Merry Christmas, Damsels readers! Despite what I said about not being in order, these two Christmas songs really are my favorites. I will argue, even, that they are among the best Christmas songs ever made. Enjoy my favorite carol, Silent Night, and my favorite contemporary song, White Christmas.
And we’ve made it all the way to my (two) number one favorite Christmas songs! I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to them with me! And I’ve loved you all sharing your favorites with me! Without further ado:
Traditional #1: Carol of Bells, David Foster
Of all the versions of this song I’ve heard over the years (and I’ve heard many good ones) this is still by far my most favorite.
Nontraditional #1: Take a Walk Through Bethlehem, Tricia Yearwood
I first heard this song a couple years ago when I borrowed my parents CD of it. (I “borrowed” many cds that Christmas ha!) I was looking for some new music to add to my collection. This song just spoke to me. It’s everything that Christmas should be about. I wish this song was played day after day (unlike some of the other Christmas songs they play) on the radio. This is my favorite Christmas song without a doubt.
Marrying into a family of classical singers and organists has expanded my horizons of high choral music. Classical instrumental music I knew from my own piano and flute training, but being the terrible singer I am, I kind of missed the choral stuff. But the Christmas my husband and I were dating, I bought him a CD of King’s College Cambridge Lessons and Carols, and we’ve listened to it every year since. The opening song, “Once in Royal David’s City,” is nothing short of stunning.
While my husband spent his childhood learning to sing like those boys, I spent most of my “tween” years memorizing Mariah Carey songs. While I love the original version of her Christmas hit, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” I am a sucker for the entire movie Love Actually. I was thrilled that someone thought to put this song in one of the most adorable movies ever.
Traditional #2: Christmas in Killarny, Anne Murray
This version is from Bing Crosby. I like it, but I like the Anne Murray version better (I couldn’t find it on YouTube though). Anne Murray’s version is actually combined with another song too. I’m Irish and I think this song really pulls the Irish out of me! Oh my word whenever I hear this song I start singing along at the top of my lungs. As the Irish say: “If you don’t sing well, sing loud!”
Nontraditional #2: This is Your Gift, John Tesh
Listen and fall in love! Oh just love this song.
Today I’m cheating, since this is a really long clip. It’s mostly traditional carols, but they are blended in a way that is unique to the 1980s, which is about as contemporary as I usually want to get this time of year.
When I first learned of this TV special from 1987, “The Sound of Christmas,” my first thought was, “Wow, someone was feeling random!” I mean, seriously, Julie Andrews, John Denver, and Placido Domingo in one show together? You would be hard pressed to come up with three more diverse singers…yet it’s magic. Pure Christmas magic. The finale of their show is a medley of Christmas carols that showcases each singer and, somehow, makes them sound lovely as an unlikely trio. Unroll your eyes and enjoy:
Traditional #3: Emmanuel, Amy Grant
Love her version. Love the song.
(and this version leads right into Little Town so I’ve included the link for it too 😀 because part of why I love this version is the fact that this song is kind of a part of it.)
Nontraditional #3: The Peace Carol, John Denver and the Muppets
Technically this probably doesn’t qualify as nontraditional. It’s actually sung at my church in the music before mass, but you don’t hear this on the radio nor is it commonly found on other Christmas CDs so I’m considering it nontraditional! LOVE LOVE LOVE this song and it’s message.
Time to talk up some of my favorite male singers. Don’t worry, though–you haven’t heard the last Julie Andrews Christmas song of the season.
Josh Groban just plain makes me swoon. My college roommate turned me on to him nearly ten years ago and I have been in love ever since. His rendition of O Holy Night gives me chills.
Chris Rice is one of my favorite contemporary Christian artists. His lyrics have made me think, wonder, laugh, and praise the Lord. Welcome to Our World made me think of Christmas in a whole new way when I first heard it.