December may come with snow and lights and holiday baking, but until I’ve listened the first time to Nat King Cole’s A Christmas Song, Andy Williams’ Merry Christmas and Boney M’s The 20 Greatest Christmas Songs it is just not Christmas. I grew up listening to these albums (and, yes, they actually were record albums!) and it’s amazing how just hearing Nat King Cole singing O Holy Night can bring with it that sense of Christmas for me!
I have laboured (for days, actually) to make up a short list of my 12 favorite Christmas songs. It was hard work to stick to only 12 (actually, I failed–but I came close…) for the girl who has 26+ Christmas albums (and, yes, I do have 13 versions of Silent Night…). Some of them are old versions but they really are fabulous. So here we go in no particular order…
My Top 12 (or 13) Christmas Songs
(I couldn’t find videos for all of the songs. I apologize for some of the videos–some of these songs are old and don’t have actual videos associated with them :D)
1). Joy sung by Cindy Morgan (http://vimeo.com/34711867)
2). Christmas Shoes sung by Newsong (this one makes me cry–but listen to it anyway) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&v=MpkI7GW2V34)
3). O Come, O Come Emmanuel sung by Margaret Becker (if you haven’t heard this version, it is fabulous) (http://vimeo.com/25535594)
4). All is Well sung by Nathan Wadley on MW Smith’s album, Christmas
5). O Holy Night sung by Nat King Cole (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4uP32mnAjY)
6). I Wonder as I Wander sung by Jewel
7). Mary, Did You Know sung by author Mark Lowry (http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&v=_U2G8wsbXBo)
8). The Wexford Carol sung by Alison Krauss (found on Yoyo-Ma’s Songs of Joy and Peace) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDZjg_Igoc)
9). I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (hymn book version, with choir…mmm!) Words by Henry Longfellow!
10). When A Child is Born sung by Boney M (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7CleKUNBFw)
11). Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) sung by Amy Grant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW2OBT-5qfc)
12). A Cradle in Bethlehem sung by Nat King Cole (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u99schV5GaA)
13). This Baby sung by author SC Chapman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1wlZoN6h9M)
And just for extra merit, I will add in a couple of my favourite versions of holiday songs as a bonus!
1). Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer sung by Jewel and her mother Nedra Carroll(this is such a fun version! If you don’t listen to any of the others you should listen to this one!) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl8BMR1VyLg)
2). Kay Thompson’s Jingle Bells sung by MW Smith on his album Christmastime (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq1-xd4PtoM)
3). Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (played by the London Symphony Orchestra if you can get it). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o6I7_nzIt0)
Please enjoy these song suggestions and I hope you capture the true meaning of Christmas this year–the height and depth and width of God’s great love for you!