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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: The Waffle Carol
By Sheri Gordon


“Mom?! Where are you?”

I dry my hands on the kitchen towel and rush to the front door at the sound of our daughter’s voice. Since she lives an hour away, her unannounced visit is perplexing.

“What are you doing here?”

“I need all of your Christmas music.” Kaylynn heads to her old bedroom where I store the music I’ve accumulated from years of teaching piano lessons. Curious, I follow close behind.

“Why do you need Christmas music in September?”

“For that singing show…you know, the one where contestants sing lyrics to different songs. I emailed them that they should do a Christmas special and they want me to audition next week. So I need to practice.”

Kaylynn hands me a stack of music, grabs another pile for herself, and whisks down the hallway toward the piano.

“I need you to play from these books, and then I’ll start singing—but make sure I sing the exact words.”

Since our family regularly played “Name that Tune” when the kids were growing up, I am confident that Kaylynn won’t have any trouble singing the myriad Christmas songs I have stockpiled.

I open Christmastime I and begin playing. Kaylynn’s angelic voice fills the room.

“Angels from the realms of glory, bring your fight o’er all the earth.” I stop playing abruptly.

“Kaylynn, it’s ‘wing your flight,’ not ‘bring your fight.’”

“Oh. That does make more sense. Why would angels be bringing a fight to announce Jesus’ birth?”

After hearing just four notes of the next song, Kaylynn commences singing. “We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we travel so far.”

“Sweetie…it’s ‘traverse afar.’”

“’Traverse afar?’ What’s that suppose to mean?”

“It basically means ‘travel so far’…except those aren’t the words. ‘Traverse afar’ is old-school, as you’d say.”

“‘Travel so far’ sounds better. Continue please.”

I begin playing Winter Wonderland.

“…Later on, we’ll perspire. As we dream by the fire.”

I peer over my glasses at Kaylynn.

“I’m kidding, Mom. I know it’s conspire. I just wanted to see your reaction.”

Kaylynn performs the next seven songs flawlessly. Her dad silently enters the room and sits in his blue swivel rocking chair. Somehow, hearing Christmas carols makes the misery from the Indian Summer heat dissipate just a bit.

I open Christmastime II and Kaylynn switches to her best chipmunk voice.

“Christmas, Christmas time is near. Time for toys and time for cheer. We’ve been good, but we’ve been bad…”

“Whoa, slow down there, Simon…it’s not ‘we’ve been bad,’ it’s ‘we can’t wait...’”

“Really? I’ve always sung, ‘but we’ve been bad,’…you know, with Alvin and everything it just seems to fit.” Kaylynn peers at the words over my shoulder. “Guess I’d better remember that. Okay, next song.”

My confidence in Kaylynn begins to wane, but I continue playing nonetheless.

“For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute. Candies in the window, carols in the spirit…”

An exasperated sigh escapes my lips. “There aren’t candies in the window—it’s candles. And it’s ‘carols at the spinet.’ You know…like piano…spinet?”

“You don’t have to get so upset, Mom.”

“I’m sorry. I’m just frustrated that I apparently let you sing these songs wrong for all these years. Let’s finish the last one in this book.”

“Here we come a-waffling among the leaves so green.”

I gape at my daughter incredulously. “Did you just sing ‘a-waffling’?” Her dad pivots his rocker away from Kaylynn, presumably to conceal his laughter—except Kaylynn and I can see his shoulders shaking with silent snickers.

“Yes. What’s wrong with that?” Kaylynn crosses her arms and lifts her chin defiantly.

“It’s ‘a-wassssailing.’” I hold the ‘s’ sound for emphasis.

“’A-wassssssailing?’ What in the world does ‘a-wassssssailing’ mean?” Kaylynn mimics, and further exaggerates, the hissing ‘s’.

“Wassailing is an old English tradition of caroling door-to-door and bringing wassail, or warm spiked apple cider, to share.” Kaylynn’s school teacher father answers her question. “I have to know,” he continues, “what did you think ‘a-waffling’ meant? And why would you be doing it ‘among the leaves so green’?”

Kaylynn drops her challenging stance.

