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Musical break surprised 1970s Christmas carolers

While caroling after a big snowstorm one Christmas, this family enjoyed a humorous moment they'll never forget.

Musical break caught 1970s Christmas carolers by surprise

A major snowstorm in 1970 created a perfect wintry scene for my family’s annual Christmas caroling. We donned a colorful array of sweaters, parkas and gloves, topped off with our matching red plaid scarves. Each of us gathered our musical instruments—tambourine, bells, trumpet, clarinet and triangle—and squeezed into the car.

We stood in a semicircle on the first porch and started playing I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. After the first verse, we continued to the second with even more enthusiasm. But as the trumpet player dramatically built up to a high note, a loud crash abruptly silenced the music!

At first we didn’t know what the commotion was about, but then we saw the trumpet player grimacing and rubbing the back of his neck. The vibrations from the trumpet’s high-pitched note had shattered a large icicle, which fell from the tall roof, hit a porch column and sent a chunk of ice down his back.

When our neighbors opened the door, they were greeted by a loud blast of laughter. They looked quite bewildered, but joined in our good humor after we told them the story. We shared smiles and warm wishes for the holidays and handed them a canister of treats before giggling all the way to the next house.

Carolyn Joyner Freebairn • Salt Lake City, Utah

Photo credit: Library of Congress

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Pauline Crawford January 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm

I just love this site and also your magazine , my Sister Bertha Smith gave it to me last year for my 79th Birthday, and so I am treating myself to 2 more years for my 80th Birthday this year, which was December 30th.
Again thank you for a wonderful magazine.
Pauline Crawford


Edythe Dowdell January 17, 2014 at 10:32 am

I was reading an issue in a waiting room, brought back so many memories.. Just order it. Can’t wait for it to come.. this will give my grandchildren a chance to see what it was like when I was growing up. Thank You.


Barbara August 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Enjoyed this article! Some of my favorite memories are Christmas caroling in NJ…..especially if there was snow on the ground!! Many people had hot chocolate for us or maybe one homemade cookie! :) Those w ere certainly better days…..


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