Posted in Faith, Living in New Zealand Now

Singing Carols as Christmas Gift

 

Glenfield Baptist Chuch Home Group
Filipino singers sing Philippine carols as Quinton of South Africa (standing left) and Kelly of South America (sitting right) listen.

We joined our Glenfield Baptist Church home group in singing to residents of rest homes in North Shore, Auckland.

When the home group set the schedule for caroling, we (I, Jewel and Jadyn) were all excited. Jewel and I were most excited to see Jadyn experience for the first time what Christmas caroling is.

Unlike my childhood caroling stints where we expect a gift from the household, the Glenfield Baptist Church home group is doing caroling as Christmas gift.

On December 16 and 17, we went singing Christmas carols to four rest homes and two households.

What a joy to see the bright and happy faces of senior citizens as we sing carols. Some sang along with us when the carols we’re singing are familiar to them.

There were a few who cried upon hearing the Christmas songs. They probably remembered their families and friends during Christmas seasons when they were still young or when they were with their families in celebrating Christmas.

Singing Christmas carols to the elderly is a very enjoyable, meaningful and memorable way to proclaim Christmas.

Though it’s a traditional Christmas melody, Jadyn and Noynoy practiced “Away in a Manger” for their special presentation. Watch Jadyn and Paul’s duet by clicking on the “Play” button of the video clip below.

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Posted in Faith, Living in New Zealand Now

Sharing the Spirit of Christmas in Auckland through Caroling

Glenfield Baptist Church Home Group
The Home Group caroling in one of the rest homes they visited. Grant (w/ guitar) is the leader-conductor of the group.

I never thought that Caroling would be an early Christmas treat for my family. For two days in a row (Dec. 16 and 17), we went with our church home group singing Christmas carols to senior citizens in rest homes and some in their own houses.

Since our arrival at Auckland in November, we attended Glenfield Baptist Church. We participated in the church’s home group that meets every Friday evening. Caroling is the home group’s Christmas season activity.

Christmas caroling in the Philippines

I’m a veteran “caroler” having been singing Christmas songs in cantatas since my primary years in the Philippines. When I was a kid, the Christmas season is not complete without the yearly “Daigon” (local term for caroling) with playmates.

For our instruments, we made our improvised tambourine from flattened soft drink bottle crowns. Our drums were made of empty powdered milk or Milo tin cans with plastic or rubber (deflated balloons) sheets as drum heads.

As soon as school closes for the Christmas vacation, we would go caroling from house to house almost every night. After a couple of songs, a member of the household would come out to give us money, usually peso coins. Perhaps some household could not tolerate our shrill voices and noisy instruments that they would just give money even if we haven’t performed our repertoire.

Hey, what’s up for the Christmas season? Please share it by posting a comment. Merry Christmas!