Home owners in the Clinton Hill neighborhood near Brooklyn, N.Y., have been caroling together since 1967. They only missed the event once for a pretty good excuse: It was below freezing.

Their advice for a successful neighborhood holiday event? Identify neighborhood streets heavy with holiday decorations. Festive residents will likely be most receptive to carolers. Ask volunteers to print song lyric sheets, post fliers announcing the event in advance, and bring a thermos or two of hot cocoa.

Residents have come to look forward to the neighborhood holiday song fest. “Sometimes we’re invited in, and some people even plan their parties so we’re the entertainment,” says resident Marge Othrow.