Back to “normal”: Dial-A-Carol returns to its origins, complete with live singing from the residents of Snyder Hall at the University of Illinois
One of our favorite Champaign-Urbana holiday traditions returns this week. Dial-A-Carol is back and perhaps better than ever, with University of Illinois dorm residents ready to fill your phone airwaves with a mega dose of holiday cheer.
If you’re not familiar with this wonderful family-friendly and free phenomenon, University of Illinois students sing Christmas carols and other holiday tunes LIVE – on demand – over the phone.
Dial-A-Carol re-opens at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9 and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16. It goes continuously, 24 hours a day, for the entire week.
If your kids enjoy calling someone on the phone, don’t miss it. All you have to do is call (217) 332-1882. (See directions below). Oh, and don’t forget to sing along.
“We are very excited to be back in full swing this year and bring the joy of Dial-A-Carol to both new and returning callers/carolers,” said Snyder Hall resident advisor Jennifer Taylor. “In terms of most popular songs, I’d have to say All I Want for Christmas is You, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but we have over 120 songs in our songbook and will gladly look up any requests we may not have already!”
Since 1960, University of Illinois students have sung Christmas carols over the phone, live from Snyder Hall.
While Dial-A-Carol helps bring holiday cheer all over the world – it also helps alleviate stress for student volunteers, many of whom are in the midst of studying for first semester finals. While technology may change, Dial-A-Carol persists.
A unique and beloved holiday tradition known all over the world, here’s how it works:
Step 1: Dial 217-332-1882.
Step 2: Wait for someone to answer. Be prepared when it’s someone live! You might get put on hold if it’s busy.
Step 3: Ask for a favorite song. You can try to stump the singers if you’d like. They have a huge songbook, filled with lots of classics, old and new. One song per call, please!
Step 4: Listen to the song. Sing along if you wish!
Step 5: Call again. You can call as much as you want.
“Dial-a-Carol has been able to continue for 59 years because not only has it become a wonderful tradition at the U of I, but also a tradition for families all across the world that continue to call every year,” said one of the Dial-a-Carol student volunteers in 2019.
Callers include children and adults of all ages including community members, university students, faculty members, and alumni.
“We understand that much of the joy of Dial-a-Carol comes from speaking to a person, but we had to make a decision that was in the best interest of our students’ health and safety,” they wrote at the time.
Thankfully, they were able to return in 2021.
Just to remind you, the telephone number during the week is (217) 332-1882.
Watch a video here: