Why We Carol...
Caroling for the
St. Louis Christmas
Carols Association
gives TWICE to
your community:
of holiday music with
,your listeners, and
twice, as the funds
collected go to help St.
Louis area agencies
that serve children.
Caroling is a unique, personal experience - it's not easy to explain the special feeling one gets giving in this way.  
Here are some stories...

From a parent at  
SouthSide Early  
Childhood Center,  a  funded agency:
A reflection on December 14 at SouthSide :-)

" The parenting meeting had it going on -  we had over 50
parents at the meeting, with a lot of information given,
also  toys for families (thank you!).
The main fun part was Christmas Caroling in the  
neighborhood. I am 40 years old - I was acting
like a kid!  I  had sooooo much fun singing  Christmas
songs in English  and Spanish.  I had a night out
with my SouthSide Family.  
Thank you SouthSide staff & family!"
From Cathy Nickens - Ritenour Caroling Leader:
Members of Harmony United Methodist Church caroled for the first time at the bottom of the escalator in the East
Terminal at Lambert Airport (near the luggage return) - such a delightful and heart-warming experience for our
group!  
We watched the faces of the travelers as they rode down the escalator.  Many smiles, mouthing of the lyrics and
comments like "What a nice welcome to St. Louis!"  greeted us throughout the day, and many stopped to sing a song
with us.   
A lady rode down and made a donation and then rode back up where she had been listening to us while waiting for
her guests to arrive.  Not only did we have great collections for our charities, we truly felt we were "ambassadors for
"Christmas in St. Louis".  Truly one of the best volunteer activities of my life!












                                                                                   
From Bob W. of the Webster Groves Statesmen singing group, in an email to group members:
"Finally, for those of you unable to come to the First Annual Statesmen Christmas Caroling last night,  you really missed something
special... we met at Judy's home and spent the next hour and 45 minutes strolling through Webster Park caroling.
The night was crisp but between our 42 layers of clothing and the joy of the season we stayed plenty warm. Each house we sang at was
gorgeous; all decked out with plenty of lights and looking like a set for a Hollywood Christmas movie.  The people were universally
surprised and delighted to see and hear us.  It was especially neat when there were small children (for whom we of course sang Jingle
Bells).  One little boy in his pajamas looked for all the world like he was seeing Santa himself.  His expression was priceless.  
We finally had to quit when we couldn't stuff any more money in the Christmas Carols can!!  One family put in a $50 bill!
We had so much fun we decided to do it every year, so mark your calendars now!"

Our troop has caroled for the St. Louis
Christmas Carols Association at the
airport for about 15 years now.  The girls
in our Girl Scout Troop were only about
9 or 10 years old then.
I think we may have missed a year or two
in between somewhere.
                        
                                            The girls in 1998...
Now, some of the girls/young women are college graduates and
some are married.  We always look forward to our time to carol
at the airport.  We always brought goodies for the troops and
made a stop at the USO on our way to our designated spot to
carol.                            
The girls enjoyed seeing the smiling faces and felt good about
themselves doing this as a service.  Some years there were
more of us than other years, but we were always able to go.       

The weather never interfered with this service/field trip because
we were indoors!!  The young ladies like the idea of continuing
doing service together even though we are no longer a troop.
We usually are able to get one of the hotels near the airport to
shuttle us over to the airport.  Hilton did for years but the last
couple years the Marriott has been gracious to us.  One year, the
Hilton was hosting a Christmas Party for the Christian's Home
orphans and asked us if we would sing for them, too.  We did,
and they treated us to a fine turkey dinner with the party
participants.  We even ended up on the channel five news!
I particularly like that the money stays in the area that it is
collected!  We have seen many changes in the economy over the
years, and some years the donations have been better than
others.  We still enjoy spreading good cheer!

Sincerely,
Maggie Steitz
former GS leader



      In 2010. . .

                                            . . .  And in 2013!
My family began hosting a caroling party the Monday before Christmas in 1986.  My mom's friend was having a hard time during the holidays.  She sang alto to my
mom's soprano, so caroling we went!  And so began our family Christmas tradition.  The Monday before Christmas, we'd gather neighbors and friends and traipse
around the neighborhood.  Even the pizza and beer dinner we had that first year became an unintentional tradition, as did many of the treats we had with hot
chocolate afterward (my favorites were homemade miniature cheesecakes).  When I got to host my own caroling party in 6th grade, I thought it was the coolest
thing. I first learned to sing harmony when my mom's friend taught me the alto part to "Joy to the World" when I was 10 years old.  Last week, I sang harmony for a
professional musician at one of my favorite music venues in Los Angeles.  And it all started with Christmas caroling.

My mom passed away from ovarian cancer in October of 2007.  For a few years, I carried on the caroling tradition, even flying back from California.  As my dad
moved on with relationships and planned to move out of the neighborhood, there was a year that would mark the "last" Christmas in the house, so I made sure we
had the last Christmas caroling.  That night, a mom who I'd babysat for pulled her now enormous, hockey-playing, young adult sons to the door, saying, "Come
and listen to this!  I want you to know this still happens in the world."

