It amazes me at times when I think back to some of the stuff I did as a kid. Either my parents were a pair of progressive, easy going nut-jobs, or they just had faith that the universe would take care of us. Hmmm, that’s kind of the same thing.

Anyway, last night while driving home I thought of a Christmas tradition that my sister and I did for quite a few years. We would gather the kids who lived next door, put in an hour or so of practice, and head out Christmas caroling.

s-l225Yes, at night, unsupervised, a group of roughly 5 kids would travel around our block knocking on every door and, when opened, sing the residents a Christmas carol or two. To make matters worse, we actually held a little tin measuring cup for the sheer purpose of collecting tips, but in a very nostalgic, old-timey Christmas fashion.

So upon reading this are you like, “Awwww” or are you like, “Ewwww?” Because thinking back on this, quite frankly, I’m struck with both emotions.

On the side of “Awwww” – We were really cute! All bundled up with scarves and stocking caps, spreading good cheer through music. And we were pretty darn good. We had harmonies worked out, and each house got a different song. I think we had about 10-15 good songs in our repertoire. Many times people had family over, and they’d all gather in the doorway listening to our song. Sometimes they’d ask for more. Other times the threw a buck or a quarter in our cup and wished us well.

On the side of “Ewwww” – Some folks did not want to be bothered. We had a few doors slammed in our faces each year. I’m sure many folks found us totally obnoxious. Who wants to be bothered on Christmas Eve with a gaggle of strange kids singing “Jingle Bells?”

Plus, as a parent (who tends to have some helicopterish tendencies), if my kids ever asked if they could go out in the neighborhood knocking on stranger’s doors to sing Christmas carols? I’d hum them a few bars of “No Way José.”

I guess that’s why I started this post talking about my parents. That wonderfully permissive pair almost never said “no” to these sort of antics. Hell, once we went out collecting on Labor Day for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon. Those are the kinds of shenanigans my parents allowed us to take part in.

After we would make our rounds, we’d head back to our house and divvy up our earnings over some hot chocolate. We usually wound up with around $5.00 each, which, to quote Spicoli, was righteous bucks back then.

It’s a good memory for me. To this day I can harmonize with almost any traditional Christmas Carol out there. After all, I had all those years of practice!