Caroling in the Community, for the Community

COMMUNITY

By Dylan Phillips

Krista Zelt Caraway of the Vineyard Square neighborhood has figured out a way to give local residents a little extra cheer this challenging holiday season.

Caraway is spearheading Chapelboro Community Carols @ Home, which will take place on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. in several neighborhoods across the community. Those participating will gather at the end of their driveways — or sing from their windows — at that time and begin belting out traditional carols.

The communal singalong during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a unique and alternative way to have “everyone come together and smile during this time,” Caraway said.  And the response to Caraway’s idea “to make people smile” has been, as she put it, overwhelming.

The event has been endorsed by both Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle. The mayors will also participate in the singing and will advertise the event on their social media platforms.

“This is an opportunity to express joy, gratitude and to feel connected to your community,” Hemminger said. “We can feel alone, isolated and as if we are the only ones experiencing these feelings. By doing something at the same time we are no longer alone. I love creative ideas that inspire people to participate —safely!”

With the coronavirus pandemic in many ways disconnecting people from their community, Caraway sees the Christmas Eve caroling as a positive opportunity.

“Everybody is really excited and, obviously, they want to participate but everyone’s adding things like putting signs out, kids are going to be in their pajamas and one local lady is making hot chocolate bombs so that we can drink that while we sing,” Carraway said.

Betsy Conway, also a resident of Vineyard Square, will be participating because, she said, this will allow residents to connect like they haven’t been able to in months.

“I think what made me want to participate is the sense of community I hope it brings — the caring, the belonging,” Conway said. “We’re all in this together and we can all pull through this pandemic together. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and even though we can’t be with our loved ones or our house of worship this year, we can come together to share a little celebration and hope.”

Other neighborhoods participating in Chapelboro Community Carols @ Home singalong include Lake Hogan Farms, Booker Creek and Creekside.

Michele Lynn is organizing the singalong in Lake Hogan Farms and, like Carraway, hopes it will bring joy and unity to the people of her neighborhood during this challenging time.

“Even though we can’t gather together indoors, we can still strengthen those ties, have a sense of community and have light amidst the darkness and challenges of these times,” Lynn said. “Those connections are what make us know that we’ll get through and that we can be there for each other.”


Here are some of the songs the carolers will be singing, and the lyrics if you’ve forgotten the words:

Deck The Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Tis the season to be jolly, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

See the blazing Yule before us. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Strike the harp and join the chorus. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Follow me in merry measure. Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
While I tell of Yuletide treasure. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Fast away the old year passes. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Hail the new ye lads and lasses. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Sing we joyous all together. Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
Heedless of the wind and weather. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la


Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad Prospero año y Felicedad

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad Prospero año y Felicedad

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart


Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob-tail ring,
Making spirits bright,
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago, I thought I’d take a ride,
And soon Miss Fanny Bright Was seated by my side;
The horse was lean and lank;
Misfortune seemed his lot;
He got into a drifted bank,
And we, we got upsot.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.


We Wish You A Merry Christmas

We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!

Good tidings we bring for you and your kin;
We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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