I never thought Carolling would be my family’s early Christmas treat. For two days in a row (Dec. 16 and 17), we went with our church home group to sing Christmas carols to senior citizens in rest homes and some in their own houses.
Since our arrival in Auckland in November, we have attended Glenfield Baptist Church.
We participated in the church’s home group that meets every Friday evening. Carolling is the home group’s Christmas season activity.
Christmas carolling 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 was not complete without the yearly “Daigon” (the local term for carolling) 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 closed for the Christmas vacation, we would go carolling from house to house almost every night. After a couple of songs, a household member would come out to give us money, usually coins.
Perhaps some households could not tolerate our shrill voices and noisy instruments. They would just give us money even if we hadn’t performed our repertoire.