"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Carols

      I miss singing Christmas Carols.
Sounds ridiculous, right? When I was teaching music, we sang carols throughout the month of December in every class.  The littlest kids started out with Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Ten Little Angels, Away in A Manger, We Wish You A Merry Christmas. By the time they were in 5th grade, they knew all the Christmas songs and the Christmas Carols, a couple of Hannuka songs and several carols in different languages.  I'll admit to growing weary of The 12 Days of Christmas, but that was the only one. It's too long...except for the Straight No Chaser version. That, I like.

      There was one time, in a Christmas program, when everyone in the audience had a number on their chair and they and the students divided into groups on the gym floor and each group had to think up a group action for their number in The Twelve Days of Christmas. I believe they had five minutes to do this. It was tons of fun, and lots of laughs.

     Also, we were not supposed to do the Nativity Scene in Christmas/Winter programs, but we always did. I never failed to have many, many parents come up to me after the program and thank me for keeping the Nativity in the show. No, I was never told, by anyone, to leave it out either. So, there's that. This is the Bible Belt, not the east coast. That's the way we rock here.
       I tried to keep things in balance, sometimes doing the famous "The Nutcracker (with apologies to Tchaikovsky)".  That included original dances performed to the traditional music; lots of costumes and props, clowns, elves, ballerinas, orange jugglers, hula hoop artists, umbrella dancers, Christmas trees, the whole nine yards.

     But even in The Nutcracker, at the very end, we had a reading of the story, a holy family, and each of the dancing groups sent up a representative to offer a token of their talents to the holy child. That was one of my favorites of all the programs. (The little umbrella girls danced to the music of the Chinese Tea, from Nutcracker. If you know the song, I'm sure you can imagine it.)
     But, I digress, let's go back to the carols.

     In our Catholic church, we sang only Advent songs right up until Christmas Eve Mass. Advent songs are slow, sometimes sad (for some reason), and do not bring joy to either the listener or the singer. Bless us and save us! I understand the concept: Advent is a time to practice patience. But let me tell you, when everyone in the world around you is singing Christmas songs, jingling bells, buying presents, hanging lights, dancing around a lighted tree and caroling in the dark, having a non-Christmas house and somber music at church is downright depressing.
      Then, after December 25, when everyone else has taken down the tree and the lights, and all the Christmas music is over and done.....then we sang carols and decorated the tree. Then it was Christmas.
    No. We managed to do that for about one year and then I refused to be part of it. Enough is enough and being out of sync with everyone in the surrounding area only breeds resentment. Resentment breeds ill-will and ill-will breeds misbehavior and so on and so forth. At least, it did at our house. But I had carols to sing at school, and hopefully my kids did too.  Now that I am not teaching anymore I hear only "Holiday Songs", not carols.  I search through the radio stations until I find one that is playing some carols. I tune Pandora to a carol station. I sing along. That is not enough. If I have to hear "Santa Baby" one more time I may jump out the window.
      I want to sing carols with other people who know the words and sing them loud and clear....with harmony. I guess I will have to organize a caroling group. I actually think the singalong group went caroling the other night. Unfortunately, I forgot all about it until about 1:00 at night. Sheesh. What can I say? It was a tremendous day at the spice shop and I was so tired I could hardly find my way to my little bed that night. My one chance and I blew it.
      Alrighty then. Here we go. Everyone jump in and let's sing this together. The first verse has some breaks in it but hang in there.

1 comment:

Nutmegger said...

You do have a standing invitation to come and sing carols with my flock and friends on Christmas Eve Day. We will be at the local nursing home singing with and for those faithful souls who sang every Christmas Eve of their lives. It is a Christmas Spirit filled affair. This year we are also doing the Nativity play. Hop a plane if you can.:) Love you Erica