Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Caroling

In years gone by, it was popular to go door to door in the neighbourhood singing Christmas carols. I remember doing this in Toronto with friends and family, and money we were given was donated to the children’s hospital. Last year, I was pleasantly surprised by a small group of children who came to the door and sang a carol. They asked for nothing, but brought many happy memories with them.
Each year I have played carols on the piano at various nursing homes in the area with singers from our church. We do a variety of Christmas songs and carols as well as poetry readings and stories. The audience is always enthusiastic and appreciative. I think Christmas carols are the most familiar and beautiful melodies in the world. Tonight was the first carol sing of the season. Everyone could join in with the familiar strains of Joy to the World, Away in a Manger, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Silent Night. There are many people of German background in our community and there are always a few elderly ladies who want to sing in German…

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

It brings tears to my eyes to hear them sing the words they learned as children, even when some of them cannot remember events of today at all.
These people do not need gifts from the mall, but need a visitor, someone to give them a hug and listen to their stories. They are sure to put you in the “Christmas spirit”.


  1. Very nice post. I remember caroling in the neighborhood too. My brother always had to bring along his trumpet - not sure that people appreciated that so much as I did. Haven't seen a caroler in years.

    Do you have a favorite carol? I do, but always forget the name of it until I hear it for the first time.

    Kind of you to visit nursing homes this time of year and bring some Christmas joy with you.

  2. I have done my share of caroling in the old days.

    My grandmother, who was the last person in our family to be fluent in German, taught me "Stille Nacht". Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for reminding me of my grandma.

    Christmas carols are so comforting. They are songs that everyone knows and they can take you back to a childhood many many years in the past.

  3. Thanks for visiting my site. Your post brought tears to my eyes as my Dad just entered a nursing home two weeks ago. He would be the first to sing! You have a wonderful heart to do what you do... I'd do a terrible job since I get too emotional with the old folks.

  4. Laura- I am an enthusiastic supporter of those who create and share their music. Kudos to your trumpet playing brother! Hopefully he could play his instrument with gloves on. Favourite carols? That is hard...I thought all day. I love choirs and pipe organs and old English carols.

    Susan- I think you are too young to have had "old days". Make sure your lovely little girls learn the carols too, perhaps the German words as well.

    Mary- What you have gone through with both parents is so difficult. I would rather work in a nursing home than in a daycare. Each of us relate to others in different ways. I hope someone will come to sing with your father too.


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