December 20 is, apparently, National Go Caroling Day here in the United States. For those who may not know, caroling is when a group of a cappella singers, preferably in Dickensian dress, go door-to-door through neighborhoods and sing Christmas carols to their neighbors. The carols generally include Christmas classics like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” but also might slant more overtly religious with selections like “O Holy Night.”
But I have a request for everyone this year: please don’t celebrate National Go Caroling Day.
It’s Not The Year For It
I’m not dumping on Christmas carols or carolers or the holidays or anything like that. I will admit that sometimes around this time of year I get a little Scroogey because it’s difficult to get things done at work when everyone else in the world seems to be on vacation right when you need them, but I also enjoy Christmastime and even Christmas music, so my issue isn’t with carols or carolers.
But one of the reasons not to celebrate Go Caroling Day this year is because it is, well, this year. Just think about it for a second. Is this really the best year to have groups of strangers going door-to-door singing at you? Social distancing, working from home, a general distrust of people ringing the doorbell, and all around “bad vibes” in 2021 tell me that this is not the year for caroling.
Then there’s the day itself. It’s Monday. Why on earth would anyone schedule caroling for a Monday? Mondays are generally my busiest workday of the week and when I get home after all of that I just want to have a drink and watch some sports, maybe read a book; something relaxing. Standing awkwardly in my doorway as people sing “Joy to the World” at me is not relaxing.
This actually makes me question the wisdom and intelligence of the founders of National Go Caroling Day. Shouldn’t it have been one of those holidays that moves? Maybe it’s always the Sunday before Christmas or something? Or even if it’s going to be a set day shouldn’t it be December 23 or 24? I don’t see the wisdom in making in December 20 because most years that’s going to be during a workweek, and workweeks are not great times to go door-to-door singing at people.
I think the better thing to do would be to have caroling areas in towns where people can celebrate. Set up some space on the town square or by the courthouse or whatever and let the people come to see the carolers. I feel like that would be better for everyone. The people that want to hear the carolers will hear them. The carolers’ feelings will be spared by avoiding situations where they have front doors slowly and awkwardly closed while you explain that it’s not that you don’t like carols, you just have a ton to do. And, at least in Texas, the carolers in their old Victorian wool clothing won’t have to sweat away 50 pounds each because they won’t have to walk neighborhoods in 70° weather while wearing 17 pounds of heavy, itchy, hot clothing. Everybody wins.
I’m not trying to be a Scrooge about this, I just think this isn’t the year or the day for the holiday. That said, merry Christmas, and I hope you get to hear your favorite carols!