Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our Christmas Caroling Troop.

Tonight I attended an oyster roast at my pal June's house. June and I have known each other for almost ten years, and her daughter has been one of my favorite kids since I was in graduate school and I took care of Baby Julia at a Montessori preschool - my day job at the time.

Anyhoo, Julia had a few girls over during the party. Like most preteen girls, they were sitting around, looking terribly bored and complaining there was nothing to do except fiddle with their iPods and gossip.

I tried to steer the conversation into a different direction. First, I asked what they all wanted for Christmas. They all said they wanted tablets, preferably iPads. Sigh. I knew I had to get them out of the house. Eventually, I did.

First we played hide and seek, the trusted standby. I found very few places that would accept my five-foot-nine body quite as easily as the old days, but it was fun nevertheless. My adult friends who were also at the party were highly amused at my willingness to hang out with the kids, but hey. Eleven-year-old girls are fun.

TV tag came next (I think they may have made up a few television shows) and then, on a whim, I blurted out the winning idea of the night.

"Let's go caroling!" I said, without really thinking it through.

"YEAH!" They shouted in unison. I was officially committed.

Of course, there were many occasions when i was a kid that I caroled around the neighborhood I grew up in - mostly with my little sister and my friend Gayden, plus her brother - but it had been absolutely years since I'd attempted knocking on doors and singing songs. But I couldn't let the girls down. We were doing it, even in the 75 degree weather and no real plan of a setlist.

And in the end, it all worked out. We sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Deck the Halls and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, plus a round of Frosty the Snowman on the way home. We managed to pick up a couple of extra singers at one point and got a few photos of the group in full force. I'd say it was a success. The girls had a blast. Frankly, so did I.

Sure, it could have been a chillier night. And we could have been more organized and more in tune. But none of it mattered. The neighbors loved it. 

"This is SO fun!" the girls told me, as they skipped down the street to the next house with white lights. "Thank you for suggesting this!"

I have to admit, I felt triumphant. I mean, if I can convince preteen girls that there are more adventures to be had in this life besides sitting around the living room and griping because your mother won't buy you a smart phone, then that's pretty dang cool.

Now I can't get Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer out of my head.

Fa la la! 

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