The traditional Christmas carols we know and love today have been around for many years, even centuries; each one has a fascinating story behind it. In this read-aloud collection, Tonya Lambert reveals stories and the trivia behind popular Christmas carols, traditional and contemporary–the music, the lyrics, the composers, the singers and the time and traditions around which they were written:

– In one of the most successful television commercials to employ a Christmas song, Hershey’s Kisses are portrayed as bells playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

– In Austria, “Silent Night” is protected from commercialism and is not played, broadcast or sung until Christmas Eve

– Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw thought the tune of “O Christmas Tree” sounded like “the funeral march of a dead eel”

– The first Christmas carol broadcast in space was “Jingle Bells”; during the flight of Gemini 6 in 1965, astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang the carol accompanied by a harmonica and sleigh bells

The earliest collection of Christmas carols is found in a manuscript compiled 600 years ago by a blind priest and poet in Shropshire, England

– George Rock, who first recorded “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” received thousands of teeth in the mail, two at a time, from children

– It took Haven Gillespie just 15 minutes to write “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” on the back of an envelope while sitting in a bar in 1932

Christians in the mostly Muslim country of Malaysia have to obtain a police permit to sing Christmas carols in church or at home

– Songwriter Irving Berlin tried unsuccessfully to get Elvis Presley’s version of “White Christmas” banned from radio stations

…and so much more!