It’s become a lovely tradition that every year on the last Saturday before Christmas, our bestest friends come together to join us at the Balmoral Carols by Candlelight. It’s an event enjoyed by families of all ages (we had all three of our children at the Carols), and also an event that’s a fantastic community get-together.
The Balmoral Carols have been running for around 20 years. They are organised by St Clements Anglican Church and aided and assisted by Mosman Council. The Carols are held on the grassy area near the Balmoral Rotunda where you can comfortably sit and enjoy a vista of Balmoral Beach.
What I love about these carols is that dogs are allowed to be present and so every year we take our girls so they, even though deaf, can enjoy the singalong. They’re also good for sitting on your lap and keeping you warm when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
The Carols don’t start until 7.45pm (have to wait until it’s starting to get dark), but the event is not just about singing Christmas carols but also about socialising.
We organise to meet our friends at the Rotunda at around 5pm where we stake out a bit of territory then set up our picnic table and chairs. Everyone contributes one savoury dish for everyone to share. This year we had a wonderful variety of dishes including Thai fish cakes, marinated chicken bites with a spiced yoghurt sauce, prosciutto wrapped in crostini, chicken sandwiches and I brought a porcini mushroom pate to serve on toasted Turkish bread.
This year we managed to stake out an excellent piece of real estate being sheltered from the harsh sunshine by a giant fig tree and nestling right behind the sound desk where straight ahead we had a clear view of the Rotunda where the carols were being performed.
Once all assembled we started the night with a celebratory glass of champagne, pink at that. My friend Rachel had brought her iron skewers that are staked into the ground and you can rest your glass in them. Excellent! (Would love to buy some if I could find out where you get them).
We had a great time of mingling while catching up with the besties as well as meeting up with other friends and families all celebrating the same event. Then it was time for the carols so we took our seats and tried to light the candles. Alas, it was a bit of a challenge because a southerly swept through and not only did it become unseasonably cold, the wind kept blowing out the candles.
Never mind, we managed. And we had a great singalong with a lot of favourites and many classics and a mix for the kids.
After an hour or so of caroling and waving our candles in the night sky, it was time for the last carol, my favourite, O Holy Night.
Like most carols’ events around the country, carols by candlelight are free events put on by local churches and the councils and many volunteers to bring Christmas cheer to the community. Song books and candle packs can be purchased for a nominal fee with all funds raised going to charity. Carols by Candlelight events around the country are events well worth supporting, not only for the funds raised but because of the great night out for family and friends and the overwhelming sense of community.
I can’t wait until next year!