Caroling in the park is one of winter’s happiest traditions. Every year, dozens of wanna-be Carusos and Fitzgeralds assemble in the Clubhouse and are divided into three or four traveling choirs. Each group is given a pre-arranged list of houses to visit. Once the golf cart caravan arrives at the target house, one member knocks on the door. When the homeowner answers, the singers get into the act.
Usually we sing one verse each of three songs at each house. These are the carols of our youth, no need for song sheets. The homeowner knows we’re coming, no surprises there. Once the songs are over, we get back onto the golf carts and head to the next house. Generally we finish with donuts and hot chocolate or apple cider back at the Clubhouse.
There are two sign up sheets on the Credenza in the Bingo area. One is for singers, the other is for suggestions of people who would enjoy a cheerful (if not tuneful) visit. Diane Lowry reminds us that if you have a recommendation for someone to visit, you need to get his permission first. (That way they can have their sprinklers turned off that evening.) Usually, each one of the roving bands of songsters has about 8 or 9 houses to visit. It takes a little over an hour, not counting donut time afterwards.
Why should you do this? Because you can and should. We have so many widows and widowers living alone here. An hour of your time will go far in making them feel Christmassy. There are always great big smiles, and lots of the shut-ins sing along. And if you’re thinking right now, “I’d like to, but I can’t carry a tune in a sack”, don’t sweat it. Nobody will notice and nobody will care. It’s the love that counts.