Thursday, December 24, 2009
A Carolling Pub Crawl
This past Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of attending a Carolling Party hosted by the lovely Hooper family. It is an annual event full of carols, raising money for the Foodbank, hanging with friendly people, and drinking delicious mulled wine after a chilly evening singing outside. I know it is not intentional, but the party always seems to be hosted on one of the coldest day of the year. This year was no exception. I am aware of this fact every year and each year I bring more and more layers, however, I still end up being quite chilled at the end of our run! Since it was more of a casual get-together, instead of an intricately scheduled carolling extravaganza, we had a mental list of houses we wanted to hit in the area because they were either were friends of the Hoopers or they enjoyed our singing in the previous years.
The first few houses were very nice, people in their cozy housecoats watched us from behind their screen door (in order to not let the warm air from their home escape). A few houses later we were invited indoors to sing for the Christmas dinner that was going on. They were all so enthusiastic that they beckoned us to enter and a group of 15 or so carollers stepped into their home while trying to shake the excess snow off our boots to avoid leaving mass puddles in their doorway. It warmed my heart to see the eager face of their Grandma listen to us as she held onto the back of the nearby chair for support and listened to us sing. We sang some carols and a man from the stairs proudly announced at the end of our tune: "I have sherry!" He weaved through the mob of carollers in his front hallway to break out the booze, and before I knew it, a plastic wine glass was being offered to me and the sherry bottle was being passed around. It was awesome. The sherry didn't warm my numb toes but it definitely warmed me up inside.
After this home, it was back out into the cold. We did a few more homes, collecting donations for the Foodbank along the way, but our last stop was a Christmas party we were pre-scheduled to hit. The house was brimming with people and they urged us to come in. Thus, we shook off our boots again and walked down the main corridor all the way into the kitchen at the back of the house. Everybody was excited to see us and we sang a few carols, taking requests, of course. In between songs, styrofoam cups were handed out and a bottle of Baileys was passed down the carolling line so we could top up our cup. As well, once news circulated that we were collecting for the Edmonton Foodbank, actual cash was being placed in our mitten-covered hands. Their generosity was overwhelming! Platters of crackers, cheese, and meat were also being offered to us as well! If I have learned anything in all my years of singing it is that there's nothing better than singing and free food! After the Baileys, I was sufficiently warm, and since we were singing indoors, my feet were warming up as well! We headed back outside and proceeded to go back to the Hooper house for mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. Delicious!
I didn't expect there to be such generous amounts of alcohol available every step of the way for our carolling party but this carolling-party-turned-carolling-pub-crawl was very enjoyable indeed! Plus, we were able to raise money and collect donations for a good cause!
At any rate, I hope you all are having a very happy holiday and take care!