Advent is finally here, and Christmas is just around the corner. This is a great time for celebration, from setting up the Christmas tree and placing the nativity scene to singing hymns and carols for all to hear. If you’re looking for additional ways to get into the Advent and Christmas spirit, check out these musical ideas below!
Stay away from the cold.
If it’s too cold outside for you to consider leaving the warmth of a comfy blanket, listen to a Christmas playlist.
If you’re tech savvy and use Spotify as your go-to music streaming service, stream the Hymns for All Saints: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany playlist. Find the playlist on Amazon for over an hour of classical Christmas hymns. If you subscribe to Amazon Music, you can listen to it repeatedly with your subscription; otherwise, you have an option to purchase the two-disk audio CD. Finally, if YouTube is the best option for you, try streaming a variety of Advent and Christmas music selections. This YouTube playlist offers music from various choral arrangements and instruments, giving a bit more variety to the tunes you would be hearing.
See a live music performance.
If the lure of live music is appealing, look for a concert performance nearby. There are many ways to find live music offerings in your neighborhood, and during the Christmas season, you'll find plenty of options. If you have Facebook, consider looking at a spin-off app called Facebook Local. This app allows you to search your area for events going on that have been posted to Facebook. For me, this has been the easiest and best way to find things that interest me, even though I’m not signed up for an email list. The app will list the address, time, and contact information to buy tickets for events in your area.
If Facebook is not accessible to you, check the local newspaper or area school calendars. Many colleges, high schools, and middle schools put on choral or instrumental Christmas performances of the music they have been practicing all semester. Many schools offer these events for free (or a discounted price) and showcase multiple performance dates and times.
One final place to find live music is your own downtown or arts district. My hometown and many others host street performers that play Christmas or Advent music during the winter. Local shops may also be hosting Christmas carolers during the season. Just get out around town, and you’re extremely likely to find someone singing or playing festive music.
Go caroling with family or friends.
Maybe the thought of live music or listening to a playlist isn’t appealing to you. Perhaps you’re a go-getter and want to get musically involved. That’s great! Being involved in your community is a wonderful feeling, and spreading God’s love through music is perfect for this time of the year.
If caroling is your calling, look for a caroling group at your church or another local congregation. Many churches get groups of musicians together to help spread Christmas joy to shut-ins who might not be able to attend worship. Many carolers go out on multiple nights, so check the calendar to see what evening(s) works for you.
If there is not a caroling group, considering creating your own! Perhaps others in your congregation or friend group have always wanted to go caroling but have never had the opportunity. To get started, you’ll need a pack of caroling books and some warm layers to wear outside (depending on the climate). Set a time and date, and make a list of places you’d like to sing. Nursing homes, shelters, and even hospital lobbies are good places to start. It could be helpful to map out a plan of where the group will stop. It's also helpful to call each destination ahead of time to make sure that they accept carolers and will be ready for your group's arrival.
Take the kids caroling.
Caroling isn’t just for adults, though! Get the kids involved too. This not only helps children learn beautiful hymns and carols, but it also teaches them the importance of sharing God’s love with everyone around them. To get started, you’ll need some parents to plan and select a day to carol, along with a children’s hymnal for kids to use.
Prepare for the coming of Christ and help others see the miracle of Christmas this season with Advent and Christmas music. Whether you’re staying at home streaming a playlist or out singing to the world about Christ’s birth, remember His love for you this season and always.
To start your caroling off right, order a pack of twelve caroling books below.