Saturday, December 18, 2010


We were surprised a few days ago when the little gaggle of neighborhood girls invited Squeaky and Button to go around with them and carol. Now, I'm sure that for most of you Christmas caroling conjures up some images:

people of all ages
boots and mittens and scarves
stomping to warm up feet
standing on dark porches or outside front doors
singing while your breath freezes in the air
carols set way too high to reach those high notes
a few cookies and some hot chocolate afterwards... perhaps?
It's a little different here. Aside from being in a tropical climate where the normal caroling attire is shorts and flip flops, caroling here is typically only done by children and they do it every night- sometimes for the entire month of December until the 25th. Our neighborhood children started it just over a week before Christmas instead of on Dec. 1. Here, it seems to be a little money making venture for the kids. They expect candies and pesos after they sing. Usually one person will collect the money for the group and it is divided up amongst the carolers at the end of the night.
I've noticed that they basically sing 2 or 3 little songs, the most popular being "Joy to the World," "Jingle Bells," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Most of them carry little plastic instruments of some variety and joyfully play along. At the end they sing a little thank you song before they run off giggling to the next home.

Thank you, thank you
Ang babait ninyo
Thank you!

"Ang babait ninyo" translates into, "you are kind." Kindness is based on whether the person at the house gave them candies and money or not. If they don't give enough then the song goes like this:

Thank you, thank you
Ang babarat ninyo
Thank you!

...which translates to... "you are so stingy."


Glidewell Family said...

LOL I would probably get the stingy song.

laughwithusblog said...

It sounds like a lot of fun! Maybe a little more like our trick or treating than our caroling traditions perhaps? :) I love reading about your adventures!