As with anyone who has endured a major loss, the holidays can be hard for me.  There have been a lot of changes in recent years.  My dad got remarried; we sold
my childhood home.  My dad's wife, while a lovely woman, is Jewish, so going home for Christmas doesn't really exist anymore.  

I figured I would actually look forward to the holidays this year if I introduced my friends here in California to the Christmas caroling tradition.  So we'll have pizza
and beer beforehand and miniature cheesecakes afterward.  The population of my corner of Los Angeles is quite different from that of Chesterfield.  There are a lot
of apartments in the few blocks around mine with locked gates.  It might be a total flop, but we're going to try it!  And for the first time in several years, I'm actually
looking forward to the holidays.  I'm grateful for the tradition in my family and to STLCCA for the inspiration because I want people to know that this still happens in
the world.

Thanks for all you do for the community, bringing cheer to neighborhoods
and the hope of possibility to the charities you support.
                                                                         Sincerely,
                                                                          Ann M. Scharnhorst
                                                                          Culver City, California
St. Louis
Christmas Carols Association
Caroling to Benefit Children
Since 1911
Harmony UMC also carols each July at our
"Christmas Caroling in July event" What a
dedicated group of carolers!
  
St. Louis Christmas Carols Association - 7425 Forsyth Boulevard, Suite 353, St. Louis, MO  63105  -  314.863.1225
Email - stlcca@att.net
From a high school student:  
    "I was thinking about caroling today.   I want to thank you for this
    program, I really do appreciate caroling every year with my church
    group. I go to Ladue Chapel  and my mom gets church members together
    every December for this.  I have had so much fun with it and made so
    many memories participating.
    So, again, thank you!! What you do is really appreciated.  I can't wait
    for this Christmas!  
                                                 Much love,
                                                         Victoria
Have you enjoyed a special caroling experience?  Please share it with us - email stlcca@att.net.
              From Jane Matoushek, a Girl Scout
leader in South County:
As a Girl Scout this is one of the easiest, simple,
fun ways to do Community Service.  
I will never forget the first time I did it with our
GS Troop (they graduated spring 2015).  The girls
were 6th grade Cadettes, and had just started
band, and we had our singers.  The girls played
there instruments, and we sang.  The entire
neighborhood could hear us and came out to
donate, and also gave the girls goodies, and a
couple of the homes were having a holiday parties.  
We had a family find us and beg us to stop by
there home and we did.  It seems grandma was ill,
and she heard us and wanted to go the party, so we
brought it to her.




















Jane's current troop singing in their neighborhood.
every December in
Terminal 2, greeting
holiday travelers and
collecting over $1000
in donations!!
The group in 2014
was made up of
members age 7 to 90!
Ann's caroling group in 2013! (She's in center, just behind the doggie!)
Click
HERE to read a description of their first caroling experience!
Ann's mother Barb left a gift to
the St. Louis Christmas Carols
Association in her will... because of
her gift, we were able to launch
the Kingsbury Place Singers,
purchasing music and costumes.
What a special lady!  
2015 update - The "3rd annual Culver City Christmas Caroling Party" was scheduled for Sunday, December 20.
Living just over an hour away from San Bernardino, and near a mosque, this year she planned to have her group sing "Let There Be Peace On Earth"
instead of ending with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" at each home.  What a great idea.

Commenting about how busy the holidays can be, she said,
 "I know that if we carol, it will be magical.  It just always is.  Sometimes in life, we just
have to do everything we can to show up and in that process, it creates space for the divine to come and meet us.  So I'm making some space again
this year and hoping for a Christmas miracle to come and fill in the blanks (though I still have to bake the mini-cheesecakes :)."
They caroled again in
2014 and 2015, and in
2016 they invited a
Daisy troop (below) to
join them, continuing
their wonderful legacy
and tradition!
When you carol, you never know who you will touch.  
Louis Airport on July 24, 2011, we received this email :
Dear Ms. Koontz,                                                                
Every year my wife and I choose a Sunday in July to
celebrate what we call “Christmas in July.”  After church
we get out our Christmas music, exchange gifts, and start
working on our to-do list for the December Christmas.  
This year we had been planning on July 24th as that
date.  My wife was supposed to return from a business trip
from Dallas the evening of the 23rd.  Unfortunately, she
missed her plane Saturday evening, and again on
Sunday morning, due to security problems.  When she
finally got home to Saint Louis at 4:30 PM Sunday
afternoon, she was obviously not in a good mood.  I was
there to greet her, and told her I had a special surprise for
her.  When I took her downstairs and she heard and saw
your carolers, her mood changed dramatically.  She
loved the big sign they had that read “Christmas in July.”  
Thank-you very much for allowing us to keep our
Christmas in July.
                                                 William U.
                                                Maryland Heights, MO
2016 Update - after a
group cancelled, we
needed replacements to
sing December 23 at the
Garden Glow at  Missouri
Botanical Garden.   Ann,
who was flying in from
California that day,  and
her father came straight
from the Airport to join
another group - they saved
the day (and the donation)
for us!