Christmas is fast approaching and it seems that the inevitable wash of carol singers is being deposited on my doorstep.
With Christmas being what Christmas is nowadays, the opportunity to put yourself in a nice little money-making enterprise called ‘Carol Singing’ must be appealing to any child / teenager. It fits in nicely with the commercialism values that seem to plague our lives at every opportunity at this time of year.
And before shouts of ‘Scrooge!’ And bags of humbugs are catapulted in my direction, let’s just consider this. Who wouldn’t be frustrated by people pulled away from family dinner only to find some kid or thug standing there with arms outstretched while singing an off-key version of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’? It’s as though I’m expected to pay people for the privilege of having my evening interrupted. Furthermore, the reason I find myself parting with cash is not because of the fine rendition of this Christmas classic – but because I want to get rid of them and stop wasting my time.
My wife came up with a good solution. “Just ask them what charity they’re collecting for,” She said to me. And sure enough, the first time she asked the question this year her response was “Errrrrrrr. The blind?” Yeah, right!
So then it’s a matter of asking to see their charity badge or collection box, and needless to say – neither item is particularly forthcoming.
Even so, I still come away with a feeling of guilt. Have I failed to enter into the Christmas spirit? Probably. But let’s face facts, I don’t expect to get value for money from doorstep carol singers, but I would at least like some effort made. Wasn’t there a time when groups of men and women would visit homes churning out classics such as ‘Good King Wencesles’ all for a good cause? I can almost hear the burly baritone men at the back now.
I suppose that more analysis into the value of a vertical market such as carol singing should be conducted. If quick-fix kids can make a mint or two, imagine the possibilities for new commercial ventures. Not just charities, advertising campaigns for various chains could really give that ‘wow’ factor. Imagine opening your door on a snowy evening to find yourself faced with some Craig David-wannabes singing ‘Ba Ba Ba Ba Baaaaaaaa. I’m Lovin’ It!’ And then wandering off without wanting cash. Ronald McDonald could make a killing.
So that just leaves me wondering what to do with all of those freeloading carol singers that are in it to make a quick buck without checking if they can actually sing. With the dirge that I’ve heard lately there seems only one solution. Round them up and shove them all in a karaoke bar.
In the meantime, I’ll probably have to print out a sign telling carol singers to go away if they aren’t collecting for charity. How festive!