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Singing Carols!

Well... Christmas Eve! I can tell Christmas is getting closer because I’M GETTING SICK OF LISTENING TO CHRISTMAS CAROLS!!

The thing about Christmas music is that it’s really nice to listen to and sing along with... for a while... but after about two weeks of it, it starts getting on my nerves... And it’s mainly because they start before Thanksgiving.... And, after several weeks of being inundated with “Silent Night” and “The 12 Days of Christmas” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”, I want the singing to be OVER!

Well... Ok... except for that one Kodak moment... You know, where the whole family is together for the holidays, they’re all in the big living room, there’s a toasty fire in the fireplace, and everyone is standing around laughing and joking and nibbling on figgy pudding and eggnog... and suddenly, Uncle Henry, who studied piano at the Sorbonne where he learned how to play in that variable key that accommodates everybody’s singing voice and key, sits down at the baby grand and begins to play... everyone looks up and smiles, and begins to gravitate toward the music and the next thing you know, the entire family is gathered round, smiling and breaks into “Silent Night” in 6 part harmony and perfect pitch...

And as they’re singing, grandma gets a tear in her eye... because the family is together, the house looks great, and there’s the smell of turkey and apple pie and chestnuts roasting in the air, and the little ones are looking up at Mom and Dad with joy and delight in their eyes and even the siblings that have been feuding for years suddenly join hands and begin to sway with the music and everyone knows all the words...

Doesn’t that happen at your house every year??

Yeah... I know... mine either... Here’s what really happens...

First off, by the time Christmas Eve arrives, everyone is pretty well stressed out from all the commando shopping and rude crowds, and several family members are missing because they waited until the last minute and now they’re running around the mall like crazy people, going from store to store looking for the “perfect gift”...

Then, there’s always a couple of family members who never arrive on time because, and when they do arrive, several hours late, they’re stressed out and upset with us because we didn’t wait for them before opening presents... as if we would be able to keep the other 13 children whose parents DID arrive on time, from opening presents... Then, we try to find someone to play the piano that hasn’t been tuned for 17 years, that sounds funny because there are stuffed toys and old paper and an old dried out peanut butter and jelly sandwich inside the piano laying on the strings... and when you do find someone to play the piano, it turns into “After all the money we spent for piano lessons for all those years and you can’t remember how to play “Silent Night” annual discussion... and my suggestion that we put the CD of Christmas music into the CD player and sing along with that is greeted with “What? Are you kidding? That wouldn’t be the same!”

And the air if filled with the smells of wet boots, wet dogs, burning sweet potatoes, diapers wayyyyyyyyyy overdue for changing, assorted feet (because everybody’s boots are wet)... the sounds of 15 children on sugar overdose, the TV playing too loud, various family members renewing the same disagreements from last year and one dog that ate way too many green beans...

And then when we finally do get to the actual singing of carols, no one really remembers the words so we get that “hesitation singing...” You know.... “Silent Night... holy night... all is calm... it’s uh... hmmmm... It’s a sight...” And then there are those people who refuse to accept the solemnity of the occasion and instead try to make other people laugh by singing “We three kings of orient are, trying to smoke a rubber cigar” or “Jingle Bells, Santa smells...” and stuff like that... I don’t know WHO would do such a thing... jeez...

And then right in the middle of Silent Night, the one little kid brings everything to a halt by saying out loud... “WHO’S ROUND JOHN VIRGIN?” and everyone stops...

“Round John Virgin?” his mother asks... “Where did you hear that name?”

And he says, “You guys just sang it!! Round John Virgin, Mothering Child” and after everyone stops laughing, we resume with the jokers in the group trying to see how high they can get their voices to go in the “Sleep in heavenly peeeeeeaaaaaacccccce” part.... Accompanied by the one brother who thinks that the drum solo from “Inna Gada Da Vida” played on the piano top with a fork and a candy cane fits very nicely in there...

And finally, there’s that moment, when you’re done with the first verse, and the piano player begins to play the second verse and everyone does the “Silent night... holy night... “ and the voices kind of taper off and everyone stares at each other because... no one remembers the second verse!! Something about shepherds in an earthquake and heaven hosting a luau or something...

Nope... we have a much better tradition at our house... Every year, we gather around the Christmas tree, turn out the house lights, leave the Christmas tree lights on and we all join hands, and bow our heads and according to the prearranged assignments, we do our own version of that holiday classic...

The Barking Jingle Dogs Song!! (Ruff, Ruff, Ruff.... Ruff, Ruff, Ruff.... Ruff, Ruff, Ruff Ruff Ruff....)

And grandma gets a tear in her eye....

Mainly because her hearing aid is turned up too high and it’s squealing in her ear...

Yep... a Kodak moment...

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You got to love it ,because it happens every year somewhere , and we know it !!!!!!   Merry Christmas everybody !!!!!!!!

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