carol them. We sang two carols per house, the pre-selected carol of choice and silent night.  Each and every carolee seemed surprised and delighted (although they may have just been cutting us some slack because they felt sorry for the talent we lacked). All of the carols were traditional Christmas songs except for mine of course. When we got to my friends house, she came out on the porch and gave me a hug and looked behind me at the menagerie and asked.... "Jaquetta Jane what are y'all doing?" There was a little hysteria in her voice as I'm sure she thought we were just going to invade her house without warning. I told her we were going to carol her and I stepped back with the group to begin our song. She had tons of questions, as I knew she would, but I just assured her we would visit later and I'd explain in detail how this all came together. We began to sing I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas and finished with Silent Night. She said..... "Oh Jaquetta Jane, you made me cry!" Bingo! I knew she would. My husband was a little concerned that the singing of I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas could bring someone to tears, but what do you expect, that's just how much joy that songs projects. I do believe we've begun another group tradition which means we have many more memories to make and share.  Maybe you'll be the lucky carolee next year :-)

PS: I Wikipedia'd it and this is how they define a Christmas carol Mr. Smarty Pants...

Christmas carol (also called a noël) is a carol (song or hymn) whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general and which are traditionally sung in the period before Christmas.

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