For other uses, see Christmas Song (disambiguation) and Christmas Songs (disambiguation).
Music was an early feature of the Christmas season and its celebrations.
This is in part due to the efforts of amateur choral societies during the nineteenth century.
When it was composed, it was performed during Passiontide.
Also from the seventeenth century, there was the English custom, predominantly involving women, of taking a wassail bowl to their neighbours to solicit gifts, accompanied by carols.From Italy, it passed to France and Germany, and later to England.Christmas carols in English first appear in a 1426 work of John Audelay, a Shropshire priest and poet, who lists 25 "caroles of Cristemas", probably sung by groups of wassailers, who went from house to house.Songs which are traditional, even some without a specific religious context, are often called Christmas carols.
Each of these has a rich history, some dating back many centuries.According to one of the only observational research studies of Christmas caroling, Christmas observance and caroling traditions vary considerably between nations in the 21st century, while the actual sources and meanings of even high-profile songs are commonly misattributed, and the motivations for carol singing can in some settings be as much associated with family tradition and national cultural heritage as with religious beliefs.