Dreaming of carolers for Christmas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015

There is a picture, a dream, an imagining I’ve carried around for many a Christmas season. Nope, it is not sugarplum fairies dancing in my head.

It is the sight and sound of carolers at the door. In this dream, I hear music on my porch and find a choir wearing brightly colored scarves and mittens singing a harmonious rendition of “Silent Night.”

As I stand in the warmth of my house listening to the beautiful music, a gentle snow falls through the trees. It’s like living a Courier and Ives painting.

Since I live about five miles outside of town, about one mile down a dirt road in South Alabama, I doubt carolers at my door or gentle snowflakes are happening. Still I can dream.

When I was a kid, I tried to make the dream come true — well sorta. I hosted a caroling party and invited all my friends to come. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I pictured us going door-to-door spreading Christmas cheer with our singing. What I learned is it’s almost impossible to corral a group of pre-teen people long enough to get a decent song out of them.

The boys wanted to run around poking each other, and the girls were too shy to sing if the boys weren’t going to sing too. We got maybe one, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” out without the whole thing deteriorating into giggles.

I did have a nice caroling experience when I was older. A group of us became friends doing a play together at LBW and decided to carol. It was fine, but it wasn’t on my porch and there were no snowflakes.

I pretty much gave up on the caroling dream until today when I read about Dial-A-Carol. For 55 years, University of Illinois students have phone caroled.

It works like this. You call, tell them you name, where you live and what carol you want to hear. Boom, you get a personal caroler singing your song.

Now these are not necessarily students studying voice and that’s what makes it fun. The person on the other end is a would-be caroler like me, spreading holiday joy using what talent is available.

It sounded like so much fun I decided to try it. I dialed the number and got a message asking me to have my request ready, and to please be patient.

After a few minutes, Chris answered, took my request, got my name and location. Then he sang “Silent Night.” He did pretty well, but I don’t expect to see him showing up on “The Voice.”

We talked for a few minutes when he finished singing. He said they end their dial-up caroling December 16 (tonight) at midnight and invited me to invite friends to call before the deadline. Then we wished each other a Merry Christmas.

“What a lovely call,” I said as I hung up.

No it wasn’t scarf-wrapped carolers at my door, but it was someone sharing a little holiday tune just for me. That kind of qualifies as my dream fulfilled.

The experience with Chris got me thinking how fun it would be to pass on some holiday cheer. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll answer my phone with a vocal greeting.

Now, I’m no dial-a-caroler, but I might get through a verse of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Imagine how much that lady who calls me every day with a credit card offer is going to enjoy my singing.

Who knows I might be on the cusp of starting a tradition to rival those University of Illinois folks. (My daughter would give me her go-to response to that idea — “or not.”)

Anyway, if you want to hear a yoga teacher/column writer wishing you a musical Merry Christmas, give me a call. (My deadline is midnight tonight, too).

Better yet, before the fun ends, check out the Dial-A-Carol singers at (217) 332-1882. If you get Chris, tell him I said hello.