Sammy Nickalls
December 13, 2015 8:17 am

It’s already mid-December, and Christmas is in 12 days. Where does the time go?! In sum, December is a jam-packed month, and it’s easy to let it fly by without doing anything Christmas-y at all. But don’t fret: If you’ve done practically nothing to celebrate the holidays, some Christmas spirit is just a phone call away.

For 24 hours a day, students at University of Illinois host the Dial-a-Carol program. The 55-year tradition started in 1960, when the office secretary of Snyder Hall, Betty Gordon, convinced the residents to sing and play carols for callers during the holidays. At first, it started with the occasional singing, but just playing vinyl records for the others; then, it morphed into an around-the-clock singing fest.

“Most students of the building participate, regardless of musical ability, religion, or the fact that it’s finals week,” Kirsten Ruby, the university’s associate director of housing for communications, told Washington Post.

The students started singing on midnight last Thursday and have received thousands of calls from every state in the country, as well as Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan, to name a few. Just yesterday, they posted on their Facebook page announcing that they hit 5,000 calls after only three days. Considering their record stands at 6863 calls, and they still have another three days to go, we have a feeling they’ll shatter their record in no time.

By the way, yes, they’ve been counting how many times they get a request for Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” with their “Mariah Meter” — last year, it was requested 339 times.

“We’re very amateur, I think that’s one of the better parts of it,” Snyder Hall resident director Dan Quock told Washington Post when they called to request a song. “I just got done with a final, I’m just going to hang out here and sing some carols and get my mind off of it.”

Want to be serenaded to by these dedicated students? You can call (217) 332-1882 until 11:59 p.m. on December 16th. And if you’re at a loss for what to sing, one member of the Dial-a-Carol team wrote on their Facebook page that they’d love to sing “What’s This,” from Nightmare Before Christmas, while another would love “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber. Pick up your phones and get a dose of holiday spirit, as well as a big smile, because you’re undoubtedly gonna get both!

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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