Christmas music has always been a huge part of our holidays, starting with the car radio Dad whistled & sang to while driving, and home radio Mom played during housework, through school & band programs, church, & TV specials.
The best hands-down was the yearly town Christmas eve program when we lived in Woodstock NY from 1957-1967. Residents gathered on the village green and sang carols, ending with "Here Comes Santa Claus" accompanied by lights from firetrucks searching the sky for the arrival of Santa - from a different rooftop every year, once coming down a church steeple by rope! The stockings Santa then handed out to all the children were great, but even as children, my brothers and I somehow knew the experience was even better.
In 6th grade, we were rehearsing "We Three Kings" when learning that President Kennedy had been shot and died... Time has blunted the pain of this event, except when hearing this carol, which brings back as if it happened just yesterday.