At the caroling party
we hold auditions to decide who gets to sing
"five golden rings" and who has to sing
about silly ol' birds. The Greers don't try out
because they always sing "six geese a-
doin' it." At the caroling party
Ross is a celebrity; he keeps sheet music
in his head but his fingers play by heart.
When we come to Here Comes Santa Claus
my dad or Uncle Mike or someone will say,
"Oh yuck, let's skip this song this year!"
just to rile the children. At the caroling party
we sing The Holly and the Ivy even though
so few people know the words. No, no,
we have to sing it! It's tradition
and Aunt Elaine loves it. At the caroling party
Grandma often requests that Mary and I
hit the high note in O Holy Night, and we
hit it if we can because it's easier than
saying no to her. Singing's always easier
after a few drinks. At the caroling party
cousin David wears a bright red sweater
and mixes rum and cokes behind the bar.
My mother sits close to me and we try together
to pick out harmonies. She'd rather read the words
shaped from my lips than printed on paper.
At the caroling party, there are chairs and couches
but they're reserved for the older people
so you sit cramped on the floor or you stand. Yes,
it's a silly tradition, a Hallmark card tradition,
a mildly embarrassing, cheesy family tradition,
and yet there's never a single seat left empty
at the caroling party.
This poem was written in response to Poetry Prompt #106 on Read Write Poem.
What's your favourite family Christmas (or other holiday) tradition?