Have Christmas carols always been this terrible? Signs point to yes:
Although there are accounts of birth-of-Christ hymns being sung in second-century Rome—by order of Christian authorities, not public preference—it was not until the fourth century, when Christmas was formalized as a feast and fixed to Dec. 25, that a songbook started to take form. Some of the first contributions were existing, non-Christian carols adapted to the new celebration. The early church did not appreciate these pagan-Christian conversions and answered with hymns of its own. … Evidence suggests that people sort of hated these songs. The church-approved carols were in Latin and, in some cases, amounted to arcane doctrinal quibbles set to music.