Family Magazine

Caroling Party

By Sherwoods
Last night we hosted our fourth annual caroling party.  I'm not a big Christmas gift-giving person, so our gift to everyone is doughnuts, hot chocolate, hot cider, and caroling.  I figure if people don't want our gift, that's their choice, but it's offered to all. 
Caroling Party
This is our first party in Tashkent, so I was a little nervous about having enough guests to make a nice, loud chorus, but we had a very nice-sized crowd come to sing.  Not too many people to make the house unpleasantly crowded, but enough that everyone had a friend to talk to.
Caroling Party
I made doughnuts, as always.  Because if you want to people to come to your party, doughnuts are always a good way to attract a crowd - especially when the nearest Krispy Kreme is a plane ride away. 
Caroling Party
Also doughnuts are a part of my Christmas heritage.  My mother never baked for Christmas either, instead spending the Saturday before Christmas delivering boxes of fresh doughnuts to our friends and neighbors.  "There's a reason Krispy Kreme comes in red and green boxes," she would say with a smile as she stuck a Merry Christmas label on the box before handing it to one of us children to run to a door. 
Caroling Party
This year I also had a friend making fresh crepes.  Because if fresh doughnuts are good, fresh crepes and fresh doughnuts are even better!
Caroling Party
We scored several large juniper branches that were set out for trash on our neighbor's curb for greenery.  I supplemented with blue spruce and pine from a friend's yard and we were able to decorate the house nicely.  I love Christmas decorating. 
Caroling Party
This year I roped Kathleen into playing the carols.  She practices a lot more than me - and by a lot I mean at all - and has reached the age of useful playing ability.  I offered to split with her when she was a little daunted by playing all fourteen carols, so we switched at the half.  I got to experience the pleasure of a parent who sees their children become contributing members of the community as I watched her play for the crowd.
Caroling Party
Everyone had a fun time eating, drinking hot chocolate, and socializing before getting down to the main event, which was enthusiastically participated in.  We had the windows open, and I imagined what the neighbors were thinking as our shouts of 'fiiiiive goooooolden rings!' floated out into the Uzbek evening air.
Caroling Party
By the end of the evening, everyone had eaten, drunk, sung, talked, played, and had a great time.  Every time I'm in the middle of preparation for a large event like this, I always wonder why in heaven's name I thought it was a good idea to host another event.  But after all is done and I get to enjoy the company and good times together, I always decide again that yes, it was a good idea.
Caroling Party
But as we rolled into bed that night after tidying up, Brandon turned to me and sighed.  "Do you know what is great? We don't have to host a caroling part until next year!" And I had to agree with him, if only a little bit.

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