Carol singing

The Christmas season is filled with music, from the Nutcracker to the Chipmunks, the Messiah to Mahalia Jackson. Christmas carols, hymns, songs, and classical Christmas music are everywhere: at the mall, on the radio, in movies. For those of us who love the sounds of Christmas, this is good.

While listening to Christmas music is fine, singing it is better. There’s something about actually raising your voice in song that is good for the heart and good for the soul. Belting out the Hallelujah Chorus, even if you don’t know any more than the opening word, can be immensely satisfying.

Christmas carols are meant to be sung. You may love singing them yourself; you may prefer listening to others singing them. Either way, here’s a collection of 61 carols, new and old, words, origins and histories included. You can read about them, or sing them, or print them out for others to sing ’em. Whatever.

May we all have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

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