40 Years of Caroling Craziness Continues!

For the 40th year in a row, I joined some “old” friends (that is, as old as me) for another round of Christmas caroling in my old ‘hood where I grew up.

Way back when, when I was a young wascally wabbit in junior high school, a group of my classmates who lived in my neighborhood decided to go Christmas caroling. We took it so seriously. We had printed lyrics to over 40 carols. We got together for weeks in advance to rehearse. We sang our hearts out.

We had so much fun, and our parents enjoyed sharing the joy with us, that we kept doing it. All through high school. Then when we graduated, we challenged each other that we would return to sing next year… and we did. And we did and we did and we did and we did… every.single.year since 1972. Amazing. And the beat goes on…

These days, our singing is far worse than it was 40 years ago. Our tolerance of cold weather is far less. Our disabilities show… standing for an hour is long enough. I really don’t know how we did it in four-hour stretches on multiple nights back in the day… ahhh… the enthusiasm of youth.

One of my former classmates bought his parent’s house. Same neighborhood where we grew up, next door to the house in which I grew up. This is where we stage our current antics, and party afterwards. Eighteen of “the originals” attended Saturday night, including six of them who live in distant towns but flew back just for this event (and to stay in the area through Christmas to visit their families). Our group warmly welcomed spouses and several children — and even a few grandchildren — of our original group. All totaled, 40 of us became carolers Saturday night. What a blast!

A few years ago, we decided to do our caroling for the parents of our classmates where they live now, rather than go door-to-door in the old ‘hood — whose residents we no longer know since most homes have changed owners at least once if not more. (Though the woman who babysat for me and my siblings still lives there, so on my request, we sang a couple songs for her. That was sweet — and she still makes the best tollhouse cookies on the planet!)

We make arrangements to visit the parents of some of our classmates who live in one of two retirement communities in the area. We met at our friend’s house and then drove over — carpool style in a VW bus (memories of old days; a classmate restored one) — as well as more current minivans and yuppiemobiles.

We sang four Christmas carols in one place and four in the other. Once again, my friends asked me to sing Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle which means You Come Down From The Stars. It is an old Italian folk song, sung at Christmas. My singing this is tradition — but I so miss my twin brother’s harmonizing voice!

Perhaps our visits in each location were brief, but the joy was huge. We laughed, smiled, and shared memories. It was so good to see some of my classmates in person who I only interact with occasionally on Facebook these days. Their children learned that their parents weren’t the stodgy old farts that they appear to be today!

This is such a fun holiday tradition that we never want to end. I am glad that I went. It surely rekindled my Christmas spirit. I wish my fiance would have joined me, but he hates crowds and is not a people person.

Oh, what did I wear? The usual… nice pair of leather jeans, comfortable boots to stand in (Chip Firefighters), denim shirt, and a warm leather motorcycle jacket (my Langlitz). No big deal, and consistent with my usual attire of many years in doing this.

Life is short: share joy of your roots. Merry Christmas!

1 thought on “40 Years of Caroling Craziness Continues!

  1. Once again and again, I sure miss this. I can’t say that I have a harmonizing voice, but I still remember the words to that Italian folk song, and can still strum its notes on a guitar.

    Missing you this Christmas, but looking forward to being with you and your fiance for at least a week in April when you marry. I am stoked about being your Best Man.

    Meanwhile, Christmas this year for us will be with my wife’s family in Cortina D’Ampezzo. I will try to ski again. Wish me luck and no broken bones!

    Ore e sempre,

    J

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