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Old December 4 2011, 10:22 PM   #16
Lumos Ziyal
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Adm. V'ates wrote: View Post
Several customers and staffers asked them to stop, and dear old dad would (each time) launch into a tirade about the war on Christmas and "Get into the spirit of the holiday".
Now that's just plain thoughtless and rude. And unchristian.
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Old December 4 2011, 10:52 PM   #17
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

I think I will go an wassail a tree
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Old December 4 2011, 10:53 PM   #18
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Wait?! Caroling is dead?! The I had a very strange and vivid hallucination last December.
My opening question may have come across wrong. I know that carolling still exists. It's just that I couldn't recall any recent instances of seeing/hearing carolling firsthand. But just because I haven't seen it firsthand myself in the last thirty years or so doesn't mean I think carolling has become extinct. That's why I was asking for other people's experiences and recollections regarding carolling and other perhaps more obscure Christmas rituals.

Although hardly obscure I do recall being bundled up when I was small on Christmas Eve to go to evening mass before returning home to greet Christmas at midnight. Everyone present would wish each other "Joyeux Noel" and hug and kiss and then gifts would be opened. After about an hour or so we would all sit down for a small meal of cold meats, cheese, salads, potatoes and meat pies and other treats. Then after a little more socializing visitors would depart and those remaining would go to bed, sufficiently tired to fall asleep right away. This kind of Christmas Eve festivity could last easily until 3 or 4 in the morning. Of course, as we all aged Christmas Eve mass eventually fell by the wayside and the festivities ended earlier and earlier as guests became fewer. Now we still stay up to greet Christmas at midnight and open our gifts, but we might eat our small meal before midnight and we're usually in bed by 2am at the latest and often earlier. The absence of small kids playing with toys and charging the atmosphere with their energy doesn't encourage adults to stay up later. But I'm sure the kind of Christmases I remember as a child are still practiced somewhere among other French Canadian families, particularly where there may be large family gatherings with a good number of small kids.

My parents recall Christmas Eve mass more clearly because it was more prominent in their childhood than it was in mine. Their childhood Christmas memories are often of being bundled up in an actual horse drawn sleigh to go to evening mass. They also recall large family gatherings with singing and dancing and playing of musical instruments, be it a fiddle, accordion, guitar and harmonica. When I was in my early twenties I recall my immediate friends and I going about visiting each others' families on Christmas Eve, and I made sure to be home by about ten o'clock or so. I kind of miss that, but all those friends are off somewhere else with their own lives and contact is now sporadic in the form of an occasional email from some of them. One of them I still see with some regularity around Christmas because he eventually became my brother-in-law.

When I was small I do remember sitting up late just to gaze at our lit up Christmas Tree and wonder at the presents beneath it. We would listen to Christmas music on the radio or listen to records. When listening to the radio we'd pay close attention to NORAD reports of tracking an object originating from the North Pole. And we watched the clock ticking off the minutes.

While I do recall some of the gifts I received in those long ago days what I really remember are the sights and sounds and smells and the feelings of magic and anticipation. As an adult during the years when I couldn't be home for Christmas the thought uppermost in my mind, the one thing I wanted most, was simply to be home with family.
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Old December 4 2011, 10:55 PM   #19
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

I was born and raised in southern California and have never seen anyone caroling. Is it mostly an East Coast thing?
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Old December 4 2011, 11:11 PM   #20
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Warped9 wrote: View Post

Many folks still use the holidays as something of an excuse for excessive drinking and "revelry," but people pretty much don't go around singing in the streets in exchange for food and drink from their neighbours anymore (to the best of my knowledge).
You should probably add the words "where I live." to the end of that sentence.

But does anyone else recall actually seeing/hearing carollers out on the streets (beyond the Salvation Army) for the fun of it? Or perhaps you have actually gone carolling? Does anyone still burn yule logs?
Yes.
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Old December 4 2011, 11:57 PM   #21
Gingerbread Girl
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Yule log? WPIX in New York had this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVO590uMHro

I think that counts as tradition.

