Each year on Christmas Eve, we would load up the car with baskets of homemade jellies and head out to make deliveries. Crisscrossing the city, we got to see the light displays on homes, frantic last-minute shoppers, and the very rare sprinkling of snow flakes. And the entire time we sang carols. Oh Come All Ye Faithful, The First Noel, Silent Night, and my personal favorite, Good King Wenceslas – all the verses! It felt like a combination of being Santa in his sleigh, and being in a movie where people broke out in song.
Although I’m a soprano and accustomed to singing the melody, I would sometimes sing harmony to make our small chorus sound more complex. By the time we got to the first house, we must have been feeling pretty confident, because we started singing on the front porch as we rang the bell. And since no one wants to stand in their open door for long on a cold December night, we were ushered in quickly.
Door-step caroling became our tradition, and we found that singing our signature carol, Joy to the World, was anticipated. Sometimes, we’d just start singing on the front porch without ringing the bell, and wait for the door to be thrown open by smiling family. I recall a few times when our cousins would open the door, express mock disgust (at least I hope it was mock), and then close the door again. I think they just wanted to see how long we could go on singing.
After a long night out, we’d finally head home to get to sleep so Santa would come. Tucked into bed, humming carols, with visions of sugar plums.