When the private sphere rejects public traditions: Washington carollers forced to leave store front

from "Adorable little carolers told not to sing outside Winco," by Emily Sinovic, KATU News

When two little girls got kicked off grocery store property for singing Christmas carols, a friend contacted KATU, hoping to get some help righting was she felt was an inexcusable wrong.

Ayla Bascom and Kaitlyn Manseau picked a grocery store close to home, a Vancouver Winco.

Ayla told KATU's Emily Sinovic they wanted to give shoppers "a warm fuzzy feeling." They were not asking for money. They made a sign to make that clear. They were outside singing for less than an hour with no complaints. To the contrary, several people listened smiling and told the girls Merry Christmas. That didn't seem to matter - bad news came quickly when an employee told the girls they had to go.

"[The employee said] our policy is like we don't allow carolers or something like that," Kaitlyn said.

"I was like bummed," Ayla said.

"We were both depressed that we couldn't spread any more love and joy and cheer."

We went back into the store with the girls to ask again. The girls showed their "puppy dog faces" they hoped would help sway the management. Managers directed Sinovic to a corporate attorney for Winco, and she and the girls left a voicemail - complete with a song - asking for permission to sing.

This was the first time the girls had heard of something called a "corporate attorney", but they told Emily, they thought their chances were good. "An 11 on a scale of 1 to 10," Ayla said. Mike Reed, a corporate attorney for Winco, called back. "Winco has no written policy on that - we do as a company try to remain neutral on some policies," he said (more).