This Monday is our family’s annual Christmas Caroling party. We invite a bunch of people over, and whoever makes it, makes it. I fill up about a dozen crockpots of delicious hot drinks, and we wander the neighborhood singing Christmas carols. We get all sorts of responses. We’ve had people leave their car doors open and run from us into their house. We’ve had people stand outside their door and record the caroling the caroling. We’ve had people slam the door in our faces, and we’ve had people crying and singing along.
Our last year in Juneau formed my favorite memory: We stopped by our last house, and when the door was opened, the man in the recliner down the hall that we could see jumped up and screamed! We’ve seen some weird things caroling, so we just went for it. He then grabbed his jacket off the hook in the hall and cried out, “I’m coming with you!”
He shoved past the woman in the door way and wrapped himself up in his Carhartt jacket and waved goofily at his wife. “I’ve been waiting for you all year! I promised myself last year I’d join you. And the year before that. And the year before that! By gum, I’m doing it this year!” His smile was goofy as he clapped his hands against the Alaskan cold. “So where to?”
All within earshot laughed and looked at me. We’d already been caroling for over an hour and were ready to go home to freshen our cocoas. I just shrugged and said, “We haven’t been down this street yet. Let’s do one more before we head home.”
And suddenly, in the spirit of Christmas, this complete and utter stranger was enveloped into our circle of friends. He came home with us, filled a paper cup with warmth and talked and laughed with strangers.
We moved away from Juneau six months later, but we continued our caroling tradition in our new neighborhood with new friends last year. There were more people awkwardly looking out their windows than smiling and singing along, but if there is only one person we can bring the Christmas spirit to, this is totally worth it.
In the hyperlink at the very top and the very bottom of this blog is my booklet of carols we’ll be doing. Feel free to download it and use it to your heart’s content.