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A Christmas carol (or two)

Sinead Goodfellow  |  02 November 2018

For my family, Christmas season is about more than Christmas itself, it’s also about carols. My family and family friends have made it a tradition to gather at Carols by the Bay, hosted in the Kingston area, to enjoy the music, and of course to see Santa when he comes around.

Every year starts the same, a mad rush in my family home to get everything ready and packed so we can get there early enough to find a good spot where we can see the stage. And every year we somehow fail to do so.

Luckily for us, our family friends seem to be much more organised and are usually able to save us a great spot right next to them, and our picnic blankets join to make one big one. There are eight of us all together, including my mum’s best friend and her partner, and their two younger children as well. As I am the oldest of the kids, I tend to move between the group of adults talking their grown up conversations, and running around with the others, wondering if I am babysitting or actually playing (maybe a bit of both).

The earliest acts include the Wiggles, and I’m sure I recall Hi-5 made an appearance one year. All the small children eagerly wait for Santa to come on stage; which he does after a couple of video messages (filmed backstage no doubt) about how he is on his way and nearly there.

As the sun begins to set, people appear selling candles for a small donation. My brother and I beg my dad for one, pointing out that they also come with convenient adjustable cups that catch any dripping wax as the candle burns through the night. Eventually he caves in and buys us one each.

Then we all settle down and huddle together with a couple of blankets, the cool sea breeze drifting over from the beach just behind us, as we watch the remaining performers sing the last few carols before the surprise fireworks.

Then the night draws to a close and we pack our things and say our goodbyes, promising to see each other soon. It is a calm night, but one filled with happiness in my family.

And even though Christmas is still a week or two away, we’re still all looking forward to next year’s carols event.


Any Christmas song countdown list is completely objective, of course. But here are 10 religious songs that we think capture the spirit of the season.

10      Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
9        Angels We Have Heard on High
8        Away in a Manger
7        Do You Hear What I Hear?
6        O Come All Ye Faithful
5        The First Noel
4        Little Drummer Boy
3        Joy to the World
2        Silent Night
1        O Holy Night


Topic tags: familylife, australianidentity, healthycommunitylife

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