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Christmas caroling a time-honored tradition

News File Photo In this 2011 News archive photo, a group carolers sing at Tendercare in Alpena. Christmas caroling is a longstanding Christmas tradition, and local churches and organizations often visit senior living facilities to spread cheer and good tidings.

ALPENA — There are many ways to spread cheer during the Christmas season, but, to many, one of the best is to come together to sing Christmas songs to other members of the community and to celebrate the birth of Christ in doing so.

The tradition of Christmas caroling is long, and many churches and groups often visit local senior living facilities, the hospital, and other places to sing. A mix of adult and youth choirs perform, often for those who are elderly.

Tendercare Alpena Life Enhancement Director Kathy Klimek said it’s always a big deal when carolers come to sing to the residents and everyone enjoys it.

She said there are always a lot of smiles as the popular holiday tunes are performed.

“Having carolers come in means a lot to everybody, and it is very much appreciated,” Klimek said. “It is fulfilling, spiritual, and, let’s face it, music is good for the soul. A lot of times, everyone will join in singing their favorite Christmas song, and everybody just loves it.”

Immanuel Lutheran Church Associate Pastor Joshua Schultz said that, a lot of times, groups from the church will go out and sing to members of the church who don’t get out often, as well as to senior living facilities.

He said the people doing the singing, especially the kids, love it, as do the people to whom they are singing.

Schultz said the church will sometimes carol at several places in one night, and, often, it is hard to get from one place to another because people enjoy the music so much.

“We try to get to a lot of places, but it is always a struggle, because they always want us to stay and sing longer,” Schultz said. “We try to do about five or six songs and then move along. Sometimes, though, it is tough to leave because of the fun people are having.”

For the most part, Schultz said, most of the Christmas carols they sing have to do with the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. He said there are times other popular songs are included, however.

“We try to keep it religion-heavy with the classic carols, but we do throw in things like ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman’ to keep things fun and festive,” Schultz said.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.com.

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