To the editor:

I am definitely not a singer and have not gone Christmas caroling since I was a kid. but luckily Christmas caroling has always been about so much more than just the singing. In my opinion, Christmas caroling is ultimately about friends gathering together and bringing joy to their neighbors, while honoring and highlighting the blessing we all have received in Christ Jesus. So when I heard about the idea to go Christmas caroling from Coach Fifer, I knew I wanted to participate. Every community event that Coach Fifer has proposed turns out to be a lot of fun, and this caroling event did not disappoint.

The plan was for the carolers to ride throughout the Doyle community singing Christmas carols while sitting on a flatbed trailer being pulled by a pickup truck. About 15 carolers showed up to participate, ranging in all ages from four different generations of community residents, including at least three beautiful young ladies in their 80s. For me personally, the biggest draw to the event was simply being honored to sit and listen and hang out with these wonderful people, many of whom are the true leaders of the only true neighborhood in Kerrville.

Singing songs about the birth of Christ to your neighbors is such a simple gesture, but obviously a very impactful one.  Residents were coming out of their houses to take pictures, capture videos and just simply enjoy the connection with their neighbors. Cars driving past were honking and waving and shouting out “Merry Christmas.” And when we drove to Buzzie’s BBQ and stopped outside their front door to sing, customers and workers alike came outside to listen and engage with the carolers.

I was most touched by singing in front of the house of one very special long-time resident of this community. I first met this woman a couple of years ago, but had grown especially fond of her when delivering weekly meals to her from the Doyle Community Center food pantry. I had heard that recently her health had been declining; however I was unaware of just how serious the situation had become.

As the caroling trailer pulled up in front of her house, someone said we needed to sing especially loudly because this woman was ‘transitioning’ and would not be able to come outside to listen.  Hearing that surprising news made me emotional and my eyes began tearing up as I did my best to sing “Silent Night” for my friend. The interesting thing about how God works is that the news of potentially losing this special lady was made easier when I realized that now and forever I will be reminded of her whenever I hear “Silent Night.” No matter when God calls her home, for me she will always be thought of as one of the community’s many Christmas angels.

I have said it many times before, but the Doyle community is the ONLY true neighborhood left in Kerrville and it is a pleasure and an honor to be able to be a part of this family.  Many people probably think Christmas caroling is old-fashioned, quaint and maybe even silly…but when you actually take part in something like this it is powerful to see how much people still respond and appreciate simple gestures that do nothing more than connect people with their neighbors.

Thank you to all who made this event happen and for allowing me to participate.

– George Baroody


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