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How to go Caroling at Christmas

Updated on November 26, 2012

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:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Children
  • 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.

Hot Chocolate, Christmas Songs and my Santa Clause book.  I'm all ready!
Hot Chocolate, Christmas Songs and my Santa Clause book. I'm all ready! | Source

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.

A bit of caroling from Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Jeff Dunham Jingle Bombs ***Warning - this might offend some people***

Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?

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    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 

      6 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      I love carols at Christmas time - I've never actually done it! This sounds like a lovely way of getting people together to go. I know it's a bit late now - but maybe next year!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      teach12345 - My all time favorite part of caroling is when everyone comes together afterwards to hang out and play games and talk about the caroling experiance! We've always had a lot of people at the house! Thanks for the comment :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      ksharp05 - That's really cool that people would give you gifts after you were done caroling. You must have lived in a great neighborhood because I've never been given anything. Than again, you could just sing better than me too LO Thanks for stopping by and the comment :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      leahlefler - Caroling at a nursing home is a great idea :) I know how much they really do appreciate it! Thanks for the comment!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      This is good advice for those who wish to go caroling this Christmas. I have done this a few times and always enjoy singing, the friends and the cookies afterwards. You certainly have detailed the necessary components of this event. Good job!

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 

      6 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Christmas caroling is a lot of fun. People should do this more often! We used to go caroling every year as kids and people would give us cookies or money after we finished singing. Thanks for sharing the great idea! -K

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      6 years ago from Western New York

      I once went caroling with several friends (I think I was in middle school), and we stopped at a nursing home. It was a really great experience. The old people lit up and were really happy to have kids come in and sing!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Mhatter99 - Going with the school choir would be a lot of fun too. I always did concerts but never went Caroling, guess times changed a lot before I got to junior high (middle school). I'm glad it took you back to the good old days :) Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      watergeek - Maybe you should arrage a caroling around LA. I couldn't imagine caroling when it isn't cold though LOL Thanks for the comment ;)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, does this take me back. 1963-1966, We used to go caroling as part of mt jr. high school choir.We broke up into small groups. I'm not sure when they stopped.

    • watergeek profile image

      Susette Horspool 

      6 years ago from Pasadena CA

      I love caroling! Unfortunately, I keep forgetting the words, but carrying music around works. So I used to do it with my family and now we're all spread 0ut around the nation. People here in LA don't seem to carol much. Maybe I should arranged one. :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      lindacee - I know where I come from in SD they do it alot. Small towns are known for doing it too and we also did some in Colorado when we lived there. I haven't experienced it here in NC yet though so maybe it does have something to do with the warmer climate :) Thanks for the comment!!!

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      What a nice idea for gathering friends together during the holidays! I've never gone caroling myself, but I think it is a wonderful idea! I've lived in the Southwest for a number of years and people just don't seem to do it out here -- maybe it's because of the warmer climate. I would assume it may be more common in the Midwest and Northeast? Great Hub to get us into the holiday spirit! :)


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