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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: Rudolph en Francais
By matthew buchanan
10/07/08


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A group of houses and crowded apartment complexes was nestled in the shadow of Disneyland; some called the place the inner city of Anaheim. More often than not, the only music playing in the area came from the booming bass of a car driving by or the screaming wail of a siren. The library stood at the entrance to the apartment complex, right next to the fire station.

Here, I decided in 1993, was where we, the French-speaking club of Loara High School, would do our most amazing performance. Christmas caroling was calling—at least I heard the voices.

“You want us to sing?” said Jason. “In French?”

“Yes—and I’ll play my accordion. It’ll be great!”

Visions of being invited in for hot chocolate danced in my head, with our amazing voices summoning angels to dance for joy with the neighborhood and its folks. I envisioned a band of brothers and sisters lifting our voices in one accord to bring the joy of the Christmas season to the masses. Optimism and Christmas, like snow and hot chocolate or Christmas Eve and potato soup, just seem to go hand-in-hand.

December 17, 1993. Six people showed up, two of whom could sing, three of whom could speak French. (Unfortunately those were not the same people.) The caroling route was about a mile and a half long. The accordion weighs approximately 30 pounds, and felt like it weighed a hundred by the end of the evening.

Of the forty-five houses and apartments that we walked past, eight opened the door. Yet, with every on l’appellait Nez Rouge, with every reve noir, something funny happened in the neighborhood. People relaxed—once they knew that we were not asking for donations. Families came out on the porch and sang with us. We sang in English—all together—after singing in French.

At the end of the evening, one lady said, “Nobody’s ever caroled here before. I wonder why that is?”

Bad singing, and no hot chocolate notwithstanding, all six of us smiled—and meant it. We knew that Christmas caroling wasn’t as glamorous as originally envisioned. Still, we promised that we’d do it again.

Sometime.


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This article has been read 340 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Keck10/09/08
Hey a story that takes place not too far from where I live--cool. I enjoyed the message of going for it even though there weren't many people and the reward of helping people relax.
Jan Ackerson 10/10/08
This is charming and unique for this topic.

You could take it one step upward by picking one or two characters and really helping the reader get to know them through dialogue, description, etc.

Thanks for this very pleasant read!
Marlene Austin10/12/08
Nicely written personal narrative, but you left one question unanswered for me - was the promise kept? :)