Just as I tuck my daughters in bed last night, the doorbell rings. My husband opens the door, and a gust of icy air enters. We can feel it all the way up into the bedrooms. Who would come by so late on such a cold evening?
Then, the singing starts. I peek down the stairs, and a half moon of carolers stands on my front porch singing, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," and then, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
I hurry to nudge the children out of their warm beds. We gather on the stairs and crane our necks to see the carolers. Even the cats come to witness this event.
My youngest asks, "Mommy why are they doing this?"
"They are carolers caroling!" I tell her.
To carol means to sing a joyous religious song, and last night, we had a dozen carolers caroling. It felt like we'd been visited for a special reason--like an unexpected celebration arrived at our home. Each carol told a story, a narrative, about Christ's birth or some celebration surrounding the Christmas season.
I suddenly want to teach my children all the old carols. I want to transport them back in time to when folks honored the birth of Jesus with the kind of singing that went out through the towns and villages on Christmas Eve. They rejoiced with carols.
I want to rejoice like that. I want to broadcast that ecstatic joy--the kind that knocks on a stranger's door in the cold night and sings out.
I love that Christmas carols remind me of something I'd forgotten: I rejoice in Christmas. I open wide the door of my home and heart and let the celebration in.
Photo: Bolas Navidenas -- Kris de Curtis (Creative Commons)