We kicked off our yearly caroling last night. Caroling has become my favorite Christmas activity that we do as a family. I feel compelled to do it, though it also feels somewhat awkward to do it. If we were caroling in a large group, it would feel a little more comfortable to me, I think. But with our little family of 6, I often wonder if we are truly blessing anyone other than my mama or if some people really just wish we would hurry up and leave.
But still, we persist because it somehow seems important.
So last night, we drove down our driveway just after 7 pm and stopped at Aunt Jane’s trailer. Her car was in the driveway and her windows were pitch black.
****Note to selves — must stop by Aunt Jane’s before dark to catch her before bedtime.
Then, we drove down the road to my in-laws house. Going up the driveway, I realized it was Wednesday night . . . . . choir practice night for my mother-in-law. We turned around and went back down the driveway.
****Note to selves —- Wednesdays are not good nights to carol Baptists or Methodists with choir practice.
We went to my mama’s house next, and I was sure she was home because she has been sick and can’t go anywhere to escape us. Mama is a good one to start with anyway because she is mama and will overlook our first caroling foibles — like when Sidney left his pick in the truck and we had to stop in the middle for him to go get it. Or the awkward pause while waiting for Lincoln to get his strumstick out of its case. Or Rachel’s huge, open-mouthed yawns. Or my off-key notes.
****Note to selves —-have all instruments out and ready to go and I should just lip-sync.
Then we caroled my brother and sister-in-law. Other than waiting for my brother to come outside and put up his very, large, scary-sounding dog, that caroling stop went smoother.
****Note to selves —- perhaps we should call owners of big, scary dogs ahead of time.
I was feeling pretty good when we pulled into Aunt Sylvia’s driveway. I saw her at the door looking out at our truck for a moment before she disappeared. I assumed she went to tell Uncle Steve that we were there. We approached her door and knocked.
It began to dawn on me that she might not know who we were. It was dark and if she was home alone, she may be afraid to answer the door. Just as I was about to pull out the cell phone to call her, she peeked out the door and recognized us.
With her phone glued to her ear and an embarrassed smile, she let us in.
“It’s okay. It’s just Sid and Tina’s family here to sing for us,” she says into the phone.
Getting off the phone, she explains that they had seen a mysterious truck driving aimlessly around the neighborhood and they were suspicious that the houses were being cased for robbery. So, when we pulled up, she got scared.
We apologized and then launched into songs about peace and joy.
I hope it calmed poor Aunt Sylvia’s racing heart.
****Note to selves —- definitely come prepared with cell phone and phone numbers to warn caroling victims of their impending doom.
Oh well, we get a little smarter every year we do this.
We love you, Aunt Sylvia. We are very sorry that we were scary.