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How to go Caroling at Christmas
The Original Dickens Carolers
Christmas caroling is always considered to be 'the old fashioned way' of spreading good cheer during the holiday seasons. Not only is this a beautiful way to bring the joy of Christmas carols through your local community, it is also an excuse to get outside and walk around with your caroling friends and family.
To begin you need to start planning early. Because it's the holiday season, most people's calenders fill up quite fast. You need to pick a date and time and send out invites to everyone.
- When picking a date, Fridays and Saturdays are the best since you and your carolers won't have to get up for school or work the next morning.
- When picking a time, it's best to do it sometime between dinner and before people put their kids to bed (so about 8pm). You should plan on at least a half hour for everyone to show up and get organized before you go out.
- When sending out invitations make sure you add the date, time and meeting place. You need to request an RSVP so you know how many people to expect. (Normally after caroling all the carolers will go back to the hosts' house for warm drinks and desserts). Make sure you recommend they check the weather so they know how to dress and bring a flashlight to help see in poorly lit places. You can also ask your caroling friends to bring bells or wear Christmas caroling costumes or Christmas hats if they have them. Here's a list of some people you might want to consider going caroling with:
- Church groups
- School groups
After you have sent out the invites, you need to make sure you get a song list done. There are so many different songs you can choose from as Christmas has thousands of songs that come around this time of year. The classics are always the best to use. These include:
- Jingle Bells
- Silent Night
- Winter Wonderland
- Up On The Housetop
- Frosty the Snowman
- We wish you a Merry Christmas
- Santa Clause is Coming to Town
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- The 12 Days of Christmas (this is a good one to sing while you are walking from place to place since it is so long).
Other songs that would be great to sing can include:
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause
- Jingle Bell Rock
- Deck The Halls
- Here Comes Santa Clause
- Do You Hear What I Hear?
- Away In a Manger
- Joy to the World
- Feliz Navidad
- Away in a Manger
- The Little Drummer Boy
- We're a Couple of Misfits
You will need to make sure you have enough copies of the words to every song for everyone to use or for two people to share. I would place these in a folder or binder using page protectors, that way they are easy to flip through. You can put them in order in how you plan on singing them. You might even have a small portable karaoke machine that you can take with you to play some of the songs you are going to sing. There are many different CD's out that just have the music to many beloved Christmas songs.
Once you have all the songs and music ready you might want to contact everyone that has RSVP'd and practice if you can fit it all in your schedules.
Once the day arrives that you are going to go out caroling you need to make sure you have everything ready at your house. Put your folders/binders with all the music into a box. Have your karaoke machine with the CD's ready to go. Make sure you have a list of what CD you are using when so you don't get lost when trying to get to the right song.
Before you head out the door make sure you have hot chocolate and apple cider and goodies for when you are done. Some of the carolers might want to come back to the host house and "wind down" from all the fun you are going to have.
To start your caroling you need to make sure everyone meets up at a specific location and time before the caroling begins. You can all meet at someones house or the church or park in a parking lot next to a housing community.
It's best to go caroling in your own neighborhood or in the neighborhoods of those caroling with you. The best way carol is to ring the bell and wait until the door is opened. You don't want to push the doorbell more than once or bang on the door like you are trying to rob the place. After you ring the bell, wait a minute or two, if the door isn't opened then move on to the next house. If someone does open the door start singing your first song. You will need to Gauge the reactions of the people at the door to see how long you should sing for. Some people might only want to hear one song and others might want to hear three or four.
During your caroling you might even get people that want to join your caroling group. Not a lot of people are willing to put in the work it takes to set up going caroling but you will be amazed at how many excited people want to join you after you have been at their home. The more people you have caroling with you the merrier.
Some Useful Tips
- You should have at lease 3-5 or more people in your "group".
- Never go out alone. Singing by yourself in someone's yard will make you look like you are a little out of it.
- Don't ring the doorbell or knock on the door too much. This could upset the person on the other side of the door and singing to a mad person is never fun.
- Respect those who don't wish to listen. Some people might have different beliefs and interests that you.
- Wear warm clothes. Bring gloves, hats, scarfs and maybe extra for those who forget. You will be singing in the cold and when it is dark.
- Keep your caroling happy. Don't get discouraged when you get houses that no one is home or those who don't want to listen. It's supposed to be a fun and happy time for everyone around.