Growing up, one of our family traditions during the holidays was going out to carol for our neighbors. My family has always loved to sing, and this is the time of year that gives us that chance to brighten the winter season. Even today, my kids enjoy getting out and singing for the elderly. However, while my wife and kids have wonderful singing voices, it’s clear in my household that I’m the odd man out.
My dad, who was a professional singer years ago, used to take my brothers and me out to sing carols for the neighbors when we were all kids. Each year about this time, he’d say, “It is time to go caroling,” and off we’d go. As I got older, however, my voice started to change, which unfortunately, changed the way I sang. In my family, I sang “White Christmas” and, at the time, I was actually pretty happy with how it sounded. One year my father, brothers, and I went up to a friend’s house to sing and we were all excited, we rang the doorbell and when his dad answered the door we asked, “Are you ready for some holiday caroling?” and his response was, “I guess I am as ready as I will ever be.” Oncewe were finished, and as soon as the door closed, I turned to my dad and said, “Never again, I’m done.”
“My family has always loved to sing, and this is the time of year that gives us that chance to brighten the winter season.”
Since then, I don’t do much singing; I don’t mind because I wasn’t blessed with my dad’s voice. My kids will tell you it’s a good thing I retired from singing when I did. I remember once, when my daughter was very young, I was trying to sing her to sleep, and she said, “Oh Daddy no sing.” Luckily, I’m fortunate to have a family filled with wonderful singers, so I get to enjoy their singing when we’re together.
My son and daughter, both now in college, have continued to enjoy singing and have even found a way to carol on their own. Since their early childhood, they have been involved in a scouting group that, each year, visits the homebound elderly and sings to them to brighten the season.
One year, we got as many of our extended family members together as we could, went to a local nursing home, and sang carols to the residents. While they really enjoyed that we came to visit and appreciated the effort we put in, one person did tell us our performance needed some work. Out of the whole family, my dad sounded fantastic, but the rest of us needed more practice. Which was true since we only managed to get in one practice the morning of the event, and they could tell. However, we still had a good time and to this day we still laugh about “the Family Von Scott” and we are shocked that they didn’t ask us to take our act on the road.
While celebrating the holidays in 2020 might be different, I still hope you get to enjoy the things you love this season. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday, and we’ll see you next year!