My Advent Calendar – 24 Dec – Carol singing at Wellington hospital

in #christmas3 years ago

Finishing my advent calendar on the same note I started – singing carols.


Carol singing on Xmas Eve has been a tradition at Wellington hospital for many years. I imagine it’s the same in many hospitals around the world. Initially it was arranged by the ward sisters. Later the chaplains took over, and invited different church choirs. But in recent years that has been harder to arrange. Now it’s a pop up choir with members from several of Wellington’s choirs.

I’ve known about it since I started in the Community Choir, but have never been able to make it before. But this year I was determined to be there.

It turned out that this year was the biggest group they’ve ever had, with about 100 people turning up. We were split into two groups. One group started at the top of the hospital, and came down through the adult wards. Our group went to various parts of Emergency first, then to the children’s ward, then Neo Natal, and finished in Maternity.

It was lovely to be involved in and everywhere we went, it was well received.

Most of what we sang will be well known to you all, but one of the ones we sang in the children’s ward won’t be.

Written in 1981, it is a Kiwi (or more accurately, I’d say, a Maori) version of the twelve days of Christmas. I found the words to it on this website

On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
A pukeko in a ponga tree

and so on, until...

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Twelve piupius swinging
Eleven haka lessons
Ten juicy fish heads
Nine sacks of pipis
Eight plants of puha
Seven eels a swimming
Six pois a twirling
Five - big - fat - pigs !
Four huhu grubs
Three flax kits
Two kumera
And a pukeko in a ponga tree!

And you can listen to it here:

There is another kiwi version that might not seem quite as foreign to you:

Well, that’s it, the advent calendar done. Coming up are Xmas Day with Mama Frot, and Boxing Day with the extensive Kiwideb clan, so I might take a couple of nights off.

Wishing a wonderful festive season to you all and a peaceful, loving 2019.

See you all on the other side xxx


Day 1 – Carol singing with the NZ Symphony Orchestra
Day 2 – Kilbirnie Santa Parade
Day 3 – Posting overseas Xmas cards & a Xmas themed exercise class
Day 4 – Last minute book buying
Day 5 – Last choir rehearsal for the year
Day 6 – Choosing gifts for the Xmas game
Day 7 – Xmas lunch with my exercise class
Day 8 – Xmas spiced nuts
Day 9 – Xmas tree time
Day 10 – Last arthritis class for the year, and a sugar free brownie recipe
Day 11 – A choir performance
Day 12 – Taking marinated chicken wings to the choir Xmas party
Day 13 – The NZ local xmas cards & some e-cards
Day 14 – Planning the Xmas menus and best dessert ever
Day 15 – Making gluten & sugar free Xmas cakes
Day 16 – Xmas dinner with the Possums
Day 17 – Cranberry smoothie & other nourishing Festive breakfasts
Day 18 – Green Eggs & Ham
Day 19 – Gingerbread men
Day 20 – Stop, breathe and plan
Day 21 – Starting our stay-cation
Day 22 – Wrapping the presents
Day 23 – A day in the kitchen

Thanks for reading

Original pics from Pixabay. Videos from Youtube.

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What a great thing to do for Christmas. I’m sure the patients would have enjoyed the singing immensely. I’ve never heard either version before but enjoyed them.
Many blessings of the season to you and Frot. 💕


Does this puss sing? ;-)

I have a couple that sing when they are hungry for their breakfast. :-)

Only a couple?

Awesome! You have done great up till point... I do know those patients are lifted this season just by listening to the carol.
Do enjoy your Christmas hiatus and thanks for sharing the songs. I am enjoying them over here!
Merry Christmas & A Prosperous New Year 2019!

That's exactly what the chaplain said when he spoke to us beforehand. He goes round the wards on Xmas Day taking communion, and people always say how much it made their Xmas Eve.

This is a wonderful advent @kiwideb,

You guys are great. If ever I am sent down under I will look you up.

That would be lovely :-)

Merry Christmas, hope you all have an amazing day :)

You too, darl.

I was a bit worried about Len, so asked Trevor when he posted this morning. Len is cruising round the Tasman sea and mustn't be able to get connected.

He has a bldy nerve off enjoying himself without us lucky thing lol. :)

Without us, and without even telling us! He'd better come back with some good stories.

I am sure he will have a few to tell us :)

Merry Christmas - I hope it fines up soon so we can all get out d enjoy the summer ;-)

Yes, this constant rain is getting somewhat tedious. I've been wondering if we'd somehow relocated to Ireland! Though after tomorrow morning the rest of the 10 day forecast is fine. Dare we trust it? Though when I say fine, I just mean not raining, mostly it looks cloudy.

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What a beautiful thing to do @kiwideb Having worked in hospitals I know just how much patients appreciate these types of visits especially when music is involved.

I must listen the the kiwi version of 'On The First Day of Christmas,' again. I haven't heard it for ages. Enjoy your Christmas break with your family and all the very best for 2019. xox

I was surprised to find there were two versions. Both very different, but very kiwi.

At our first stop, a woman right in front of us started to cry when we started Away In a Manger. Just about set us all off! But it reinforced how important it was that we were there.

Love the kiwi version of course Deb. I'd have loved to hear your group sing and to see the emotion in that woman's face and others, I'm sure. It must be very rewarding I imagine to witness scenes like this. I do hope there will always be people like yourselves willing to take time to bring cheer to others during the very busy festive season.

Love your caroling, would love it more if I got to see you doing it ;-)

Just got your gift!!!! Such an awesome surprise Deb, thank you, thank you!! Posted about it right away of course, haha, love you! Love Ian! Happy holidays darling people :)

We'll have to make sure that when you get here, whenever it may be, it lines up with a choir show of some kind, even if not carols. Love to you and Howie. xx

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