Performances of Christmas music at public concerts, in churches, at shopping malls, on city streets, and in private gatherings is an integral staple of the Christmas holiday in many cultures across the world.
For similar terms, see Christmas Album (disambiguation).
For the Mel Tormé composition, see The Christmas Song. For other uses, see Christmas Song (disambiguation) and Christmas Songs (disambiguation).
This attempt to ban the public celebration of Christmas can also be seen in the early history of Father Christmas.
The Westminster Assembly of Divines established Sunday as the only holy day in the calendar in 1644.
Later, the word carol came to mean a song in which a religious topic is treated in a style that is familiar or festive.
From Italy, it passed to France and Germany, and later to England.
The tradition of singing Christmas carols in return for alms or charity began in England in the seventeenth century after the Restoration.
Town musicians or 'waits' were licensed to collect money in the streets in the weeks preceding Christmas, the custom spread throughout the population by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up to the present day.
Since the dawn of the rock era in the mid-1950s, much of the Christmas music produced for popular audiences has had explicitly romantic overtones, only using Christmas as a setting.