Whether you’re continents or cities apart from your loved ones this Christmas, it can put a damper on the holiday spirit to not be surrounded by close friends and family. For those who grew up waiting on pins and needles for a white Christmas, lighted palm trees and coconuts don’t quite cut it. Or, if you’re couch surfing around the globe and there’s no Charlie Brown Christmas tree to get one last whiff of before you go to bed, you might not have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
But there’s no excuse for a lack of Christmas cheer this year. Students and faculty at the University of Illinois are taking a break from exam week to answer the phone around-the-clock, serenading callers with their Christmas carol of choice. If they don’t know the song or it’s not in their lyric binder, they’ll pull it up on YouTube and sing along.
The designated caroling center even has a Mariah Meter where the carolers keep track of the song request “All I Want for Christmas is You.” According to the Washington Post, it rivals Jingle Bells as the most popular song of choice.
The program has become so well-loved you might find yourself wait-listed, having to call back later. But it’s well worth it to hear a group of college kids shedding their inhibitions and singing appropriately off-key to “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” which, not surprisingly, was my song request.
So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up this winter season, don’t let yourself have a blue blue blue Christmas. You can call 217-332-1882 up until 11:59 PM on Dec. 16 (when the school closes for winter break and the volunteer carolers all head home for the holidays).