This one is my mother's favorite. I adore it too--what's not to like? The song features a banjo, that greatest of American instruments. It also has a complexity which many Christmas Carols lack.
The New Christy Minstrels spawned the likes of Barry McGuire* (Eve of Destruction), Gene Clark (The Byrds), Kim Carnes (Bette Davis Eyes), and the Kenny Rogers. The NCM belonged to that wonderful but brief period of American music between the death of Buddy Holly and the invasion of The Beatles.
*His growling voice appears briefly at the 1 min 44 sec mark.