While I hate the over-commercialization of Christmas, I love the real celebration. The colors, lights, and decoration are just the best, and somehow seem fitting for the remembrance of the nativity of our Lord. The world is filled with joy and anticipation, and I think everyone knows deep down that it isn’t anticipation of gifts to be opened or meals to be devoured.
Christmas music floods the airwaves and gently tickles the ears when walking through the mall or the outdoor market. This is the most annoying part of the holidays for some, but I have to admit I love Christmas music. Well, most Christmas music. While I enjoy secular songs like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Chestnuts Roasting, they are the songs that get old the quickest. One Christian station I used to listen to made a habit of trying to have a secular-religious-secular-religious pattern of songs. I usually ended up turning them off after an hour or so in favor of my own Christmas CDs.
So what are they? Well, here are my favorite Christmas albums:
- Amy Grant’s A Christmas Album, Home for Christmas, & A Christmas to Remember
- Fernando Ortega’s Christmas Songs
- Mannheim Steamroller’s A Fresh Aire Christmas & Christmas Extraordinaire
- Sandi Patty’s O Holy Night, Yuletide Joy!, and other assorted songs
I also enjoy the Christmas music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Celtic Woman, Julie Andrews, and other random artists. Casting Crowns’ “While You Were Sleeping” is particularly good, but I’ve never been able to listen to their whole album Peace on Earth. Regina Spektor’s Baby Jesus is a clever look at Christmas from a non-Christian perspective (she’s Jewish).
My favorite traditional songs include: "The Hallelujah Chorus," "Ukranian Carol of the Bells," "O Holy Night," "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," "Silver Bells," "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," "Still, Still, Still," and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
Two of my favorite modern songs are: "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant and "Mary, Did You Know?" by Clay Aiken.
So now I’d like to hear from you! Which Christmas albums is the first that you pop into the player after Thanksgiving? What Christmas songs do you turn up when the start? Post them in the comments.