Friday, December 23, 2005

The Joys of Christmas Caroling

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

You can usually tell that Christmas is coming when Christmas decorations begin to sprout like summer weeds on light posts and in store windows earlier and earlier in November. Next, the mall stores begin playing instrumental versions of traditional Christmas songs. Finally, the radio stations start to rotate in hymns and carols.

For too many, this sequence of the commercial Christmas misses one of the greatest joys of the spiritual Christmas -- joining with others to visit family, friends and fellow church members to serenade with Christmas carols.

My first memories of this wonderful tradition date back to being a youngster when unexpected groups would appear on our front lawn and begin the sweet strains of Silent Night. To me, it was more exciting than Santa Claus . . . because I never got to see Mr. Claus. I thought it was so amazing that people would take time out to come sing to us about Christmas!

Later, I would receive regular invitations to go caroling. I can remember just like it was yesterday the tears in some peoples' eyes as we arrived. Some people must have expected us because we would be invited in for a warm up and some hot cocoa. There was always lots of excited chatting about how much we all were enjoying the caroling.

In my little town, caroling is well established as a tradition. In mid-December, everyone is invited for an hour's outdoor sing (it gets cold here so most people are ready to go after an hour). For those who are rusty on the verses, there are handouts. A number of the high school students get together to provide instrumental accompaniment. But best of all, someone always hands out candles with drip papers so we can enjoy the candlelight as we sing. That's another traditional element that I enjoy. Near the end of the event, someone always points over to the nearby church and reminds us that a pastor of that church authored one of the most famous carols . . . and then we sing it. Can you guess which carol it is?

We also gather in the library for an indoor version of the same event. In the warmth, lusty voices vibrate with love and caring.

I try to attend both events each year. Travels this year kept me from being able to do so.

Maybe I'll just go out and sing solo for the neighbors on Christmas Eve!

If you haven't gone caroling yet this year, gather up your buddies and get going!

Could a billionaire do better? Not a chance!


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May God bless you. Merry Christmas!

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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