Christmas caroling is not only a festive holiday activity to do with family and friends, but also a FUN memory-maker, perfect for teaching life lessons to kids.

This is something my kids and I have grown to love doing together year after year and the kids really look forward to going back!  We’ve settled into a rhythm and generally know what to expect and here are a few little tips we’ve picked up along the way!

how to christmas carol with kids

G1Your neighborhood is not the only place you can christmas carol.  You can escape the cold and opt to carol indoors at a variety of places looking for guests.  Most nursing homes, homeless shelters and (maybe even some areas of hospitals) will give you a warm welcome this time of year. The staff we’ve encountered have always been so grateful to have our ragtag group of friends and kids of all ages to spread the holiday cheer  😉

G2Call around ahead of time and make arrangements to visit the place of your choosing.  Once invited, find out any special conditions or requirements that may be necessary.  Maybe even ask if you can bring little items to pass out like candy canes, stickers, or anything else – most of these items brighten the days of children and elderly folks alike.

G3Bring sheet music with you if possible – it’s always a win-win.  Most kids don’t know all the words to every song, and many adults are happy to have them to look at too!

G4On that note – choose which songs you plan to sing ahead of time, and practice them in advance if possible.  We’ve usually only done this once we arrive at the facility we’ll be caroling at, but even when you take 10-20 minutes to get ready, it usually makes a world of difference!

G5Talk to any kids you’ll be bringing along about what to expect.  Especially if you’ll be caroling in a nursing home.  Many kids are uneasy if they’ve not spent much time with elderly folks before and/or never been to a nursing home.  Our kids weren’t so sure at first, but once given the low-down, they were always up for it however – even the first we ever took them.  Then they left SO happy to have had the experience!

G6Dress up in festive attire!  Whatever that means for you – bring it!  Ugly Christmas sweaters, antler headbands, santa hats, light up necklace/earrings – the kids and your audience – will love it all!  🙂

G7Pass out simple non-food, festive fun stuff like Christmas cards, or just about anything red & green from the dollar store.  Or you could even share Christmas cookies/candy to your audience, if you’ve been given permission.  This truly makes the experience that much more fun for all the revelers and kids always get a kick out of passing out treats!

G8Definitely take photos before, during, and after your performance!  You’ll be making memories you won’t want to forget!

G9Take time to build relationships with those you are singing to!  Whether it’s a group of nursing home residents, hospitalized children, or homeless families – show them you are there because you care about them and not just to check another item off your list!

G10Make plans to do it again!  Christmas caroling is just the kind of holiday tradition you’ll look back on years from now with such gratitude you took the time to do it – especially as you go back to some of the same places, year after year.  You’ll build a familiarity and fun rapport with those you’re serving, and you’ll solidify the fundamentals for your kids that much more.  Above all, have fun – it’s the most wonderful time of the year  🙂

Here’s our whole gang of moms and kids Christmas caroling at our local nursing home December of 2013!

ChristmasCaroling2013

Have you ever taken your kids Christmas caroling?  Do you have any tips you would add to this list?