My 10 Favorite Christmas Carols
Much to the frustration of my 12-year-old son, I am one of those people that just cannot get enough Christmas. Although I have always been this way, it definitely seems to be getting more and more pronounced the older I get. Admittedly, I AM one of those individuals that has difficulty restricting my playing of Christmas music only to the window between the day after Thanksgiving and December 26th. In fact, I have been caught playing Christmas music whenever there is a need for some holiday cheer, like March, or June, or… you get the picture.
And what music it is! My love of Christmas is only superseded by my love of music. Picking only 10 Christmas carols was like asking which of my four children is my favorite – an impossible feat! I tried to keep the list as short as possible, and included some of the tunes in my library that may not be on your radar:
1. The Gift by Aselin Debison, also known as the First Nightingale Song, has to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful Christmas carols ever. I love the simplicity of the music, allowing the listener to focus on the story in the lyrics. I was hooked the first time I heard it on the radio, even though it took me a while to find out its name and the artist who brings it to life so eloquently.
technically not a Christmas song, Light One Candle is definitely another one of my holiday favorites. This hanukkah song, sung by one of my favorite groups EVER reminds us all of the peace and love of the holiday season that we should carry the whole year through.
3. In Your Hands by Bebo Norman. A few years ago, Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) listed some of her favorite songs for the holiday season, and boy am I glad she did because she introduced me to Bebo Norman. As contemporary Christian musician, his music carries deep meaning. His song In your Hands is a favorite anytime of the year, but holds very special message for us over the holidays.
4. ALL of the Christmas songs by Home Free. I have recently been turned on to the group Home Free, and I must admit is was next to impossible to pick just one song from their Full of (Even More) Cheer album. However, Angels We Have Heard on High has always been one of my favorites, and these five gentlemen harmonize it wonderfully!
5. Baby It’s Cold Outside sung by Idina Menzel and Michael Buble. My oldest daughter has become a big Idina Menzel fan, and she has rubbed off on me. I love how they modernize this awesome tune while still keeping it’s classic sound.
6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by the Jackson Five. As a little girl crazy about Santa, I loved the imagery of this song. As I grew up and got the lyrics, I loved it even more. Having learned the song as a kid, this song list would not be complete without the Jackson Five version of this song – especially for those of us that were young in the seventies! Even as a kid, Michael Jackson could rock it!
7. It’s Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas by Johnny Mathis, I actually have had this song set as my phone ring tone since the day after Thanksgiving! There really is no sound like a classic crooner!
8. The Christmas Song by the King Singers, I learned of the Kings Singers when I was an undergrad music major at IUP (it was only a semester, and then I transferred to education and UPJ). Our Choir Director introduced us to their six part perfect harmony – it was also my first introduction to an acapella group outside of a choir – their harmonies are like melting butter!
9. What Child is This sung by Elle Zamudio. The first solo I ever sang was at a middle school Christmas concert, and it was this song, although I am confident it did not hold a candle to this version except for maybe my parents. 🙂 I really like the energy Elle brings to this tune, which other artists tend to weigh down.
10. Breadth of Heaven by Amy Grant. Grant’s voice and artistry bring a storytelling quality to song. I have loved her since my teenage years, and I think this is one of my very favorite pieces she has ever done.
Ok — now it’s your turn — What are your favorites that I need to add to my Christmas list?