Christ Church Goes Christmas Caroling by Julie Straehle

Last month, Christ Episcopal Church in Garden City revived the custom of neighborhood Christmas caroling. In the late afternoon of Sunday, December 17th, a merry group of 15 parishioners went forth from the church. They sang and strolled along the streets, bringing holiday happiness as they serenaded their parish neighbors in the true spirit of Christmas a gift freely given and freely received.

Sometimes the carolers arrived at a house and found a party in progress, and its revelers would spill out onto the front steps to listen and applaud and sometimes join in the singing. One charming hostess offered Christmas cakes and libations, and invited the carolers inside for a wassail toast: “Was-hael!” (“Good health!” in Gaelic).

The carolers were Carolyn Carter, Judy Dubois, Sharon Francomano, Joan & Alfie Mabey, Nancy & Fred Marquardt, Irene Noda, Dorraine Russin, Lucille & Bill Smith, Julie Straehle, Don Skinner, and Christ Church Rector, The Rev. Debbie Low-Skinner. The parish’s multi-talented choir director, Tim Erbe, led the group in song and accompanied the singing on a 12-string guitar. His spirited playing made a wonderful addition to the festive music-making a cheery sound, an upbeat rhythm, in a comfortable range for singing. Also, several of the carolers brought sleigh bells, which they jingled merrily to add to the joy.

The weather was mild, and the carolers sang for an hour or so. Afterwards, they returned to Christ Church to enjoy hot chocolate, eggnog, cider, and cookies. A good time was had by all carolers and community and the parish looks forward to doing it again next December!

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