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Christmas caroling in the car

Are you and your family traveling during the Christmas season? If so, will part of your journey include a group sing-along of some of the more popular holiday songs?

The results of a new survey were released a few days ago indicating that most families do indeed enjoy singing along if they are driving to their destination. It tends to keep the youngsters interested and involved, and it is a valuable break for seemingly endless questions “Are we there yet?” and “Can we stop at the next exit?”

Long holiday car rides, particularly with young children, can be stressful. Ask any parent who’s had the experience.

About two-thirds of the families who participated in the survey said they frequently sing together in the car while en route to their destination.

And, the majority of those surveyed listed “Jingle Bell Rock” as the song that both drivers and passengers sing along to most commonly.

The study was conducted by OnePoll, in cooperation with Quaker State. Other topics were included in the survey, but the top choices for singing along caught my attention.

Following the number one choice, other popular choices were “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” “I Wish You a Merry Christmas” was another favorite.

Not too surprising. More than forty years ago I published a collection of Christmas narratives with suggested holiday songs for radio stations. Then, as now, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “I Want to Wish You a Merry Christmas” were included among many other favorites.

Although “Jingle Bell Rock” was not in the mix in 1976, it’s certainly appealing to young and old alike today. It may be one of your favorites.

Lots of the songs suggested for radio in those days included traditional hymns and beloved carols that have been passed down through the years, generation to generation. They may not fit easily into caroling in the car, but they are important to every age as we observe the birth of Jesus and celebrate in song our joy at this season.

William H. Baker, Claiborne County native and former Middlesboro resident. He may be contacted at wbaker@limestone.edu.