Caroling, a Christmas tradition contemplated with nostalgia and fondness can, in reality, be an exhausting ordeal for the carolers as well as the carolees. One December, many moons ago, my husband cleaned up our big old farm truck so that the young parents and children from our church could brighten that wintry evening for the elderly and shut-ins.
As our crowd of carolers overwhelmed the smaller homes and apartments, some of the shut-ins had to be assisted out of their cozy chairs, or warm beds (at least one was down for the night, or so they’d thought) to stand on frigid porches, leaning on canes, clutching a shawl to their shoulders, to smile and wave, expressing their pleasure that yet another group brimming with Yuletide cheer had remembered them. I wondered if they later requested that the church remove their names from the list of shut-ins.
Those individuals with ample room invited us in for refreshments, insisting we share the trove of cookies we and other groups had brought them. It wasn’t long before the children launched into sugar highs and we adults, who hated to disappoint our hosts, began to feel rather ill from all the treats we’d consumed–worsened by the jouncing truck.