“Here we come A Caroling …”
“We Wish you a Merry Christmas …”
“Here we come A-Wassailing … ”
“Joy to the World …”
“Silent Night ….”
“Away in a Manger …”
The songs listed above are intertwined and linked in my mind, but historically that is a recent phenomenon. In doing a little web search today prior to writing this post, Christmas Carols, and Wassailing (the tradition of wandering house to house, singing), are apparently separate traditions that got wound together fairly recently, historically speaking. The Victorian era in England and then America appears to be as deep as the tradition goes.
Carols are a medieval song form, and not solely a Christmas music. Wassailing also is medieval, and associated as much with May Day and other holidays rather than Christmas.
That said, I will end the digression to say that the combination of the two is an annual tradition at church. Today several people gathered together at church, and divided up into groups to go caroling throughout the Northland, sharing cheer and season’s greetings from the church family.
The group assembled at the church at 3 p.m., divided our singers into three groups with give destinations each, and then drove off to deliver ornament and ginger bread houses along with the songs.
The groups got back fairly close together, after singing at the various homes. Some people gave us cookies (the spoils of caroling!) to take with us. My group had someone lock their key in the car, and we called for the replacement — but still got back to the church first.
Back at the church, we sang for our supper and had assorted soups and rolls — and of course the cookies. An evening of fun, music, and fellowship.