The Washington Post

Post Office to Christmas carolers: Please leave

No carolers allowed to belt tunes in a post office. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

In Silver Spring, the answer is: No.

The Internet is bursting with reports of carolers who were summarily tossed out of a post office in the Aspen Hill Shopping Center this past weekend. J.P. Duffy, who works for the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, witnessed the toss out and blogged about it.

Describing the scene, Duffy wrote: “The gentleman of the group wore a top hat and the ladies were arrayed with shawls and bonnets. Dickens would be proud.”

Duffy continued: “They were only a few notes into their carol when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I saw a scowling postal manager rushing to confront the carolers. He angrily told them that they had to leave immediately because they were ‘violating the post office’s policy against solicitation.’”

The manager was booed. Still, out went the carolers.

I have reached out to postal officials for an explanation. Meanwhile, a Postal Service spokesman told Fox News that “Public assembly and public address, except when conducted or sponsored by the Postal Service, are prohibited in lobbies and other interior areas open to the public.”

He added, “The only reason you should be inside is for postal business.”

A Postal Service spokesman just got back to me, echoing the statement to Fox News and adding, “the carolers were asked to conduct their caroling in a public area on the sidewalk in front of the Post Office. We apologize for any misunderstanding.”

Do you agree?

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.


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