At our house, we have many traditions during the Christmas season. One of our favorites is our annual Caroling party. It started when my youngest was in preschool. My husband and I wanted our kids to know Christmas was not about getting things, but giving of ourselves. We wanted to teach our kids that Santa was fun and to be loved, but the baby Jesus was the reason for the season and we needed to find a way to show our love to others. We chose a caroling outing!
This Sunday we will host our 25th Caroling party! The must haves for the party seem endless; meatballs top the list, Apricot brandy slush comes in a fast second and pictures of guests in our antique sleigh on the front porch is right up there with must do!
Our schedule of places to stop to sing is an ever changing and shifting list. We visit a few older folks each year, but it is the weary young families we love to surprise! Our group gathers in front of our church to pile unto our open trailer and off we go, bundled against the weather and flashlights to light up the night.
Our singing ranges from boistrous "Here comes Santa Claus" to more sedate "Silent Night." We traditionally excel with Rudolph and Jingle Bells and always end each stop with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!"
Last year my granddaughters surprised us by wanting to add to our Caroling party. They wanted to host a charity drive. All I could think of was, "Wow." Our guests eagerly contributed to the cause and we delivered a trunk full of donated supplies to a homeless shelter the following day. I was so moved by my granddaughters caring for others at the age of eight!
This year Alex and Kylie chose to continue their charity work. Our guests have been asked to bring new or slightly used coats, boots, hats, gloves, etc. for Hope Haven, a homeless shelter in a neighboring town. These gifts will take up a bit more room than the cleaning supplies and paper products they asked for last year. But we will gladly find the room to accommodate the contributions.
To say I'm proud of my granddaughters is an understatement! They understand "giving" better than I ever did at that age. I can only imagine what can become of this learning experience. I feel the future is in good hands because I know they are not the only caring children around. Many, many kids are aware of the needs of others and they don't ignore the need, they do something about it!
And isn't that one of the joys of the season ~ sharing our bounty with others so all may enjoy life to its fullest.
Til next time ~