A few nights ago we went out Christmas caroling. The girls in our Bright Lights group LOVE doing this. And the elderly neighbors around our church LOVE it when they come.
Here are a few practical tips if you’d like to arrange an outreach like this in your neighborhood or church neighborhood! You don’t have to do it with a Bright Lights group — you could do it with a church group or group of friends. (Our church is planning to do it on a coming Wednesday night.)
1) Don’t take too large of a group – it takes too long to move from house to house. We split into smaller groups of about 12 each. This way we can also reach more houses.
2) Knock, ring the doorbell and then start singing! If they don’t come to the door after one verse, we usually go on to the next house.
3) Have the carolers bring cookies pre-made on little plates (with about 5 cookies per plate) so that you can leave a little treat at each home. Also give them a Christmas gospel tract or Christmas scoll. Give each girl involvement by letting different girls give the plate of cookies to the home resident each time.
4) After you finish the first song, greet the person who came to the door with a warm “Merry Christmas” and explain who you are and what you are doing. (I usually say, “We are from a girl’s Bible study group that meets at the little church around the corner!”) Then we often ask, “Do you have a favorite Christmas carol you’d like us to sing?” However, this is a little risky. It has led to some embarrassing attempts at singing “Silver Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.”
5) If they don’t come to the door, instruct the carolers not to announce loudly, “I see a man in there — he’s watching the TV!” because walls are not very sound-proof and we don’t want to be a bad testimony or seem rude.
6) If there is snow on the ground, try not to turn their glistening white front yard into a yard covered with muddy boot prints (i.e. take the sidewalk or street).
7) Instruct your carolers in advance to smile!!
Christmas caroling door to door is kind of a thing of the past. Some elderly people remember doing it when they were young and are shocked and ecstatic when carolers arrive at the door!
8) Sing only the first verse of common Christmas carols. The carols my team sang the most were, “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and “Joy to the World.”
9) Have one person in your group be the scribe. Take notes of which houses you went to, and which houses were especially grateful. You’ll want to make sure you hit those houses again next year. We have some elderly people around our church who wait for us to come each year, and have been extremely touched.
When you regather inside your warm church (or home) discuss what the Lord did and pray for the people that you reached. Celebrate with hot cocoa and Christmas cookies!
We need more “carolers for the harvest” :). Please leave a comment if you have done this and have additional tips.