Everyone gets a songbook, and we roll through more than two dozen songs of the season, including familiar classics and unfamiliar treasures. Jokes. Sentiment. Special guests. And all proceeds go to Chicago Tribune Holiday Giving, an all-purpose charity that directs 100 percent of donations to organizations that serve the needy.
And every year Mary and I give free tickets to winners of some contest we devise. This year's challenge is to write humorous multiple-choice trivia questions based on well-known Christmas, Hanukkah or winter-related songs associated with this magical time of the year.
The questions should be in the form and spirit of the "So You Think You Know Carols?" quizzes I wrote and posted several years ago and are still available online. For example:
What happens between God and sinners in "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing"?
A. They agree to disagree
B. They set aside their differences and sing in harmony
C. They battle and God wins
D. They are forever parted
E. They are reconciled
One other thing that happens every year is that "Songs of Good Cheer" sells out the 450-seat Old Town School auditorium very early. It's happening again this year even though we added an extra show to try to meet demand. So unless you're counting on being one of our four winners, you should call 773-728-6000 or visit oldtownschool.org for tickets.
Find "So You Think You Know Carols?" at chicagotribune.com/zorn.