While the know-by-heart carols include a multitude of themes, characters, melodies, and settings, there are generally only two ways in which seasonal ditty devotees enjoy their carol-based consumption: Either by singing the songs themselves or hearing the songs sung by other people.
Science may one day find other methods of merry song-makery when it comes to carol enjoyment, but, for now, all of what we experience is a version of the methods detailed above.
What will you do, then, this season, to fully savor the songs of the yuletide? Christmas is pulling in as fast as a certain band of reindeer, but you can still A) warble some classics alongside others or B) hear singers croon some of your favorite tinsel-bedecked tunes.
Does either option tempt? Or both? Then stick a spring of holly in your hair or pin it to your lapel and merrily make for...
Music Center Plaza: The free Holiday Sing-Along is on the wind on Friday, Dec. 16, but you'll need to arrive a tad early to queue up for a ticket. (Yes, you'll pay nothing but a ticket is needed to enter the event.) If you've forgotten huge swaths of "Deck the Halls," fear not: There shall be lyric sheets. Verdict: You sing.
Walt Disney Concert Hall: A pair of daytime sing-alongs will raise the proverbial roof at the famous performance space on Saturday, Dec. 17. There are two Holiday Sing-Alongs scheduled for earlier in the day, so plan on getting your mi, mi, mi-ing in while the sun is high. And on Friday, Dec. 23? Prepare to join a "White Christmas" sing-along inside the silver bell of a structure. In summary: You sing.
The Original Farmers Market: If you're stopping by the Third & Fairfax landmark to pick up some last-minute toffee or gifts or tamales from Loteria, consider doing so during the market's annual "Holiday Fun" event. Several free-to-see doings are on each day from Dec. 18 through 25, with strolling singers stopping by on a few of the days. The full/festive sked? It's here. The upshot? Other people shall sing.
The 57th Annual LA County Holiday Celebration: It's a big, joy-packed gift to the people of the city from the LA County Board of Supervisors, and it will happen, as is tradition, on Christmas Eve at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The time is 3 to 6 o'clock, and while not every dance number or choir piece will contain carols, a few definitely will. Check it out, for free. What's happening here: Other people shall sing.
Lawry's Restaurants: The dress-up, dig-into-hearty-fare eateries are known for hosting carolers up through Christmas Eve, but not just any caroling singers. The performers are in full Victorian regalia, and they spend their time at the Tam O'Shanter, and Five Crowns, and Lawry's The Prime Rib strolling the room to give each table a sparkly tune. Have your heart set on seeing them? Check and make sure the singers will be on when you make your reservation. The final summary? Other people shall sing.
Happy carol finding, seasonal ditty devotees, whether you yourself sing or savor the songs of those performing nearby.