Tuesday, December 22, 2009

was she round or were they gathered a-round?

I'm planning to take the children Christmas caroling this week. We're baking up several batches of cookies and will bring them to a few of our senior friends in the neighborhood.


Everyone will be dressed up in their most festive Christmas attire and I'll stick a Santa hat on their heads and hope that whomever we serenade will be so distracted by the adorable factor (and cookies), they won't pay much attention to the lyrics that we are attempting to sing.


Last night during dinner, I was practicing for our neighborhood debut. They've got "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" down pat. As well as "Away In A Manger." But when we were working on "Silent Night" I was bombarded with questions. This is how our rehearsal went...

"Silent Night, Holy Night..."

"Mom? MOM? What is 'HOLY'?"

"Well, Holy means that ... uh ... God is really really present and it is very special because God is there and people could feel God's presence. Let's start from the top? Silent Night, Holy Night ... All is calm..."

"Mom? MOM? What is 'CALM'?"

"Calm means quiet. Like when I tell you to CALM down? That means I want you to relax and be quiet. So this song is about a quiet, peaceful night where God is really present. Let's try it again? Silent Night, Holy Night ... All is calm all is bright..."

"Mom? MOM? What is 'BRIGHT'?"

"Bright means that something is shiny and light. Like when you look at the flame on a candle, it is bright. The stars in the dark sky are bright. That's what we are singing about. On the night of baby Jesus' birth, everything was quiet and peaceful, God was present and the stars were brightly shining. Doesn't that sound beautiful?"

The children all nod yes so I start singing from the beginning. "Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon ..."

"Mom? MOM? What is 'ROUND YON'?"

I had to hesitate here for a moment because I wasn't really sure. So drawing upon what I thought was the correct answer I said, "Round means Mary was round because she was expecting a baby and yon means she was young."

Charlie, the great linguist that he his scoffed and said, "That's not what it means! It means that everyone was gathering 'round the young woman who was carrying the infant Christ!"

"ALRIGHT. What. Ever. Can I finish my song. PLEASE?"

This time I tried to speed up the tempo to hopefully deter any more interruptions. "SilentNightHolyNightalliscalmallisbright. Roundyonvirginmotherandchild..."

My little audience was paying close attention.

"Mom? MOM? What's a 'BIRGIN'?"

I shot my husband a look before answering, "Alright kids, we're going to save this song until you grow a little older. Now everyone sing with me...


... We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"


  1. Awesome.....I want to go caroling in the neighborhood and my 9yo son says NO WAY, too embarrassing.

  2. Hilarious post, Jen!!
    -Cousin Sue

  3. Isn't it precious that they are so inquisitive though.....think how much harder it would be if they didn't question a few things (okay we all know I mean everything). If they don't ask, they won't ever learn what things really mean...although I think I'd do the same as you and leave the "birgin" question for when they are a little older. :)

  4. Oh my gosh! Laughing my head off!! That is so funny and CUTE! Thanks for the Christmas Spirit. Hope the singing is a BIG hit! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. laughing laughing laughing over here . . . .
    thanks for the smiles!

    Super cute pics of your super cute kids too -- Have a very Merry Christmas Jen : )

  6. haha...Kaisa asked me that the other day. (And I always lie to my kids) I told her that a virgin was a perfect girl who did not kiss a boy until she was married, JUST LIKE MOMMA!

  7. That was hysterical! I mean lol hysterical. They are so adorable.

  8. Ha-ha-ha!!! Gotta love kids - they question EVERYTHING!! Have fun carolling!

  9. B-w-a-a-a-ha-a-a-a-a-a!!! LOL LOL


  10. Adorable. I wish they could come to my house. We wish you a Merry Christmas---is a nice short song.
    Hark the Herald Angels sing! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer??
    Jingle Bells?

  11. I've been following your blog for awhile now-your kids are beautiful and sound like they are so funny!

    I just wanted to say that I have complete respect for you and any other mom of young children. I took a 3 day 7-4 babysitting job this week (trying to make money for disney world!!) and there are only 2 boys, 2 and 4, and I have felt like I will not survive these 3 days multiple times!! I totally understand when you post blogs about how life with small children is far from perfect, and I am nowhere near close to being a mother! I think this blog is great!

    (any tips you have on wearing preschoolers out to napping point will be much appreciated, as I'm babysitting next week too!) Merry Christmas!

  12. Adorable! And what a great way to teach giving! I'd pass on the virgin explination myself! Merry Christmas!

  13. well, I was looking forward to that explanation....

  14. I would totally zone out on the words if those sweet faces showed up on my doorstep...even without cookies.

    I just gotta add, though, I think "All is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin mother and child,"
    means "All is calm and bright around that virgin mother over there with her child."

    But I'm a littls distracted with the cookies right now.

  15. They were gathered 'round.

  16. Jen, thanks so much for the gift. You didn't have to do that. Very sweet of you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You rock!

    Steph A (Fargo)

  17. Too funny!! Can't get much past these kids, can ya?

  18. LOL, GREAT post! That is hilarious! Thanks for spreading the holiday cheer!