Dear readers, Christmas is now upon us, regardless of when you believe it is time to start celebrating! Rejoice, for Yuletide is now here, a happy time of family, friends, fun, food, festivities, and presents! The order of those items is up for you to decide. Regardless, I sincerely hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas Day.
To me, Christmas is all the aforementioned things, as well as a time of reflection. When I think of Christmas, I inevitably tend to think of all Christmases past. Quite a lot of me has happened since last Christmas. At the time of writing this article, I find myself in Virginia rather than in New York, a high school graduate, a college student. I am now an alumnus rather than a current member of the New Hyde Park Memorial Chamber Singers. This holiday season, I am reminded of a truly magical tradition us Chamber Singers had, one of caroling through high school halls.
What I found and continue to find so fun about caroling is that it combines two of the wonderful things in this world: singing and Christmas! I am and always will be a huge advocate of Christmas spirit. Partaking in caroling with the Chamber Singers of New Hyde Park Memorial High School every year, specifically the day right before the beginning of Christmas break, is one of my favorite high school memories. Every Christmas Break Eve, my fellow Chamber Singers and I would be excused from our last few classes and assemble in the Chorus Room, ecstatic with holiday cheer. Once our warm-ups were done, we donned holiday garb, grabbed our set of jingle bells, and went out to sing!
From there we would travel throughout the empty, cold halls of our high school and warm them considerably with finely-tuned holiday songs, which we had refined and practiced every previous Wednesday. Classics like “Carol of the Bells” were sung with great pleasure, spreading the joy of music and Yuletide cheer to high school students tired of monotonous classwork.
Running through the halls and singing always felt much more rewarding to me than performing in our winter and spring concerts. It was informal, and that made it more fun in my eyes. It was also great for us to be in direct contact with our audiences, who were certainly as ready for the oncoming winter break as much as we were. There was a magical sense that Christmas would be soon and the feeling was made all the sweeter with the addition of enthusiastic choral voices, accompanied by the ringing of bells and the gentle strums of our director's guitar.
So, dear readers, do yourself a favor this Christmas and reminisce on the magic of holiday seasons past. I assure you won’t regret it. Have a merry, merry Christmas!