Best Christmas flash mobs: High notes of song, surprise, and serendipity

The US Air Force Band’s rendition of “What Child is This” is the latest Christmas flash mob video. Check out this one – and some other gems. 

US Air Force/YouTube

What flash mob is this? Traditional caroling door-to-door appears to have been replaced by holiday flash mobs bringing good cheer ahead of Santa’s reindeer.

For starters, prepare to get misty over the US Air Force Band’s rendition of “What Child is This” as the camera shows the glowing faces of mesmerized children listening to the Christmas classic performed with choir as part of a flash mob at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
The YouTube video of the USAF performance published on Dec 3 has prompted us to scour the Internet for the best holiday flash mobs - both foreign and domestic. 

Journey of Faith performed a Christmas "Flash Mob" at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach on Dec. 18, 2010 transforming weary shoppers into a resounding choir.

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus of Nov.13, 2010 is a keeper because it involves operatic-quality professional singers blowing diners away as the first singer spears to be singing Hallelujah into her cell phone. Over 100 singers participated in the event.

It would appear that the most memorable mobs take place in an environment of the downtrodden, exhausted and put-upon holiday shopper or traveler.

In the latter case, there is West Jet’s flash mob that took place in the Calgary Airport amid travelers waiting for a sold-out 11:30 p.m. redeye flight in the middle of the night. 

“How do you turn a sleepy boarding lounge into the North Pole in 60 seconds? On December 4, 2012, we decided to surprise 166 guests waiting to board a Calgary-Toronto red-eye flight with a little Christmas cheer,” the Youtube description of the video reads. “We invited elves, snowmen, carolers, sugar plum fairies, reindeer and Santa Claus, himself, to help us make this a memorable evening. Thanks to all our guests for joining in on the fun!”

Anyone having a bad day any time of the year will be uplifted by the faces of travelers as they morph from bleary to beatific.

However, for sheer hilarity and ingenuity there is the Algonquin College exam week pre-Christmas flash mob of Dec 13, 2011 with Darth Vader, Mr. Naughty himself, conducting the Carol of the Bells while rocking an electric guitar.  

If you’re seeking a flash mob that leaves you wanting less because it’s just a bit too freaky, there was the Lady Gaga event on Dec 12, 2011 to aid the Birmingham Children's Hospital.

A rogue pack of red, bodystockinged “Santas” interrupt news Reporter Robin Powell during a live report in Birmingham and give shoppers reason to want to board up their chimneys to keep Mr. Claus out. 

Topping it all off is the Justin Bieber-alike Little Drummer Boy flash mob event that took place in Mexico  on Dec 23, 2012 as performed by Klap Dance Studio México. Dancers arrived with bells on – literally – to rock the holiday.

Of course there’s no place like home for the holidays so to round out this story we go to Boston (home of The Christian Science Monitor) for a moving mob that took place Dec. 14, 2013 as Berklee School of Music students and Beantown musicians filled the MFA's Shapiro Family Courtyard with song, featuring soloist Mark Joseph & a full choir and string section.

The bustling Bostonian crowd fell silent in the unification of the holiday spirit and nostalgia

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