Saturday, December 20, 2003

SATURDAY: FUNdamentals


A fun party right before Christmas is a combination of caroling and a road rally. Your office work group, civic club, golf buddies, Sunday School class, or any other gathering of adults should make a list of about five people you want to cheer up with a caroling excursion.

Who to carol to? It’s always a good idea to ask for the names of shut-ins from your church, or visit people from your workplace who have been sick, maybe some newlyweds, perhaps a retirement home, your child’s coach, your boss, or people you just plain like.

Call the people you’d like to carol and make sure they will be home that evening and are expecting you. Make your invitations, by phone or by mail. Now map out your itinerary based on where the “carolees� live.

Start the party at about 7 at your house, set up “carpools,� distribute maps and flashlights or candles with a safety “skirt� to protect against drips, and pile into cars. Gentlepersons, start your engines! Now drive from place to place, pile out and carol, and pile back in, feeling happy about brightening someone’s evening.

If anybody plays guitar and can bring it, that’d be great. You could photocopy words to 10 or 12 hymns and distribute them as well. Make the type size big enough to see in the dark! Keep each song to just one or two verses if you can. Short, but sweet, is the name of the game with caroling.

But here comes the funny part: bring the loudest battery-operated boom box you can with a recording of a huge choir doing a voices-only, or “a cappella,� Christmas song. As the cars arrive at each “carolee’s� house, turn on that song full blast. They’ll think there’s a choir of 500 people out on their front porch! Even if you only have four or five carolers, lip-sync the words as they open the door. You’ll all get a big laugh!

Then turn off the boom box, and share the real thing – your voices lifted in the best songs of all time, celebrating the best thing that ever happened – and best of all, you get to go back to the host’s house after everyone has been visited, for refreshments and more singing, if you wish.

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