Our Christmas Eve tradition

We always go caroling on Christmas Eve.  It’s a labor of love.

We make all the cookies.

We put cookies on little plates, wrap them with plastic wrap, and tie them with curly red and green ribbon.  (The worst part of the job is dealing with the plastic wrap!)

We bundle up.

We walk through the neighborhood singing, rather off-key, our limited selection of Christmas carols.

Some of the neighbors really like it, and that makes it fun and worth doing.

For those abroad who deserve details. . .

Joan and Antony next door had their porch light on and were waiting for us!  We sang, and they gave us gifts!  An adorable little sleigh made of candies and snowmen on bamboo skewers made of donuts!

We went up to the top of the hill to sing for the Z family.  As we drove up (yes, Scott let us DRIVE part of it this time!), a man whom we know wearing shorts and a T-shirt was walking down the hill, and another man was up closer to the house with a high-powered flashlight shining down the hill.  The man nearer to us stopped at our car and then realized who we were.  He was carrying a gun.  We went on up and sang.  Older Mr. Z was in his bathrobe, but seemed glad to see us.  There were a bunch of kids there.

Back home, we abandoned Big Blue and set out on foot.

The I family wasn’t home.

Eva and her companion, Remmi, were very excited to see us, and she gave us hugs all around.  They will be going later to midnight mass.  She said she hopes 2o13 is a better year for everyone.  A lot more hugs and smiles.

Bill and La and Phillip were home, and they were thrilled to see us.  More hugs and smiles.  They said it wasn’t Christmas Eve till the Roberts family came caroling.  = )

The W family was gone, as were Rex and Sue.  I was really sorry to miss them.  After all they’ve been through this year, I thought they might appreciate our traditional visit, but I’m guessing they were with family and/or at their church’s service.

Steve and Shelly’s family was ready and watching for us.  Like all the neighbors, they tolerated our singing (I think the cookies makes it easier to endure – ha!), and said they were glad we came.  They gave us a gift bag that we later found contained Branson Bean coffee, a lovely wooden tree ornament, and tiny box of raspberry chocolates.  Guess who will get those?

At that point, we went home and got Big Blue.  We went to Woods, but they weren’t home.  No “O Holy Night fiasco this year, although we did practice that one for them.  We learned that if you start it tuck-your-chin low, it can actually be done.

Next stop was Tracy’s house in Rockaway.  She has been terribly sick (mostly in bed) for a week with fever up to 104.5 and sinus infection.  She’s finally on the mend, and Drea got in from CO early this AM.  She wasn’t there at the time, so we sang to Tracy, and she gave Andrew a gift – a whole pan of fudge!

We stopped at Steve and Tara’s, but they weren’t home.

On the way back, we sang for Roxanne (on the far side of the bridge), and, despite our less than stellar harmony, she was really tickled.  Her friendly dog came out , but I protected the Llama’s legs.

Then it was up to Alms, who weren’t home, then Kirk and Carol’s.  They had grandkids there and had just started opening gifts, so we kept it short.

Rex and Sue still weren’t home, so we called it a lovely evening and went home.

We have learned that we sing “Joy to the World” and “Angels We have Heard on High” pretty well.  “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” is tolerable, but “O, Come All Ye Faithful” definitely is not.  We’re also okay on “Silent Night.”

So, in summary, Antony and Joan, Bill and La, and Tracy were all grand events.  I’m glad we did it.

When we got home and thawed out, Scott unveiled his “family” gift.  It’s actually for the Rendezvous, but he says it will live here till around March.  It’s a 1970s vintage baseball-themed pinball machine!  We are pretty sure it’s really a gift to Scott.  It is quite fun, and I can see that we’d better get the propane tank filled.  Even once all the wrapping is done – which, at 10 PM on Christmas Eve it is not – I can see that the playroom will be getting a lot of use.

We have plenty of wood stacked on the hearth, so as to keep a fire going all day on Christmas.  We’re expecting some 6+ inches of SNOW starting around supper time.  The only thing we’re low on is milk, but I told the guys they can either drink it all now and go without for a few days, or ration themselves and make it last till someone wants to face the Wal-Mart crowds.  The breakfast casserole is thawing, the pineapple is cut, the dishes are washed, and tomorrow we will use only styrofoam plates!  My goal is to wash NO dishes for at least 24 straight hours.

And to all, a good night.



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