By Paula Mitchell
It is impossible to imagine the winter holidays without carolers. They are as iconic as Christmas trees and eggnog for the season. Most of the famous songs were probably learned early at church and elementary school programs. Even though one grew up singing, listening, and getting those catchy caroling tunes stuck in one’s heads, the history of this tradition is largely unknown.
An early version of caroling dates back to the 13th century. Singing remained separate from Christmas until Saint Francis of Assisi incorporated the songs of well wishes in his Christmas services. He encouraged the church members to embrace this music during the season, and so they began taking the songs home to enjoy with their families.
These songs stuck around for several hundred years, being passed down from family to family. Finally, some were collected, written down, and published in 1582. In time, they spread to cultures across the world.
Most people have committed to memory a few lines to the song, “Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.” The first legend surrounding this tune comes from an Austrian priest by the name of Joseph Mohr. He composed this song on a broken church organ with his friend Franz Gruber. “Silent Night” was originally a poem written by Mohr. Little did he know that this song would grow to become one of the world’s most legendary Christmas carols.
If one can name the gifts from all 12 days in “Twelve Days of Christmas,” then one is in pretty good shape for the holiday caroling season. This song is rooted in the 18th century England. “Joy to the World” is another famous carol. The lyrics come from the Old Testament, but it wasn’t crafted into an official song until the 19th century.
Caroling is still embedded in the Christmas season. Carolers brave the frigid winter air to sing Christmas well wishes in neighborhoods and churches across the country. For example, “good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” or “jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh,” are very popular to sing to neighbors and family. Caroling is one of the most favored ways for friends and family to get into the holiday spirit.
Life’s little instructions to make one’s life better each day include the following:
- Work hard.
- Be humble and kind.
- Be thankful, always.
- Give love, and smile!
- Hold the door open for shoppers.
The last week has been quite dreary. Some showers made it to the neighborhood. Temperatures have been in the 40s, jacket and coat weather.
Quotes for the week are as follows:
“The world is a place where the extraordinary can sit just beside the ordinary with the thinnest of boundaries.” — Jodi Picoult
“Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.” — William Shakespeare
“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” — Arthur Rubenstein
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” — Will Rogers
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” — Albert Einstein
Sitting by the fire is a good place to hear the “Talk of the Grove.”
Wesley Puffenbarger spent most of last week bear hunting in Buckingham County, Virginia. The group had a great first week of bear hunting.
St. Paul Independent Lutheran Church celebrated its Christmas by having a dinner following worship service on Sunday.
Marleta Wimer paid a visit to her mother, Rosalee Grogg, this past week.
It was the first time since COVID that St. John Lutheran Church could put on a Christmas program. This past Saturday, they presented “Whispering Pines” to a filled church of attendees.
Bob and Judy Grimm motored to Ohio for an early Christmas with Chris and P.J. Grimm and their respective families. They also enjoyed a Christmas get-together with Bob’s nine brothers and sisters and their respective families. On their way home, they made a stop in Morgantown to join Rodney Kiser and his family for lunch. It was a wonderful weekend.
Phil Downs plans to have an open house at his home this coming Saturday. He welcomes friends and neighbors to attend beginning at 4 p.m.
This week’s clickety-clacks for the chin waggers are the following:
- About 700 languages and dialects are spoken in India.
- There are 535 active volcanoes in the world.
- Some birds have dialects. The song of one kind of bird may sound different in different parts of the world.
- The Vikings built a wooden ship as long as a football field.
- Starfish have an eye at the end of each arm.
Nashland had a full house for nearly two weeks recently. Visiting Helen and Rhonda Nash for Thanksgiving and hunting season were Robbie and Jack Nash and Braden Parent of Palmer, Alaska, and Todd Nash of Rhoadesville, Virginia. Calli, Hannah, Madalyn, Nolan and Tucker Fox of Bumpass, Virginia, came for a weekend. Also making a visit were Vickie Nash of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Terri Lowery of Spotsylvania, Virginia. Lots of food and gallons of Peachy’s sweet tea were consumed, and plenty of laughter and hugs were shared.
“Pidge” Anderson received news from her sister, June, that her brother-in-law had passed away. He lived in North Carolina. Sympathy is extended to the family.
Up-coming birthdays for the remainder of the month are as follows: Debbie Horst, 18th; Katelyn Frank, 20th; Roger Kiser and Glenna Koontz, 21st; Carly Mitchell, Terri Grogg, Sharon Gillispie, Tasha Bowers and Sara Harper, 22nd; Betty Lam and Suzanne Brubeck, 23rd; Brenda Sponaugle, 24th; Jesus and Dottie Lambert, 25th; Macie Mitchell, Clad Hotten and Melissa Dahmer, 29th; Maria Bowers Miller and Doug Pitsenbarger, 30th; and Bobby Armstrong and Clinton Bowers, 31st.
Concerns for this week are many, and they are as follows: Mercedes Aumann, Vernon “Fuzzy” Baldwin, Lynn Beatty, Jack Bennett, Jimmie Bennett, Bill Brackman, Jed Conrad, the Hall DuBois family, Jeff Evick, Ina Evick, Dan and Margaret Ferrell, Ron Gilkeson, Lola Graham, Steve and Armanda Heavner, the Anthony Henderson family, Gary and Jackie Hills, Virgil Homan, Jr., Charlee Marie Hoover, Keith Hoover, Myrtle Hoover, Debbie Horst, Doris Hull, Bob and Cynthia Hurry, Lisa Dawn Jamison, Alice Johnson, the Beth Johnson family, Kim Kline, Richard Judy, Melissa Lambert, Tammy Lambert, Robert Lambert, Rex Landis, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Betty Mallow, Roger and Skip Mallow, Naomi Michael, Gary Mitchell, Gloria Moats, Joe Moats, Melvin Moats, the Junior Murphy family, Helen Nash, Aaron Nelson, the Ken Nelson family, Ruth Nelson, Bennie Nesselrodt, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, Shirley Pratt, Betty Lou Propst, Kathy Propst, Sheldon Propst, Mary Puffenbarger, Verla Puffenbarger, Jason Rexrode, Jimmy Rexrode, Kent Rexrode, Pam Rexrode, Donna Ruddle, the Evelyn Marie Hartman Ruddle family, Annie Simmons, Barbara Simmons, Barry and Phyllis Simmons, Davey Simmons, Erin Simmons, Eva Simmons, Tom Simmons, Robbie Sites, Ona Smith, Stanna Smith, Patricia Swecker, Rosa Tichenor, Sandra Vandevander, the Trenton “Tiny” Varner family, Ron White, Judy Williams and Larry Wimer.