Carols by Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve remains one of Melbourne's most venerable Christmas traditions. Not so venerable is Sydney's Carols in the Domain, which started in 1982. My family likes to think that we know a little about music and singing, and as proud Melbournians, our unbiased opinion is that Melbourne's carols are superior to Sydney's. Both events started as traditional carol services, but have gradually become family Christmas concerts. You get to hear some great singers who generously give their time to support the event. Both events are great charity fundraisers.
On the downside, both events are affiliated with the rival Nine and Seven television networks, who often use the events to cross promote their network personalities, such as popular soapie stars. This means also enjoying or enduring their singing prowess, or lack thereof, as the case may be. For a couple of years a cable television company sponsored the childrens' segment, so this meant sitting through costumed cartoon characters performing a song and dance routine. My brother and I share a sarcastic sense of humour. Without wanting to come across as mean spirited for bagging out charity events, if we were home watching the Domain carols, we used to have fun nitpicking at off key singing, bad dancing, or failed attempts at witty banter between the presenters.