Print out your own free Christmas carols PDF and turn it into a caroling booklet with a beautiful cover and binding.
Christmas Caroling has been around for centuries! Is there a more fun way to celebrate the holiday than singing favorite Christmas tunes with family and friends to spread joy and cheer?
DIY Christmas Carols Booklet
Welcome back to A Very Global Christmas annual 12-day series where my friend Casa Watkins Living and I share globally inspired Christmas ideas. We have made it to day 12 and Stephanie and I love to wrap up this fun tradition with a free printable as a gift to you!
I’m so excited to share a beautiful Christmas carols booklet with instructions on how to print and assemble it. My family and I have been hosting a Christmas and cocktails party for many years as an excuse to get our friends over to sing around the piano. It works like a charm!
At first, I typed up lyrics and made full-size booklets for our guests but they often requested to actually read music notes! So this year, I decided it was time to make new mini booklets complete with actual songs.
You can make the same booklets thanks to the Choral Public Domain Library which is an archive of choral music that is in the public domain and/or free to print and perform. As a piano teacher and musician, I love sites like this!
I also created a free printable cover and table of contents to turn the Christmas carols PDF into a pretty booklet.
How to make a Christmas Songbook pdf booklet
First, you always want to make sure you are printing and using music that is in the public domain or free to use so that you don’t get into any trouble with copyrights. After much searching, I found this Christmas carols PDF to be the clearest quality and with the most songs to easily use.
After I figured out how to print two pages side by side on the front and back of a printer page I realized that the songs do not fall into alphabetical order when folded in half to make a booklet.
Because of that, I decided to create my own table of contents with the order that the booklet creates. I even went further and removed three of the songs I didn’t recognize from the collection of carols.
They were “Break forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light”, “Riu, Riu, Chiu”, and “The Angel Gabriel”. Are you familiar with them?
- Print the Christmas carols using one of these options.
- Open up the Christmas songbook from the Choral Public Domain Library in your web browser and drag and drop the Christmas carols you would like to include in your booklet into a separate folder. Combine them into a PDF and open them in your web browser.
- Open up the Christmas songbook from the Choral Public Domain Library in your web browser and omit the Table of Contents page (page one) when printing.
- Open my customized Christmas songbook and use the corresponding Table of Content page below that
*On my mac, I found the file has to be opened in your browser for the side-by-side printing to work.
Go to File, then print. Once the print window is open, select “more settings”. Change “pages per sheet” to 2 and click the box to print on both sides. This will allow you to print four songs on one page in landscape orientation just as I did. Print the carols on regular printer paper so the pages are easy to turn in the booklet.
How to assemble your carol book:
Download and print the cover page on a piece of card stock.
Print out the table of contents and pattern as a double-sided sheet of regular printer paper. Click and download this file that contains both sides for easy printing.
Fold the cover page in half and then all of your inside pages in half. Unfold all of them.
Make sure your table of contents is on the bottom and the songs stacked on top with “Away in a Manger” and “Coventry Carol” facing up. Secure by tying a piece of string around the middle of all of the pages. Fold back in half again and your booklet is complete!
Isn’t it darling? When you open the first page you should see the botanical pattern.
Open up the second page to see the Table of Contents.
And then the rest of the booklet is the Christmas carols in order! Yay!
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History of Christmas Caroling
Did you know the earliest carols sung in Europe in the 13th century were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebration as people danced round stone circles?
The early Christians decided to write and sing their own during the same time to celebrate the birth of Christ. But people lost interest in them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that the common people couldn’t understand. By the time of the Middles Ages, most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether.
In 1223 St. Francis of Assisi started live nativities in Italy and incorporated songs and sayings of good wishes into his Christmas services. The new carols in spoken languages spread across Europe.
Christmas caroling became even more popular when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert and with the beginning of German Yuletide traditions. Many of the carols written during the Victorian period was fictional and for entertainment. They were sung in pubs and on the street and eventually back in the church and in concert halls.
In 1914, during the first world war, a ceasefire was initiated by the Germans on the frontline against the British by singing Christmas carols.
Make sure to check out Stephanie’s Colorful Holiday Gift Tags!
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