Here are some spirited ideas for a singing soiree from Sally Ryder Brady, author of A Yankee Christmas: Feasts, Treats, Crafts, and Traditions of Wintertime New England.
Create a choir:
A dozen kids and adults is the optimum singing-group size for giving the songs adequate volume when caroling outdoors. Aim to have a ratio of at least one adult to every two children to keep the peace and the pace.
Choose the carols:
Make a set for each caroler and place in a sturdy folder. (Click here to print out the words and music to many of your favorites.) Plan to sing one or two songs at each house you visit.
Arrange a rehearsal:
The whole idea of caroling, of course, is to entertain your friends and neighbors and have fun — not necessarily to sing in perfect pitch. A little practice, however, probably wouldn’t hurt and might boost the confidence of those in the group who aren’t familiar with the lyrics. Set up a practice session a day or so in advance. Serve cookies and punch or cocoa.
Go with the glow:
Holding candles while you carol gets everyone into a festive mood — but you’ll need holders to prevent hot wax from dripping on your hands (a good idea even with dripless tapers). Click here to get instructions for simple — and simply beautiful — candle holders.
No one will have a merry time if he or she is freezing — especially the kids. Dress in layers and warm, waterproof boots, and don’t forget woolen hats, gloves (easier than mittens for holding the folder of music) and scarves.
Make your group stand out from the crowd by having everyone wear Santa hats or a wreath of glittery stars on their heads (you can find the fixings at your local crafts shop).
Reward the revelers:
Be sure the last stop is a warm house with plenty of food! Our marvelous menu is an easy buffet that fits the bill beautifully.