Christmas Carolling

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  • Christmas Carols with Baby

    Nov 28, 2022

    I’m looking for suggestions of where I can bring my 10 month old to hear some Christmas carols this holiday season. Either a concert by a choir (would need to be very chill/relaxed setting) or a group caroling event where all the attendees sing together. Ideally in Oakland or not too far. Thanks!

    There is a big caroling event just before Christmas at First Presbyterian Church Berkeley. I think it’s the one called hanging of the greens?

    There is a traditional service called "Lessons and Carols" that most Presbyterian churches have (perhaps other traditions too - this is just the one I am familiar with!)  The service is often held in the evening, outside of a regular church service, and is oriented around singing Christmas carols with a short reading after each carol. There may be short words from a minister, but there is not a full length sermon.  There are always children present and this could be a great way to hear and sing along with some traditional Christmas songs! 

    If you can come up to Solano Ave in Albany -

    "Work in Progress" Caroling

     12/10 (SAT)  11:30am 
    1758 Solano

    Pretty much every church is probably doing Christmas carols this time of year. If you're not experienced in churches, you can check a website or signboard at churches in your area for "worship" or "service" times (not Bible class or Sunday school) and just show up. Most churches will sing around 3 songs (worship songs most of the year, but in the weeks leading up to Christmas they're often all Christmas songs) then transition into a sermon (lecture) time. No one is going to make you stay after the songs, and there is a natural transition in a lot of places where kids may sit with parents during the singing then go to childcare during the sermon, so it wouldn't be odd to get up and leave at that point if you're not interested in staying for a sermon. There are often 1-2 songs after the sermon as well. Be aware that these will be religious songs- think Silent Night, Joy to the World, Come All Ye Faithful, etc. rather than Here Comes Santa Claus, Deck the Halls, or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, though I have been in churches that mix those in on Christmas Eve. There will be someone up front leading songs (a worship leader, band, or choir), and lyrics somewhere you can see them, and all attendees sing together. It's free, a reasonable length for a 10 month old's attention span, and you could go every Sunday from now until Christmas, either to the same church or a different place each week. Have fun!

    There’s caroling on Fourth Street in Berkeley at 3pm this Sunday!…

    There will be caroling in Colby Park (lower Rockridge) Monday, Dec. 19 at 7 pm for probably an hour. A group of us that used to go around the neighborhood switched to the park during the pandemic, and it turned out to be much easier to have the neighborhood come to the carolers! Very casual - people come and go. Anyone welcome.

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Where to hear Christmas Carols?

Dec 2012

I'd like to take my little girls to see and hear some carol singing for the holidays, i was not able to find anywhere to go last year. Are there any non-church, (outside?) venues to see this? Or is my best bet a church service, we are not religious, is it OK to still go to a carol service? Any recommendations? Somewhere close to Albany/Berkeley preferably. Thanks!

The First Congregational Church of Berkeley on Channing has a family-oriented relatively short Christmas Eve service at 5:00 pm. The church is very welcoming, very tolerant, and very unlikely to pressure you in any way. (I'm not a member and don't attend regularly, but that's been my experience.) Don

All Souls Parish in Berkeley (corner of Spruce and Cedar) has three Christmas Eve services, a 4 PM Christmas Pageant with children and carols, an 8 PM Carols & Candlelight service, and a 10:30 Midnight Mass It's a wonderful church with a lot of families and children All Souls member and mom

Where to go to sing Christmas Carols?

Nov 2010

We moved from Canada to the Bay Area about 4 years ago. This year, since we're expecting our first baby in January, we won't be able to fly home for the holidays. When I was growing up, every Christmas my family would attend a local event where we rode on a horse-drawn sleigh and then got together in a big cabin to drink cider and sing Christmas Carols. I'm assuming that sleighs are out of the question in California, but I'd really like to find a holiday concert or event where we can sing Christmas Carols with other folks. We're not really religious (although not opposed to attending a church service) and can't really sing - we're just looking for a fun time. Any suggestions? Ginny

This isn't exactly what you are yearning for, but the Festival of Carols Concert and Carol Sing Along put on by the San Francisco Choral Society always has beautiful holiday music, lively sing along carols with brass choir, and children are welcome. (Full disclosure: I am a long-time member of SFCS.) This year the Festival of Carols is on Sunday December 12 at 3:00 PM at the First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin at Geary in San Francisco. Adults $15, Students/Seniors $10. A wonderful way to spend a couple of hours and then enjoy the lights and sights in San Francisco. Call 415-221-5590 for more information. Jody

Dear Ginny, Because '...You're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy...' try this: Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir 25th Anniversary Concert, Sat. Dec. 4, 7:30p, @ the Paramount Theater. The show gives thousands of gospel music fans of _all_ faiths a chance to 'join the choir' in 'a glorious, transcendent evening' of music. Tkts: $10-$40. Call 465-6400 or visit Enjoy! (my DH's family is from B.C! --Carol

Our church has a fabulous tradition of singing Christmas carols to start off the Christmas season at our Hanging of the Greens event. It is Sunday, Dec. 5 at 7 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley (Dana and Channing). We look forward to it every year! Please join us to sing!

Huber Park (El Cerrito) has a wonderful, fun, yearly sing- along with lots of families--very fun. Not sure how to find the dates--maybe you can Google it. Or if you drive by around early December, there will be a banner announcing it.

There is a meetup for Christmas Caroling being led by a wonderful music teacher, Michele Voilleque. I've known Michele for a few years now and she taught my daughter some voice lessons.. you can learn more at: Group/calendar/15462469/ Lisa