Bethesda keeps holiday caroling tradition alive

Chad Frey
The Kansan
Goessel school students carol through the windows of Bethesda Home, with their performace livestreamed to screens and sound systems inside the building by Rick Woelk.

GOESSEL —  There is a holiday tradition at Bethesda Home in Goessel, the last day of school before Christmas Break elementary school students sing carols in the halls of the nursing home. 

But this year things had be a little different. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Christmas events have taken an unusual and creative twist. Residents were treated to carolers from the grade school, kindergartners through fifth-graders came to sing grade by grade outside the chapel windows for residents. 

The sounds and video were livestreamed inside to aid the performance.

“It was great to have the young children bring in the Christmas joy in song to us residents who have to stay inside,” said Evie, a resident at the nursing home. 

And the nursing home added a new tradition — the maintenance shop has been busy making a sleigh for Christmas. The sleigh, along with staff Santa and elves, made an appearance outside the grade school on Dec. 18 and will also deliver gifts for residents on the day of their party, going "neighborhood to neighborhood" inside.  

The sleigh is complete with a headlight, tail lights, pinstriping and a license plate.

Santa's Elves — Mary Rauh and Rod Boese — and Santa — Ron Soller — show off a new sleigh for use at Bethesda Home in Goessel.
This year, Goessel  students caroling at Bethesda Home did so from outside, rather than walking the halls of the nursing homes.
Elementary school students sing Christmas carols outside Bethesda Home in Goessel.