I was a sophomore in high school and a member of the cheerleading squad. We decided that as part of the Christmas season, we would get together out of a sense of “goodwill towards men” and go caroling. Dressed warmly for the weather, a handful of Christmas carols up our sleeves, we set out upon the neighbors directly across the street from Severna Park High School and began to ring doorbells and sing some of our favorite Christmas songs.
The night was off to a good start. People listened at the doors as we mostly got the lyrics right, and as we went from house to house, there was a sense of kindness in the air. It’s an old-fashioned tradition, but one that need not go away, for it brings such joy to people.
For joy it did bring. We came upon a particular house, rang the doorbell, and a sweet older woman opened the door. She and her husband stood at the door and listened. They smiled and looked at each other as we sang a couple of songs for her. When we were done, she thanked us for coming and asked us to come inside to get warm and have cookies she just baked.
I can still recall sitting in her living room as she praised us and thanked us for continuing the lovely tradition of caroling. She offered us cookies and hot chocolate, and we all sat there in a circle in her living room chatting while we ate and talked.
It remains one of my fondest Christmas memories from high school. If I could have, I would have bottled up that moment and preserved it forever. You can’t imagine how much joy we brought her and her husband that one night.
The irony of this story is that we are now back living in Severna Park. My daughter has been invited by her friend to go Christmas Caroling this week. That mere fact led me to tell her the very story I just told you, and I said she must go.
“But I have tennis,” she said to me.
I love tennis, don’t get me wrong, but you don’t want to miss out on a moment like this. It has the potential to stay with you for a lifetime, after all.