Sign Language Christmas Songs and Carols

How do you sign 'manger'?

American Sign Language (ASL) translations are available for many popular Christmas songs. Below is a listing of sources and the Christmas carol translations they offer. Some show you exactly how the signs are performed, while others offer glosses, which are ASL translations in words and signs, but not actual signing.

Woman signing the word 'Family' in American Sign Language while communicating with her son
Huntstock / Getty Images

These classics will always be in style. Schools and churches that serve the deaf community, as well as the hearing community, may want to add signing to their holiday celebrations. You can make holiday programs accessible to more people when signing is included.

Signed Christmas Song Sources

    • offers Flash video files, with captions for the lyrics and signs for these popular songs:
      Away in a Manger
    • The First Noel
    • Joy to the World
    • O Come, O Come Emmanuel
    • O Come, All Ye Faithful
    • Silent Night
    • has a DVD for purchase titled "A Silent Night" which features acclaimed sign language interpreters and includes these songs:
      The First Noel
    • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
    • Joy To the World
    • Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
    • Silent Night
    • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
    • has graphical ASL glosses for Christmas songs that can be purchased in its online store or that can be found online, such as:
      Sign and Sing a Song for Christmas Volumes 1, 2, and 3
    • O Little Town of Bethlehem
    • Silent Night
    • What Child Is This?
    • "Lift Up Holy Hands" is a DVD of religious songs that includes Christmas carols and hymns. Aimed at interpreters, the songs on the video are signed by DeAnn Sampley, an interpreter. It also includes a booklet of ASL glosses.
      Away in a Manger
    • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
    • Joy to the World
    • Mary, Did You Know?
    • More Precious Than Silver
    • O Come All Ye Faithful
    • O Little Town of Bethlehem
    • Silent Night
    • The First Noel
    • We Three Kings
    • "Santa's Favorite Christmas Songs" is a DVD/CD combo that is available for purchase at
      Jingle Bells
    • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
    • O Christmas Tree
    • Santa's Songs
    • The Twelve Days of Christmas
    • There is Snow on the Mountain
    • Up On the Housetop
    • We Wish You A Merry Christmas

In addition to these resources, you can find many online videos of ASL performances of Christmas carols. You can easily search for these at your favorite video site (such as YouTube) to be inspired and entertained. Although most of those wouldn't be appropriate for teaching situations.

By Jamie Berke
 Jamie Berke is a deafness and hard of hearing expert.