So last night our parish (our neighbors who are members of the same church as us) had a caroling and Christmas party. Erin and Brent were able to bundle up in their long underwear, sweaters, scarves, caps, and mittens and join in on the fun. The snow we'd been missing for a week was returning in perfect Christmas-caroling form. Our neighborhood is made up of one hill after another and I heard later that the carolers made it up and down quite a few. There's one street that is on a hill that gets so steep that it dead-ends part way down. A couple of houses are tucked in the steep part close to the dead-end. Many of the neighbors don't even know they are there.
One of these homes is owned by an elderly couple. The wife is a quilter and the husband is a golfer (he's 85 and he golfed 85 rounds of golf this year.) They are also regular customers of my dh. Last night the carolers made it down to their dark, quiet side of the hill, rang the doorbell, and commenced singing some hearty Christmas carols. They sang two songs to this appreciative couple. After the singing, the couple said thanks and asked who they were. The singers hadn't rehearsed a unified answer and so the shouts jumbled into nothing. So my dh went up to the door and greeted them by name and told them his. They shouted his name back in exclamation and each gave him a big hug. The old gentleman had tears in his eyes as he thanked my husband and told him that in all the years that they had lived there, they had never had carolers stop. You can bet that won't happen again as long as our parish keeps caroling together.
And of course, there are those who have their homes all decked out in bright shining Christmas finery. Their outdoor lights make a grand display and their decorated tree in the living room shimmers cheerfully through the front window for all to admire; but when carolers stop, ring the doorbell, and start singing, the resident is spotted peeking through the window in the door without opening it. Soon it looks as if he and others are trying to sneak to a less conspicuous spot in the house; suggesting to the choir that this place knows not what they are celebrating.
My son and I drove down to join in on the after-caroling fun of goodies and fellowship. We were delighted to find the carolers next door to the "party house" still singing away. We were able to run over and sing their last song with them, 'O Come all Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant!'