Christmas Classics PERSON OF THE DAY: Doug Anderson

August 27th, 2013

On this day in 1950, Doug Anderson was born in Eugene, Oregon. He is best known as the author of A Treasury of Christmas Carols: The Hymns and Carols of Christmas and its corresponding website. He is one of the foremost authorities on the history of Christmas carols and hymns on the Internet.

How he came to be such a distinguished authority can be trace to nurturing parents, degrees in Journalism and Law, a stint at the Jesuit Novitiate, Oregon Province in 1972-1973, and his marriage to Vicki Sue Paulson on April 28, 1991.

Anderson’s career in law was primarily as a criminal defense attorney and judge before retiring in 1984. He then served as a member of the Oregon Army National Guard from 1984-2007 and became Assistant Inspector General with the rank of Master Sergeant.

In August 2005 Anderson mysteriously became ill with daily migraine headaches. Today they are so serious that he is confined to 20-22 hours of bed rest a day. He has also had to survive an apparent heart attack and two bouts of the deadly Legionnaire’s Disease.

Despite these physical setbacks and on-going illness, Anderson has faithfully maintained his web site, the genesis of which began in 1996 when he played guitar in a bluegrass trio that put on a Christmas concert for a local Veterans Administration nursing home. is an exhaustive and fantastic collection of over 3,600 (and still counting) carols and hymns, the largest such international collection of carols and hymns on the Internet. It was formatted after his 1996 title A Treasury of Christmas Carols: The Hymns and Carols of Christmas.

The intrepid Anderson is also the author of eight books on religious topics, including three works devoted to the subject of prayer, plus his annual Devotions for Advent. Five titles were inspired by the great religious reformer, Martin Luther. He has also edited, or compiled, twelve collections of Christmas poetry, notably those of Christina Rossetti, Catherine Winkworth, and Robert Herrick. Several new books are in the offing, including Luther’s Advent, Christmas & Epiphany Sermons, plus an updated version of the Devotions for the Advent.

After his retirement from the military in 2007, Doug and wife Vicki Sue moved to Decatur, Alabama. There he got licensed as an amateur radio operator and watches the weather as a National Weather Service SKYWARN volunteer. In keeping with his religious nature, he is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where he served as a Pastoral Assistant for Prayer and Liturgy until early 2010 when illness prevented him from continuing those ministries.

Doug Anderson’s contributions to the preservation of Christmas carols are unparalleled in today’s hyper-speed world and the Internet. He rightfully belongs to the cathedral of famous carol collectors, editors, and compilers from Theodore Petri, William Sandys, Sir John Stainer, Percy Dearmer, George K. Evans, and William Studwell.

Whether you have little or great interest in the history and preservation of Christmas carol and hymns, especially those of a religious color, I strongly encourage you to go to Doug’s web site Despite Doug’ physical condition, he has continued to do thorough research and add new content about Christmas carols and hymns. As a result of this consistent effort, any site visitor will have available to his or herself unique and informative content unlike any found on the Internet.

To sum up what drives Doug today, it can be best expressed in his own words: “I’ve found that if we want to do good, we’d best not wait until tomorrow, for tomorrow may never come.” He further quotes from Horace, Odes: “Even while we speak, Time, the churl, will have been running. Snatch the sleeve of today and trust as little as you may to tomorrow.”

To that I must add, “From him who has endured so much, much has been given.”

          Doug Anderson

Doug Anderson