My church's youth group goes caroling every year. So does my mom's Rotary club. People still do it.
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Old December 5 2011, 12:04 AM   #22
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Thoughts anyone?
tl;dr

(Well, tl;justskimmedit actually. Still, pretty much as expected.)

ShamelessMcBundy wrote: View Post
I was born and raised in southern California and have never seen anyone caroling. Is it mostly an East Coast thing?
Probably a Protestant/Anglican thing. As far as I know, it's not part of most Catholic traditions.
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Old December 5 2011, 12:05 AM   #23
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Probably a Protestant/Anglican thing. As far as I know, it's not part of most Catholic traditions.
You've clearly never been to Germany.
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Old December 5 2011, 12:08 AM   #24
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
ShamelessMcBundy wrote: View Post
I was born and raised in southern California and have never seen anyone caroling. Is it mostly an East Coast thing?
Probably a Protestant/Anglican thing. As far as I know, it's not part of most Catholic traditions.
The youth group that I mentioned taking caroling was Catholic.
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Old December 5 2011, 12:12 AM   #25
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Carolling is still common in my area. Usually its people from my church or the Lutheran church right across the street in my neighborhood. They never ask for money, they're just there to spread the Christmas cheer. My mother used to make me, my sister and my brother go carrolling but stopped when the teenage years hit.

I've been spending many Christmases with family on the east coast lately and it doesn't seem to be nearly as common there.
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Old December 5 2011, 12:15 AM   #26
iguana_tonante
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

{ Emilia } wrote: View Post
You've clearly never been to Germany.
Tora ScendiDalleStelle wrote: View Post
The youth group that I mentioned taking caroling was Catholic.
I stand corrected. I've never seen it in my corner of Italy, but abroad it must be different. My bad.
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Old December 5 2011, 12:20 AM   #27
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Caroling? In Florida? Not outside an air conditioned church.
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Old December 5 2011, 01:31 AM   #28
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

The Human Fund wrote: View Post
I've never seen anyone carol in my life. I don't think I'd like it.
Christmas 1979 in my neighborhood. That's the one and only time I remember seeing it. It went on on my street for hours. I was nine years old and distinctly remember hearing the carolers going from house to house long after my mom (ironically named Carol) put me to bed.
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Old December 5 2011, 02:32 AM   #29
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
Unfortunately where I live there's a horrible catholic tradition of sending kids out panhandling for money between new year and January 6th, dressed as the "Three Kings" or whatever the fuck it's called in English singing bad christmas songs. Thankfully, they just bother you once a year and they usually shut up soon when you don't open the door.
Do you mean the Sternsinger people? That exists in Germany, too, though it's a regional thing confined to predominantly Catholic regions, it seems. Each year, the President will meet with some of them and listen to them. According to Wikipedia, they manage to collect several tens of millions for charity each year.
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Old December 5 2011, 02:46 AM   #30
Ugly Sweater
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Re: Carolling and other defunct traditions?

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post

Many folks still use the holidays as something of an excuse for excessive drinking and "revelry," but people pretty much don't go around singing in the streets in exchange for food and drink from their neighbours anymore (to the best of my knowledge).
You should probably add the words "where I live." to the end of that sentence.
Indeed. I've no idea -obviously- what it was like back in the ye olde goode dayf but I know my own experiences.

I've never experienced the old 1950s style caroling where people go up and down Chestnut street and sing in front of houses. Given the layouts of neighborhoods these days the dubious safety of many areas not to mention just the general lack of neighborly get-along-idness in the same vain as was probably around two-thirds of a century ago.

But caroling still happens, you just have to go to community gathering areas. If there's an outdoor mall/plaza where you live that's a relatively safe environment then I can assure you caroling will occur there sometimes over the next month or so, probably depending on your locale's weather and Christmasy-atmosphere it has.

I've seen it in an area known for it's Christmas decorations and lights that's a heavily trafficked shopping area and I've done it in that area.
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