I’m a little behind on my 2013 posts. I’ve been a little distracted lately, but I think with this one, I’ll be all caught up. Last year we began a new tradition with our friends; we went Christmas caroling. We had such a good time we decided to make it an annual event. I LOVE CHRISTMAS CAROLS (okay, I’ll stop shouting now), but I do love them, especially Dean Martin. I wanted to start listening to them in October, but I decided I would make myself wait until after Thanksgiving, then I walked into some co-workers office before Thanksgiving and they were listening to them so I just couldn’t help but to jump on the Christmas Carol bandwagon. If you asked me to name a favorite serious Christmas Carol, I couldn’t do it because there are so many great ones. When I was in high school choir, Carol of the Bells was one of my favorites. I loved it because it had so many parts that crossed over each other, that it was like weaving a intricate tapestry. Mrs. Rose, the choir director, was so poised and beautiful. I remember watching her hands as she directed the song, bringing certain groups in and out, up and down as it would crescendo to a beautiful end. We had to stay on our toes and watch her every move to have it come out right, but it did, and oh boy was it a fun song to sing. The way we our caroling is, each person picks a Christmas Carol and picks who they want to surprise with caroling. Last year, my song was “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, which I love, love, love!!!! It’s a fun song and it makes me happy, so that’s the song I chose this year too. I know Christmas week is a busy week for everyone. We had some that couldn’t be with us because they were having Christmas early. We had some that wanted to skip caroling because they were stressed, or had to wrap, or a had hundred other things calling out for attention right before Christmas. But, like good friends do, we collectively guilted them with a million text messages, until they were succumbed by peer pressure (peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing). While we were waiting for everyone to show up (or cave in as the case may be), I had to endure peer pressure of my own. SOME people don’t think “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” as a Christmas Caroling worthy song. I beg to differ, oh yes I do, and stood my ground because dang it, I wanted to do a happy fun song! Hey, I was dealing with my own little package of Christmas stress, just like everyone else and when I’m stressed, nothing makes it better than a laugh or a smile. The main complaint was we butchered the song because not everyone knows it (or loves it) as well as I do. Okay granted, many were unfamiliar with it last year because it was our first time to carol, and maybe we do butcher it a little, but no worse than we butcher “Silent Night” which we could sing in our sleep. It’s not like we’re especially gifted in the singing department. We have a couple who can sing, but to my knowledge, none of us have albums out there or people clamoring at our door to open for Mariah Carey. We’re just a motley crew of friends who want to spread some Christmas cheer and if we have a good time doing it, all the better and nothing screams good time like “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”! Our stop was at my parent’s house. I helped Dad get Mom out to the porch then joined the group. They all whispered for me to start us off, but tears were streaming down my cheeks…. “Don’t cry, don’t cry” I told myself over and over, but I couldn’t stop it and I certainly couldn’t start us off because even my speaking voice sounds like a pipsqueak when I’m crying. Finally, someone saw I couldn’t do it, and began the happy tune for me. I never got the tears to stop, but I’ll never forget the sight of them standing there watching our motley crew butcher “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”.