christmas caroling, reindeer, sing, joy

Christmas Caroling

Seven students went Christmas Caroling to a few of Cookson Hills’ faithful supporters, the week before Christmas. They hoped to bring them some cheer during the holidays. But what our students experienced was something much more meaningful than they could have imagined. 

You see, we live 10 minutes away from the middle of nowhere, and it is difficult for some of our people to come and see us. So the question was asked, “How can we bring Cookson Hills to a few of our local supporters who have been so faithful to our cause but cannot come to see us anymore?” The answer, we discovered, was Christmas Caroling. We knew this would completely surprise and delight our incredible supporters. But what we didn’t realize, was how good this would be for our souls. Here is what a few of the students had to say in reflecting on the experience. 

What our carolers had to say

christmas caroling, retirement home, lunch entertainment

I found the experience fun and rewarding, seeing the people as happy as they were. Everyone who got to go caroling had fun, and the people were really grateful for what we did. I would do it again. 


Caroling was not something that everyone in the group was looking forward to, but the end result, the connections that were made, and the fun that we had were so worth it. 

Christmas caroling, reindeer on the front yard,

I had never gone Christmas Caroling before. It was fun. I wish we had more time to sit and talk with the different people, though.   

There were a couple of people we sang to who cried. It made me sad to see them cry because I didn’t want them to cry. I know their tears were coming from a good place, but it made me sad that something as simple as taking the time out of our day and singing to them had such an impact on them. One of the ladies said her mother had been looking forward to this all day. 

It was eye-opening that what we did had such an impact on those people. It’s sad because I would come every day if I could. Seeing how thankful they were for such a simple act, I wish we could do more for them.

Sometimes, I forget that people who are older may not get to leave their houses often. Me, I wake up, and I get to go places, and I see people, and that’s normal for me, but for them, they don’t really see people, so when they do, it’s special. I feel like I can learn something from that; that every interaction is important and unique. So often, I have conversations with people, and I take those conversations for granted. I should be grateful for every interaction and cherish each one. And this caroling experience is just a reminder that just because my interactions are normal for me now doesn’t mean it will always be normal.

— Renee

 a joyful hug

Christmas Caroling was way more impactful than I was expecting, and I also had more fun than I was expecting. I enjoyed it, and I would do it again. I thought would be more awkward whenever we were singing, and the people would just be staring at us, thinking, “Here’s some kids singing to us.” But they were super inviting, letting us come in, hugging us, and being super thankful and grateful, making it feel more meaningful. I thought it was very cool. I’m glad we got to do it. I think I will start breaking out in song whenever I meet people now, just like in High School Musical. 


A worship experience

living room singing

I wrote a paper once on Christmas Caroling. I did all that research and learned how it makes people happy and spreads Christmas Cheer, but I didn’t know how impactful it was until I actually did it. Before, when I thought of Christmas Caroling, I imagined going from house to house, but it hit me hard when we went to see the people in the retirement homes. 

The two people that hit me the most were the ones that cried. One supporter is very high-risk and has to wear a mask. She doesn’t get to go out much. And even though we sounded bad, it moved her so much, and I just felt all the love from her. And that’s what it’s really all about. Even though we were singing secular Christmas music, I could feel the presence of God while we were singing. I was trying not to cry because I don’t like crying, but I really had a heart for her. It just made me think about all I have. I am able to go Christmas Caroling, I am able to go and do stuff, but she can’t. My singing with all my friends gave her a chance to smile and feel a different type of emotion. It was really important to me. 

The other lady that cried reminded me of my grandma. And I was trying not to cry because I miss my grandma so much. I noticed their gratitude; even though their lives are so different now than they used to be, they are still so grateful. They still love us, and they still support us. They’re older and don’t have to support Cookson Hills, but they do because they love us. It was so powerful, and I think we should go caroling every year. 

The power of music

group audience

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I love giving gifts to my family and friends. In the past, I haven’t thought about people who might not have family and friends. Because of this experience, I believe for every holiday, I should try to do something for other people. Yes, I’ll still give to my family, but also to older people who don’t have family or friends. I could go play my saxophone for them in retirement homes, and they would live that. Or just go to volunteer because I might be the one smile that makes their day. But I think I’m starting to get a heart for older people. We can hear many amazing things from them and learn so much that it just makes me miss my grandma. 

I also did a paper on how music affects the brain. I learned that for older people with dementia, music is the only thing they can remember. You have different parts of your brain that hold your regular memories, like family memories. Still, there is another part of your brain that will never be affected by dementia: the part that holds music memory. I don’t know if the people we sang to had dementia, but Christmas Caroling and seeing them sing along made me feel like these people are fantastic. 

I used to fear older people, but they’re not scary. They can’t hurt me. It was just so powerful. I felt like we were leading a worship set, and God was there, and we were all coming down to the altar. It was so small, and it was the smallest thing that we could do, but for me, it felt so big, and my heart was filled. I want to do this every single year from now on. And we did not sound good, but I didn’t care, and they didn’t care. They didn’t care that we couldn’t sing; they were just happy that we were there, and that’s so powerful. I love it so much. 

— Lexie

Caroling, group photo