On Thursday, we hosted an evening of food, wine, music, and merriment. We had about fifteen people there, which seemed just right. I put up Christmas lights and John lit some candles. With these minor adjustments plus our major furniture rearrangement which enlarged the living space considerably, our apartment had transformed into a romantic, holiday party palace!
The Christmas caroling session was the brainchild of my school friend and myself. She played the piano, and instead of singing, I played the violin (my singing voice is still gone, but is slowly coming back in pieces). Fortunately, I had two singer friends there to help lead the singing, but they had quite a task ahead of them because we were doing French, German, English, and American carols! Some carols involved singing in two or more languages:
Stille Nacht/Silent Night (German and English)
O Tannenbaum/O Christmas Tree (German, English, French)
Adeste Fideles/O Come All Ye Faithful (Latin and English)
We had two French carols, including one called "Entre le boeuf et l'ane gris" (enter the beef and the grey donkey). It's not about the Christmas meal, believe me. I'm not sure why "beef" was used instead of "cattle."
Half of our songs were in German because my piano friend is half-German and had a nice book of German carols. These songs were not completely lost because my singer friends can pronounce German, and my French teacher speaks German, too. I believe she recognized most, if not all, of them.
Out of all the international carols, "Jingle Bells" seemed to be the most famous. Everyone sang the refrain with much gusto -- or was that the wine singing?
[Addition made 12.31.05:
I was later told that our dog Leo joined in some howling during "Silent Night." We aren't sure if he was howling because he wanted to sing or because he couldn't stand John's singing.]