The Picture-Perfect Caroling Evening

A week ago Sunday, we embarked on our annual caroling event.

Mom was a whirlwind machine the day before making 48 loaves of Poppy Seed Bread (see recipe at end of the post). Mary and Anna created beautiful cards to go along with that.

So, everything was set, and the crowning touch came twirling in – snow. All day the beautiful white stuff came down, and it continued as we caroled.

What joy to sing the good news of Christmas and Christ’s amazing love for us. The little kids often stood in a cluster near the front, smiling. Since we come on a consistent schedule each year (2 Sundays before Christmas), people know to expect us and tell us that they look forward to it.

But yet, in the midst of this beautiful season, we were reminded again of painful loss. At two homes, our listeners had a huge gap in their hearts over the loss of a loved one this past year. For one it was his wife of many years and the other a son who tragically died in his 30s. Our days are fleeting, and may we make each moment count for Eternity. We’re not guaranteed another day.

Because of the inclement weather, most everyone could be found at home. After we caroled in our area, we split into a smaller group (some wanted to put kiddos to bed), and piled into John’s truck (yay for 4-wheel drive: roads were very slick) and went to some friends across town. Then, we came back, and our small group grew by three as we caroled to homes in another neighborhood. We wrapped up the evening with a delicious, hot, soup dinner at John and Chelsy’s.

This yearly tradition has become very special to us.

Chelsy and Axton
Caroling to our own Gigi. She’s actually the one who started our yearly caroling tradition. We went with her to carol to her Meals on Wheels people
Nathan’s crew was sick and shouldn’t be out in the cold, so we sang to them.
Most of the group

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you
good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto
you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Poppy Seed Loaves

3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/8 cups oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

Mix all ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Pour into 2 large lightly greased loaf pans (in our case, we bought foil pans from the store and divided each batch into three loaves). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean.

1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Cool cake 5 minutes. Then, pour glaze over cake. After they’ve cooled, we cover in plastic wrap.

15 thoughts on “The Picture-Perfect Caroling Evening”

  1. Well done all.
    Hope you all have a super Christmas and blessed 2020!
    Lots of love to you all

  2. A Very Merry Christmas to all the Maxwells!

    As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I think of how the Lord has taking such wonderful care of all my family! Some are no longer with us but are with the Lord, so I thank Him for each one still with us! We are so blessed!

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

    Love and prayers, Cecile

  3. Always a fav post each year! Would love to see the card that went along with the bread!

    I’ve wanted to do this for so long but not everyone in my fam agrees to going to our neighbors, most we’ve never met, But I’ve also decided to start volunteering with MOW so when I suggested caroling for our route next year I got a much better response! Something to look forward too!! Thanks for the idea!

    Merry Christmas Maxwell’s!


    1. Good point on the card. I guess I didn’t include that picture but I have one! 🙂 I’ll try to add it to another post.

      Caroling is such a festive thing to do and something that blesses people.

      Merry Christmas!

  4. Thank you for remembering those who struggle at Christmas. There are so many out there, hurting from different griefs. This is our second Christmas without Mom, it’s been a year now, and this passed year has had many struggles.

    Ahh, snow for caroling. Pretty!

    Hope you all have a wonderful, exciting Christmas.

    Love, Rebecca

  5. Thank you for sharing your family’s poppyseed loaf recipe again! I was just about to search for it 🙂 I’m sure you get asked about doing a cookbook often, but still want to toss in a vote for one! This and your cookie recipe and Sarah’s mocha recipe are definitely some of my favorites — all so comforting and easy to make. And it was nice to see the caroling pics too! When I was a teenager, my church’s youth group would go caroling at a local nursing home, and it was such a lovely experience. I have older relatives now who still live at home in the Midwest where I grew up, and I know that carolers like you in their neighborhood would absolutely make their holiday season. Wishing your family a very happy holidays and a blessed, wonderful 2020!

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Katie. Well, I figured people would want it, so I hunted it up off an old post. Maybe we could do a PDF cookbook or something. Definitely have some favorite recipes. But I don’t have much spare time at all now. 🙂 My next book is a big priority! I’ll keep your suggestion in mind.

      MERRY Christmas!

      1. Completely understandable! ? (I just finished up a book, and know what an undertaking it is!) Hope your Christmas was very, very Merry!

  6. It truly was a picture perfect caroling evening. May the hope contained in the lyrics of the carols you sang and the kindness of your gifts of time, talent, and yummy bread, bring your friends and neighbors closer to the Lord Jesus. The picture of the multigenerational faithfulness to Christ in your family is a powerful one.
    Merry Christmas!

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