Carolers Anyone? Do you remember going Christmas caroling in your neighborhood as a child, or the pleasant (or maybe unpleasant) surprise to answer your doorbell to Christmas Carolers? I can't remember the last time I saw neighborhood Christmas Carolers or heard of anyone going. How about you?
The Tradition: Christmas caroling around the neighborhood seems like a forgotten tradition that I miss. No one is quite sure how the tradition started. Some believe it sprung up from the tradition of "Wassailing." According to Wikipedia, the wassail was an exchange between feudal lords and their peasants. The peasants would visit the manor house singing "Here We Come A Wassailing," and in return the lord would give food and drink.
Another theory postulates Christmas caroling started in England in the 1840's. After Queen Victoria married Albert of Germany, the peasants wanted to impress the new royal family and started serenading Prince Albert with Christmas carols. The Methodists and Lutherans may have brought the tradition to the U.S. Like with the tradition of Wassailing, traditionally carolers are invited inside the homes they serenade and offered food or drink. (See "The Origins of Christmas Caroling.")
Time to Carol? Now, I don't remember being invited inside or offered any food or drink while Christmas caroling, but I really enjoyed it growing up. We laughed when we sang off tune, enjoyed dressing up to stay warm on a cold winter night, and looked forward usually to a party afterward. We even had fun rehearsing, if we even went that far. What a great way to bond with your friends you are singing with and bring Christmas cheer to your neighbors! What do you think? Would you go Christmas Caroling or enjoy opening your door to Christmas Carolers?
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