December 20th is Go Caroling Day!
Today, we celebrate an old tradition that is far less popular today than it was in years past. Christmas caroling, though still performed by some youth groups, choirs, and service clubs, used to be much more commonplace, as neighbors would carol from house to house during the holiday season. The Christmas caroling tradition was started back in the 1200s by Saint Francis of Assisi, who also “invented” the live nativity scene. His thought was that instead of singing solemn hymns during the holidays, it would be much more fun to sing songs that were more joyful and merry. The purpose of this holiday is quite self explanatory: with 5 days left til Christmas, now is the perfect time to bring caroling back.
You might ask yourself, why carol from door to door? What is the purpose? What’s in it for meeee? It’s pretty cold out. Like, who needs that? You might prefer to stay indoors with your egg nog, Christmas cookies, cozy blanket, and While You Were Sleeping. Well, caroling can be really fun, but if nothing else, it is a beautiful way to spread joy and reach out to people around you. You know that scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas, when Charlie Brown is down in the dumps because the little Christmas tree that he decorated was super pathetic and bent all the way over? “Everything I touch gets ruined.” said Charlie. (Cue forlorn Charlie Brown music.) Well, even though his friends were kind of jerks at first, after Linus helped him fix up the little tree with his own blankey, Charlie’s friends soon came around, and cheered him up with some Christmas caroling.
In our social media based, smart device driven society today, human contact has been reduced to a Facebook message to say hello, or a quick email to say Merry Christmas. Our culture places so much value on efficiency that it has become all too easy to lose sight of the simple things, like caroling, that we used to hold so dear.
How to Celebrate
Go caroling! Pretty simple. Get a group of friends together, make some thermoses of hot cocoa, pick out some caroling classics, bundle up, and go out! You’ll find that after your first few stops, you will gain momentum and pretty soon you will probably consider yourself a veritable caroling boss.
Another option for those who are unable to carol due to nonideal circumstances (i.e. unsafe neighborhoods, larengitus, etc.): Watch A Christmas Carol. This classic Christmas movie will get you into the Christmas spirit, and remind you of what this Christmas season is all about.
Quote of the Day
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
- Buddy, Elf
Featured image via ShutterStock