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Off-key carols right note for the holidays

Candy cane antlers, top hats, snowflake sweater vests and Christmas carols — all sung off-key.

Candy cane antlers, top hats, snowflake sweater vests and Christmas carols — all sung off-key.

A professional piano player is tickling the ivories. Will Ferrell’s Elf is playing on a flat-screen TV and, underneath, a row of carolers revel in the classics, belting it out as if they’re the Whos of Whoville.

They’ve been practising their solos, says Koel Loyer, 34, even if it doesn’t sound like it. It doesn’t.

This is Brady and Alex Jones’ annual Caroling for Kids. A gathering of friends and family that, to date, has raised $10,000 in donations for Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities.

It has also produced many hangovers, a consequence of rowdy friends and family finally squeezing in a night during a frenzied holiday season.

The caroling began huddled around a piano in the Joneses’ living room five years ago. A group of friends in their finest ugly Christmas sweaters (think reindeer and cats with Santa hats) forging their own holiday tradition.

Today, the guest list tops 150 people. The venue has moved to cosy downtown bar Cabin Five. Everyone gets a booklet. There are 20 odd songs to plow through.

 
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