Berkshire Choral International

Tips for Hosting a Holiday Caroling Party

November 28, 2017

Caroling is a time-honored tradition that is, believe it or not, still in tune. Hosting a caroling party is a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays with your friends and loved ones (not to mention a great way to keep your instrument tuned!). If you’re interested in making this holiday season a hit by hosting a caroling gathering, here’s a detailed how-to guide for throwing the caroling party of the season!

Let’s start with the basics

Every caroling shindig has three major components:

  • The carolers meet up at the host’s house or designated spot to get organized.
  • Sing!
  • Everyone heads back to the host’s house for hot drinks, desserts and fun.

Now let’s break down each part in more detail.

Plan Ahead

The holidays are a busy time and calendars fill quickly right before Christmas. Pick a date and get your invites out early! Once you pick a date, choose a reasonable time to get the caroling started. If you go at night, it’s best to start caroling after dinner, so you won’t interrupt families, but also not too late where the kids have already been put to bed. Friday and Saturday nights are ideal for caroling since people likely won’t have to wake for work or school the next morning. You could plan for 30 minutes to get everyone organized and an hour or so of singing.

Send out your party invites

Once you’ve locked your caroling logistics in stone, it’s time to get the invites out! In addition to the basic information, consider asking your caroling pals for these extras:

  • Desserts or drinks: If you don’t want to foot the bill for the after-caroling party, ask your friends to bring a dessert or drink item to share at the party. (Don’t forget the eggnog!)
  • Request an RSVP: If you do decide to foot the bill for the after-caroling party, have your friends RSVP to help give you a count of expected guests.
  • Encourage costumes: Ask your carolers to have fun with their costumes and bring jingle bells if they’d like.
  • Dress warm: Remind your carolers they will be exposed to the cold for an extended period of time and that it’s wise to come bundled up with jackets, gloves and especially scarves to protect those vocal cords!

Build your song list

Caroling will be the most organized when everyone has the same set of songs. Carolers will have the song lyrics in front of them and it will be easy to yell out “page 7” when you approach a house. When building your song list, be sure to include some well-known songs so families can join in singing if they like. Here is a simple list for inspiration.

Plan your caroling route

When planning your route, it’s best to remember that you’ll want to spend most of your time singing carols and not walking. If your group of friends will be caroling in your neighborhood, try to create a circular route to decrease the amount of backtracking. And you’ll end up where you started! If you are feeling especially organized, you can number your song list, create a map and match the houses on the map with the number of the song you’ll sing. You could also simply print out your song list in the order of how they’ll be sung.

Go Caroling!

Once the time has come to serenade your neighborhood, cover these last-minute logistics and you’ll be all set!

  • Distribute the song lists and specify how many verses you’ll want to sing
  • Go over the route and how you’ll communicate which song is next
  • HAVE FUN!

Take our one-question caroling survey!

Caroling with friends in the wintertime can be loads of fun, but can you picture yourself singing in a full choir with an orchestra accompaniment, in an ancient city in Europe with summer rays glistening down? We can. BCI offers premiere, week-long experiences for amateur singers to study, rehearse and perform masterpieces of the choral repertoire in culturally rich U.S. and international locations. If you can picture yourself at BCI too, apply for our next season here.