The magic of Christmas caroling has been disappearing before our eyes as fewer people venture out each year. In a 2013 Pew study, it was reported that about 16% of Americans went Christmas caroling as a child, decreasing by over 20% from previous studies.
One reason why Christmas caroling is a dying tradition is that Americans don’t enjoy communal singing anymore, according to RenewingWorshipNC.org. For example, in churches participating in the hymnals is not as common as it once was.
ChurchLeaders.com proposed “Nine Reasons Why People Aren’t Singing in Worship,” in April, one of the reasons being that the people cannot hear those around them singing, therefore they aren’t as encouraged to participate. If those around them aren’t interested in the activity, many would not be as enthusiastic to go out on their own.
Furthermore, Christmas carolers have the same ideal as that of a girl scout troop, going from door to door. Nowadays, people are less open to activities that aren’t widely accepted and acclaimed by their peers. Therefore, since many do not participate in Christmas caroling anymore, it is considered a trend of the past that is no longer acceptable or “cool.” When factoring in the uncommon idea of strangers singing in their neighbors’ doorways, it makes Christmas caroling seem even less pleasing to the youth of America, who tend to be more concerned about their social image thanks to media platforms.
In November, Federalist.com released an article announcing that the tradition of Christmas caroling should be brought back into modern culture. They provided ways to incorporate caroling into a practice that the younger generations could enjoy as well, so there may be hope for the continuation of the historic activity in the future.
Adults over the age of 30 are more likely to recognize Christmas caroling as a holiday tradition than those under 30, according to the 2013 Pew study. However, as the years pass and Christmas caroling becomes less popular, it is important to recognize it as a holiday tradition in which many are still passionate about. Instances of caroling were popular long before it was associated with Christmas.
However, Christmas caroling as we know it today originated in approximately the 19th century, according to TIME Magazine. By this century, Christmas had become much more commercialized. Because of this commercialism, people began to produce many of today’s popular carols and they circulated in the towns of Victorian England, where caroling was first introduced as a holiday tradition.