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The Goddamn Christmas Carolers

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I’m a Scrooge/Grinch about many things.

Inept holiday shoppers who have never navigated a mall before.

The Loudonville Price Chopper, where ten employees are lounging around the registers talking but only one register is open.

Those Salvation Army bell-ringers who are blithely unaware that the organization is still virulently-anti-gay, most recently uncovered as not wanting to hire gay people for their bell-ringing efforts. (As if!)

For my part, I can defend my abhorrence of all of the above pretty easily. What I cannot defend, and I apologize in advance, is my ill-will toward carolers. It’s an odd stance, as I don’t recall getting any carolers at our home in over a decade, but we have a troupe that goes around my work building, and I avoid them like the plague.

It’s just a strange thing to have a group of people, most of whom are strangers, standing in front of your door, singing their little hearts out and staring directly at you for the duration of a song or two. It is the epitome of awkwardness. (And I despise all awkwardness I didn’t have an active hand in creating.)

I also get weirdly emotional when a group of people sings to me, so in addition to feeling awkward and on-the-spot, I also feel uncomfortably moved, and I hate being so vulnerable in front of a group of onlookers. Especially when they’re smiling and singing like a bunch of idiots, spreading their Christmas cheer and bonhomie, making it all but impossible for me to critique them.

And then when they’re done, what do you do?

Do you tip them? Throw a bunch of coins at their feet?

Applaud? A lone pair of hands applauding sounds even sadder than silence.

More awkwardness ensues. If it’s frigid out, you have to invite them in for coffee or hot chocolate or something, right? I don’t want strangers in my house! Get the hell out of here!

That said, it could always be worse.

Like those beggar children at Halloween.

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