Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year! There's making gingerbread houses, writing letters to Santa, reading Christmas books, and of course, singing Christmas carols! One of the hardest things at Christmas is being far away from family and not being able to come together. Don't let that stop you from spreading the Christmas joy! Take it from Buddy the Elf...
Go Christmas Caroling Over the Phone!
The best part about this new take on an old tradition is you can do it any time you want. There doesn't have to been a ton of planning or even good weather! Decide who you want to call and keep these few things in mind:
What songs and how many will you sing?
What songs does your family love? Sing the same 3 songs each time or let everyone pick their favorite and rotate through. Take the time to practice them before you start calling people. It's just as embarrassing as in real life if no one knows the words and way more confusing for the people on the other end. Also, do you want to end on a fun song or on a more reverent one? How will you start?
Will you call or Use Face Time?
Do you want to call over the phone or use face time? Calling over the phone means it doesn't matter how messy your house is, what the kids are wearing, or how good your light is. However, it is so much fun to see the other people as you sing. It helps the little ones sing louder and lets those that want to dance along have an audience.
A CAPPELLA OR WITH MUSIC?
Both are great. What do you prefer? If you choose with music, be sure it's loud enough to hear but not louder than your singers. Do a practice run first to be sure. If you are doing it a cappella, who will lead it off or will someone count it off? You may also want to consider using a microphone so it's easier to hear everyone. This Karaoke mic comes with a phone plug.
How will you end it?
Are you going to end with saying, "Merry Christmas" and hang up or do you want to stay on the line and chat? Will you end with a more reverent song and a quick goodbye? I recommend quickly moving on if you have young children and lots of people to call. It's really hard for young ones to sing then talk then do it all over again. If you want to do it that way try only one family a night instead of all in a row.
Will you plan it ahead or surprise everyone?
The surprise of phone caroling is half the fun, however, if you get voice message after voice message, it's not as fun for the carolers. It is still a fun surprise for the listeners though and often just what they needed. If you choose face time, you should at least plan on calling when you know the family is around. It's a little more frustrating when you are looking at a video and get a message then it is through a regular phone call. When we have planned ahead, some have planned a song to sing back which is kind of fun too.
Where will you be?
This one may seem like a no brainer but take a minute to actually think about where you all will be sitting or standing when singing on the phone. The most success with children is having them all gather on one couch or bench. This way they are all close enough and it's easier to hear everybody, although a microphone may still be a good idea. If you don't specify sometimes the younger ones start singing from all over the house and no one can actually hear them. If you are doing face time, check your background and your lighting. And of course, make sure you have good reception!
Phone caroling is the perfect activity to put on your advent calendar this year. Pick a day where you can take a good 15 minutes as family and call people all over the world together. Remember to snap a few photos during the fun then end with singing all your favorites together or use this great Christmas devotional. Keep the music and fun going with solo performances or a dance party. It's also a great opportunity to talk about how you felt while singing!