The coffee and hot chocolate warmed the body, but the music warmed the soul.

The choir from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church shared a Christmas carol sing-along with shoppers and visitors Thursday evening, first on a closed-off Dempster Street at Chicago Avenue, and later at Chicago and Washigton, near Main.

The caroling was part of the Hometown Holiday Celebration and Stroll, sponsored by the Main Dempster Mile marketing association.

“Our organization’s mission is to fill the streets with people so they can shop,” said MDM executive director Katherine Gotsick.

More than 30 merchants offered a variety of sales, free hot chocolate or cider, and activities for children.

The “Frozen Robin Carolers” brought music from store to store.

The church choir singing carols was a plus.

“People need a reason to come that’s not just shopping,” Gotsick noted.

Elizabeth Hubbard, who lives nearby, came both to shop, and to listen.

“I came for the music, and to support the stores,” she said.

And Olivia Brand and her husband Gary McKenney brought their son Charles Ignatius, or “Iggy,” as they call him, to take it all in from a stroller-level view.

Olivia Brand and son “Iggy” enjoy the Christmas carols.

“Who doesn’t love Christmas?,” said Brand.

A tip of the hot chocolate cup for that.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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