So it’s Christmas and we want to sing!

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Sing we did! Of course, it took weeks of planning and organising, but we MAD volunteers finally formed a choir that can sing the popular carols—ones we all know and love. Practices were few and far between, but we worked hard and added some extra Christmas cheer to cover up the mistakes — ‘tis the season to be jolly!

Our first stint as carollers was at the Catholic Club, where our audience was enthusiastic and supportive. You could even say it was a success: our singing encouraged one the patrons to donate to MAD. I guess we were really that good.

The next day, we took our carol tour to St Marys. There, in the school hall, the children didn’t just watch us sing, but joined in. Some sang along; some clapped. They especially took to the guitar, the “cool” instrument, and by the end were fighting for a chance to wield it.

After the St. Mary’s show, we headed to the center at NGV. This was a very emotional yet uplifting experience, given the shortcomings of the facilities. The kids at NGV, however, were in true Christmas cheer and greeted us with an impressive Christmas rendition of Kolaveri Di.

In sum, it was a lot of laughter and loads of memories that will remain with us and, more importantly, we hope, the children.

The next morning, the tour reached St. Patrick’s Boy’s Home, where the volunteers were surprised to find a group of girls in pretty pink lace frocks. The center being boys only, we took a closer look to find that they were the St. Patrick’s boys all dressed up for a play. They sure fooled us.

The boys put up a fantastic show, starting with some beautiful singing and then a hugely entertaining dance and play. The play was a tableau on the birth of Christ, and I can honestly say without a doubt that it was one of the most fascinating Christmas plays we ever saw.

The boys showed us that they were not only smart but very original: they included a birth scene—two minutes of expectation that ended with the sounds of a baby crying.

After the play, we MAD carollers had our chance to entertain, while one of the volunteers suited up as Santa and distributed sweets. The patrons of the orphanage even organized some games, which we joined in on, including the Eye of the Tiger and the move-the-biscuit-from-the-forehead-to-the-mouth-using-only-your-facial-muscles game.

Next year, we plan to make it bigger and better—maybe even throw in some reindeer and a couple of elves. But till then, I wish you all the merriest Christmas.

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