The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of 40 Beloved Songs of the Season by David McLaughlan

The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of 40 Beloved Songs of the Season
David McLaughlan
Barbour (2010)
ISBN 9781602606517
Reviewed by Chad Feight for Reader Views (10/10)


I recently received a copy of “The Carols of Christmas” by David McLaughlan from Reader Views.  After devouring this little gem in the middle of September, I am pleased to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christmas, and in particular, Christmas music.  I am also not as pleased to announce that I already have my Christmas lights out and ready to be put on my roof.

“The Carols of Christmas” offers a nice little gift book that briefly tells the stories of 40 different, mostly widely known, Christmas carols.  Included in the book are carols such as “Silent Night,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “O Holy Night,” as well as not so well-known carols like “There’s a Song in the Air,” “Lo, He comes with Clouds Descending,” and “Once in Royal David’s City.”   While the popular and famous far outweigh the lesser-known songs, there is a nice mix.  Also a bonus, the songs are arranged in different groupings such as “Carols of Peace” and “Carols of Wonder,” while still clearly labeled and marked.

I started reading the book by looking up my favorite carols and reading about them.  I found myself fascinated with some of the brief histories behind the songs.  I then couldn’t help but start reading about the other songs that I had heard and enjoyed, but weren’t my favorites.  By that point I was beginning to annoy my wife because I would randomly throw out facts about Christmas songs while doing the dishes or changing our baby’s diaper, or sleeping (OK, maybe not while sleeping).  It was then that I realized that I had been overcome with the spirit of Christmas and had this book to thank…or blame.

“The Carols of Christmas” also includes with each story a nice devotional thought along with a verse or two of scripture to add depth to the stories.  This book could easily be turned into a devotional or group Bible study.  It also could be used with children to give history and remind them of the significance of the songs they are learning.

I must admit, I am a bit of a Christmas geek (starting mid-November, I will listen to nothing but Christmas music).  However, I do believe this book would appeal to anyone who just wants to experience Christmas and listen to the music with a deeper appreciation of where those songs came from.  I plan to pull “The Carols of Christmas” out again in a couple of months when I begin to actually listen to the songs listed and really get into the Christmas spirit.

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