What happened
Christmas caroling is a fading tradition—22 percent of Americans planned to go caroling in 1996, but by 2005 the figure had fallen to 6 percent, according to surveys by the National Christmas Tree Association. (USA Today)

What the commentators said
Caroling isn’t dead, said Steven Vegh in The Virginian-Pilot. Church groups and children’s choirs still make appearances in airports and nursing homes and students’ neighborhoods, although it can take some effort to find them. “Live caroling” isn’t as common as it once was, but the tradition is “hanging on.”

Face it, said Ralph Keyes in The Christian Science Monitor. “Roving carolers” are out and “How to Survive the Holidays” workshops are in. Christmas just isn’t what it used to be. With all the gift lists and obligations, the season is all about stress now, rather than good cheer.

It’s political correctness that may be silencing holiday music, said Annette Batson in the Montclair, N.J., blogging site Baristanet. School choruses and bands used to perform the Hallelujah chorus and Handel’s Messiah along with pieces that were Hanukkah or Kwanzaa oriented. But a few years back principals began scrubbing these experiences from the season.

“It’s a good time to be an atheist in America,” said Robert H. Knight in Human Events. Atheist writers are selling their manifestos “by the bin,” blaming Christianity for society’s evils and crediting secularism for tolerance and freedom. This “balderdash” is, of course, “utterly false.”