I remember caroling as a child: gathering with family and friends, bundling up for the chilly, icy elements; going door to door singing our little old hearts out and wishing everyone happy holidays. Walking with our boots crunching on the glistening snow. I still remember the white blanket, that looked like God had sprinkled silver sequins all over the top. It was beautiful as we strolled laughing and throwing snowballs at each other between houses.
My favorite part was returning home. I always loved coming home in the wintertime, especially around the holidays. It did not matter if I was coming home from school or from caroling. As a child I remember walking into a warm house, with the fireplace glowing, the Christmas tree flickered with lot of lights, and adorned with ornaments that held meaning, and memories.
My mom kept our home clean and organized, at least until we all returned home with schoolbooks, winter coast, gloves, hats and boots.
Around the holidays our home always smelled of homemade baked good, candies, and sweets. Some were for us, and some for the little gift packages my mom sent to the neighbors, family, and friends.
Coming home from caroling returning to that warm home, warm hot chocolate, delicious treats and warm times with my family and friends always made me feel very blessed.
Caroling was always an experience, as we stopped from home to home. Some homes would join in, others would ignore us, some offered money, which we turned down, explaining we were just doing this for fun. It was a fun tradition, and today a lost tradition.
There is something very wonderful to be said for traditions, and our need for them. Family traditions are fun, they bring us peace, the give us security. Caroling was a way of giving, with no expectation of getting anything in return, only giving of goodwill towards others using one of the most sincere greetings for the holiday season….music.
So, this year, gather up your church members, family, friends, school choirs, and join your hearts and voices in song to bring holiday joy to others.
Here are some tips for Caroling:
Provide a printed lyrics, so everyone knows the words.
Dress appropriately for the weather. It is fun to see carolers dressed in Victorian-era outfits, it does enhance the mood, however, make sure you are dressed for the weather in your area.
Be safe if you are caroling at night, bring flashlights, or glow sticks. Avoid candles with real flames, they tend to blow out, or worse can ignite mittens, sleeves, hair, etc. Use the buddy system to make sure everyone is accounted for. Don’t stay out late.
Do not linger where you are not wanted. Some people do not like to listen to carolers, respect their choice and move on.
Smile be happy, your mission is to spread holiday joy to others. Bring cheer, perhaps visit local hospital, nursing homes, etc. Get permission first from the administration but spread smiles and joy!
Don’t expect a Reward or Donation – Caroling is to spread goodwill toward others.
Don’t overstay your welcome, sing a couple of songs and then move on to the next home.
Take a few treats, tea cookies, something to munch along the way.
Be kind, courteous, and polite to everyone you meet.
Be thankful to anyone that takes the time to listen to your carols, to treats offered, or contributions made. Always be thankful.
The Living Tree Company has put together this small book of some of our favorite carols to sing. Feel free to print it out, share, enjoy, and bring the holiday spirit to others through the awesome power of music.