Origins of Famous Christmas and Holiday Songs

Once the holiday decorations start showing up in stores, the holiday music isn’t far behind. Do you know where some of the most famous holiday and Christmas Carols come from?

Jingle Bells Probably the best-known and easiest to sing and memorize Christmas Songs ever! Written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857 and was originally meant to be a Thanksgiving song.
12 Days of Christmas Written by Frederic Austin in 1780, this may be one of the longer Christmas songs but with its repeating lyrics, not overly complicated to memorize. It was written into a little book intended for children, Mirth without Mischief and was played as a game. The verses would accumulate and as each person took their turn reciting the verses, the first person to make a mistake, lost.

Fun Fact:
If you received every present mentioned in this stong, that would be a total of 364 presents. 
O Christmas Tree Ernst Anschütz wrote this famous Christmas song in German “O Tannenbaum” in 1824. The song wasn’t intended to relate to Christmas or a Christmas tree, but simply the characteristics of a fir tree.
O Holy Night This popular Christmas Carole was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing This originally appeared in  1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems as written by Charles Wesley.
Silent Night Another German classic, Silent Night (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) from 1818 that was written by Franz Xaver Gruber.
 Walking in a Winter Wonderland Around 1930, Dick Smith was inspired to write this song as he was hospitalized for tuberculosis and looked out to Honesdale’s Central Park in Pennsylvania to see fresh snow covering the ground.
 The Little Drummer Boy Katherine Kennicott Davis wrote this popular Christmas song in 1941 and was meant for amateur all-girls’ choirs.  It was originally titled “Carol of the Drum”.
 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Johnny Marks is the mastermind behind the song that tells the story of Santa’s newest member of his reindeer crew. Montgomery Ward first introduced Rudolph’s story in 1939.

What are you and your family’s favorite Christmas or Holiday songs? Does it get stuck in your head? Do you change the lyrics or rhythm to change things up? Tell us about it in the comments!