“I thought it was a song about sharing waffles. Some weird tradition from some old country. You know, ‘love and joy come to you, and to you your waffle too.’”

Unbridled laughter bursts from my mouth as I make an unexpected, yet necessary rush toward the bathroom. Sprinting down the hall, I hear Kaylynn calling after me, “I figured maybe the waffles went with the figgy pudding.”

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This article has been read 1216 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Ward10/09/08
A good laugh. How many times have I heard the wrong words sung! (And probably have sung the wrong ones myself unknowing!!)

Laury Hubrich 10/10/08
This is awesome and so very clever! Thank you for the laughs tonight:)
Connie Dixon10/10/08
I loved this story. I think I agree with Kaylynn's interpretation of some of the songs. It's sometimes difficult to make sense out of the more traditional hymns and carols. Thanks for adding some humor to the challenge. Good job!
Lynda Lee Schab 10/11/08
Too funny! What family can't relate to a child singing the wrong words to a song? Of course, those children are usually under the age of 8...hee hee...Well written and very cute!
Jan Ackerson 10/11/08
I love this so much--there's nothing else like it this week, it's HILARIOUS, and it contains word play, which always makes me happy. 5 stars from me!
Emily Gibson10/12/08
This one is great fun and with terrific dialogue. Well done!
Catrina Bradley 10/13/08
LOL! Inspired humor. Very creative!
Betty Castleberry10/13/08
Nothing like some good Christmas mondegreens. This was fun! Thumbs up.
Joy Faire Stewart10/13/08
I love the different take on the topic and it's so much fun. Great job!
Chely Roach10/13/08
So funny and original! I loved it!
Lollie Hofer10/13/08
A story I can relate to and laugh hilariously at myself in the process. I butcher every son I sing with incorrect words. This was uniquely, wonderfully entertaining.
Karlene Jacobsen10/14/08
That's funny. Kind of like "Our Father who art in heaven 'Harold' be Your name." It's hilarious how kids hear the words we say and transpose them into something completely different. I am not surprised by a grown child not knowing the correct words, unless pointed out. There are still songs I find myself surprised to finally find out what they are really saying. (LOL)
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/14/08
The laugh-out-loud humor here makes this entry a favorite with me.
Loren T. Lowery10/14/08
Priceless; and to be honest, if the mom hadn't corrected the daughter, I'd have never known : )

Gloria in "excelsior" aka Gloria in excelsis Deo
Pamela Kliewer10/14/08
Oh this is just great! My favorite so far... I really did LOL - Love it!
Leigh MacKelvey10/15/08
Oh, this was soooo good! I loved it! what a breath of fresh air to read a story like this. I did take note of the Christmas in September detail! Very clever.I expect to see a ribbon on this one.
Marijo Phelps10/15/08
Good chuckle - reminded me of my younger sister singing (Rudolf) "and they shouted out with glue..."
Shelley Ledfors 10/15/08
Wonderful! I love the creativity and humor in this piece. What fun!
Leah Nichols 10/16/08
LOL I have been teased mercilessly by my parents for my own lyrical blunders. Very cute!
Lyn Churchyard10/16/08
Now that I've stopped laughing, I can write a comment. Sheri, thank you for giving me a good laugh. This was so good! I've never thought carols could be so confusing. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
Heather Sargent10/16/08
This is fantastic! Congrats on your win, well deserved!
Scott Sheets10/16/08
Congratulations! What a wonderful, entertaining take on the topic. I think waffles and figgy pudding should become a Christmas breakfast tradition. Thanks for providing he with a healthy laugh this day!
Chrissi Dunn10/16/08
Congratulations! A well deserved win. Brilliant word play and just great fun!
Celeste Ammirata10/16/08
Congratulations. This was certainly fun to read. You had me smiling.
LauraLee Shaw10/16/08
Oh my goooooodness, my kids made me read this to them because I was laughing so hard. I laughed again as I read it to them! Masterfully written! Congrats on 1st place!
Charla Diehl 10/20/08
Sheri, I just read this and your words blessed me with laughter--you'll never know how much I needed that today. Thank you so much for this wonderfully witty story and congrats on your well deserved win.