Joyce Ann starts to cry when the ride to church ends too quickly and she doesn't get to hear the others sing her second most favorite song, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town". Jess tickles her "to get her giggling again", so that when they get out of the truck she is "flushed-faced and happy once more".
Leslie has never been to church, so Jess arranges it so that she can attend with his family on Easter. Jess's older sisters, who are all decked out "like a pair of peacocks with fake tail feathers", insist on riding in the cab of the family pickup with their parents, so Jess, Leslie, and the two little girls, May Belle and Joyce Ann, must ride in the back. To amuse themselves, the children sing on the way to church, and have just finished the first verse of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" when they arrive. Joyce Ann, who is only four, starts to cry because they will not be able to finish the song, but when Jess tickles her, she forgets her unhappiness and cheerfully clambers over the tailgate of the truck with the others (Chapter 8).