Post Traumatic Caroler Disorder

Is anybody else uncomfortable when carolers come to your home at Christmas? I know most people are touched by the experience, but I’ve always been a little traumatized.

First of all, they catch you by surprise. All of the sudden you hear singing and you think you’ve had some kind of psychotic break. Then you realize these people are at your door, and you’ve been asleep on your couch. You have on your favorite sweats that have a hole in the crotch, and your hair is half bee-hived.

You call to other family members who mostly ignore you, and open the front door. There they are, like singing stalkers. I don’t care if it’s your local church family or a group from Broadway, this is when the awkwardness begins.

As they break into another verse of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” you try to decide where you should look and how long you have to keep that plastered smile on your face. There are a couple of extroverts out there having the time of their lives, and then a couple of introverts with their eyes glued to the songbook in front of them.

While they sing you wonder, Should I offer them hot chocolate? Or ask them to come in? Then you realize you haven’t cleaned in two weeks that the state of your bathroom might horrify them, so you decide against it.

Meanwhile, they’re finishing up the fourth stanza of the song. You feel immense relief, and turn up the wattage of your How nice of you to sing to me smile. Then they start in on “Silent Night.” Really? This song is really, really slow.

At this point the family dog discovers the intruders and comes charging through the house, slamming into the glass storm door. You begin to wrestle with him, pulling him back on his collar, continuing to keep caroler eye contact and smiling like an idiot. Another family member gets the lucky job of taking the dog away.

Finally, you hear the sound of freedom – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” You see the light at the end of the tunnel, and your husband joins you (nice timing). You put your arms around each other and lean your heads in, joining forces in providing the wow, this is nice but it’s time to wrap it up body language.

Finally the last note sounds, you say that was wonderful – thank you so much! And the awkwardness doubles because now there’s silence and nobody really knows what else to say. So, one by one, they peel off to bring joy and/or trauma to the next family.

Sorry to sound all humbug about this, but having grown up as a preacher’s kid we had a lot of carolers visit our home and every visit terrified me. I have post traumatic caroler disorder. So, please, if you want to come sing at my house, don’t. I’d rather watch “Paranormal Activity.”