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What’s Your Favorite Carol?

The Guideposts executive editor shares his experience Christmas caroling in New York City.

We went caroling last night. A group of 40, some from our choir, some who happened to see flyers we posted around town, some who just heard us sing and joined in. 

I have to admit, there was a moment when I wondered if it was really going to work. I mean, it seems a bit absurd to walk around this busy city, carrying crib sheets of carols, singing at the top of our lungs, thinking anybody will tolerate it. 

But they do. More than that, people seem to like it. Neighbors opened windows and leaned out to hear. At the hardware store where we stood in front and sang a rowdy “Good King Wenceslas” and “We Three Kings,” I thought the owner and his employees were going to come out and tell us to move along. We were slowing business. On the contrary, he wanted to thank us. He even joined in. 

We did a credible “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” an excellent “O Come All Ye Faithful” and a touching “Silent Night.” People called out for their favorites—everybody’s got one. 

We didn’t limit ourselves to carols, but included secular songs of the season like “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” and a spirited “Jingle Bell Rock.” 

One woman who joined us said, “You don’t mind me singing with you…I don’t go to church.” Of course we didn’t mind. The more the merrier. 

What I realized is that singing brings people together and there’s no better music than Christmas music to sing. Everybody knows the tunes. Everybody can sing a verse or two. 

So wherever you are, in your car, in the mall doing some last-minute shopping, rushing through a crowded parking lot, wrapping up presents, baking cookies, sing out. No one will mind. Got a favorite carol? Sing it. It’s time to celebrate. 

We did on the snowy, muddy, busy streets of New York. What a blast!

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.


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