This is all well and good, but what should I to do about the Christmas Carolers?
I haven't seen any in years, but you probably remember them - the random group of intrepid vocalists who brave the cold to spread the Christmas cheer - right to your front door.
I don't know about you, but this makes for an awkward situation if I'm answering the door. What am I supposed to do? What exactly is expected of me in this situation?
The doorbell rings, and standing on my porch are several shivering sopranos. Their smiles are frozen in place; their eyes are gleaming with hope and excitement.
I have several options at this point, and I don't care for any of them (the options, not the carolers...necessarily):
I can ignore them. Never answer the door, and stare at them out the peephole until they wander away in the snow. I'll watch the news a few days later to see if they've been found.
I can answer the door, and watch uncomfortably from the doorway. I don't know how long this will take. How many songs will they sing? Should I clap? While I'm standing there, all the cold air will come inside, and I might have to cut the warblers short to run back to the fireplace and warm up with a hot toddy. Don't make me choose between being rude and being warm!
I can answer the door, and step out onto the porch with the group so I can close the door behind me. While this leaves my house warmer, it leaves me colder. Plus, it adds another level of social awkwardness - what do I do while I'm out there? Do I join in? This might ruin the evening for everyone. The carolers might run away in fear. Of course, if they're singing 'Fa-la-la-la-la', while they're still running, this could be amusing. I could have my wife secretly filming from the living room...
If I don't join in while I'm outside listening politely, what do I do when they're finished? Do we all stand around and smile until I retreat back inside? Do they shuffle away quietly, and later I'll wonder if they were really even there? Do I tip them? Do I tip in cash or cookies? What kinds of cookies are acceptable? Do they have to be Christmas cookies? Is caroling the Christmas equivalent of trick-or-treating?
Hmmm...I wonder if my wife made cookies?