Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Yesterday for Family Home Evening we baked some white-chocolate-chip-candy-cane cookies while Daddy was at his last HOA meeting of the year (and basically ever because he resigned (which we're all kind of happy about (not that it was hard; it was just another thing and we don't need another thing cluttering up our calendar right now (grad school is enough for us)))).

We were hoping to go caroling to deliver them to our neighbours but, honestly, baking cookies with three little ones was enough of a project for the evening. Rachel is, thankfully, old enough to actually be helpful, though sometimes she wants to help a little more than I'd like her to. She insisted on cracking the eggs, for example, which might've gone a little faster and been a little less messy if I had cracked the eggs myself (but I know it's important for her to do these things so I let her even if it means I have to back away and take deep cleansing breaths). Patience is one of those things I'm constantly working on and since mine was all used up by the time Andrew came home, we just read stories and got ready for bed instead of going caroling.

Today Miriam and I made up plates and printed out labels (so we'd remember who got which plate) and when Daddy came home from work/school we went out caroling. Our song of choice was "Jingle Bells" since both Rachel and I are pretty good at playing that on the ukulele.

We also made some little sleigh bell shakers for Miriam and Benjamin to jingle during the song since the bells that we ordered (three weeks ago, but who's counting) finally arrived.

When Rachel asked if she could bring her ukulele along, Andrew originally said no (even though I was planning on bringing them), and Rachel said, "That would be really dumb, Dad, to just go and sing at people's houses without any sort of instrument actually making music. Like, no piano or ukulele or trumpet or anything? No one does that."

"You can bring your ukulele," I told her. "I was planning on that, anyway, but when we go out with the Adamsons next week we probably won't bring our ukuleles. We'll just sing a cappella, which means without having any instrument playing along. It's a thing."

So, tonight we headed out with our ukuleles and sleigh bells and delivered 11 plates of cookies to various families in our neighbourhood and beyond.

I will admit that I felt a little awkward to ring people's doorbells and expect them listen to our family perform but I think that everyone we caroled to enjoyed it. It was fun to see their face light up with the surprise at having a five-person band appear on their doorstep (not that we're incredibly talented...just that it's fun to have music delivered to your door). A few families said they had never been caroled to (it's a dying art, apparently) and others shared some memories of caroling with us (our neighbour's family would drive their tractor around with a trailer on the back filled with hay bails for seating; they'd drive around collecting neighours to increase their caroling choir as they drove around their agrarian neighbourhood (he said he wished he had a tractor so we could do the same)).

Our home teacher invited us in for a chat, even though he'd been home sick all day. His wife had to put the dog outside because the girls were absolutely freaking out about it. But all three kids enjoyed the cats. Benjamin was playing peek-a-boo with one of their younger cats. It was slinking around the living room and he was chasing it, yelling, "Boo!" He had a great time!

They sent us home with a Christmas treat for ourselves, which Benjamin carried to the car for us. He fell asleep on the way home but was still clutching the little treat bag. I tried to remove it from his fist so that I could unbuckle his seatbelt but the minute he sensed it slipping out of his grip he woke up and snatched it back, declaring, "MY! MY! MY!"

It was certainly a fun evening and I hope the girls made some good memories. Caroling is something that I'd like to become more of a tradition for our family and whether or not Andrew is as enthusiastic about that idea as I am he's certainly being a good sport about it.

I don't remember ever going caroling in Alberta as a family, but I did think back to many years ago when my family once went caroling in British Columbia. We had just made it to the Anderson's house, I believe, and poor Patrick (who was maybe two) got sick and threw up all over the van so instead of merely caroling we ended up borrowing cleaning supplies so that we could get the interior of the van to the point where we could stand getting back inside.

I'm sure that memory surfaced only because of the situation I found myself in last night (ie. covered in vomit). I'm pretty sure Benjamin must've eaten a bad apple now because he was fairly fine all day (aside from being a grumpy boar) and no one else is feeling even remotely ill. With any luck it will stay that way!


  1. and mine.

    What a sweet thing to do!

  2. I went caroling in Alberta as a child...which is why I was not a big fan of caroling in Alberta with my kids. Because...brrrr! Have you seen their weather? Colder than the north pole!

    1. I figured that was the reason we never went in Alberta. And, yes. I'm a super-fan of living in the south right now. I like this weather MUCH better than Alberta's. :)

    2. Haha! I didn't even think of the weather. We used to go all the time in Arizona. Since I moved north, never :)

    3. Well, I think that true carolers would bring Christmas cheer whatever the weather, kind of like the postman with his neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor snow...but I am too much a cold-weather-wuss for that kind of attitude!