Wherein I Share My Favorite Christmas Music With You

Every year I love re-entering the Christmas playlist.  Every year I add one or two new CD’s to the collection, and I sometimes kick a few out. Here are our family’s current favorites:

Kids’ Favorites:
Chipmunks Christmas (original recordings in the 60’s).  I love that my kids love this, because it was one of my family’s favorites when I was growing up. Except that I can now only take 3-4 hours of it before I want to kill small furry things.
Jingle Jams (Family Wise Music). Energetic arrangements that don’t sound like kid music. 
Go Fish ‘Snow’ (2006). Fun fun fun till your daddy takes the ipod away. 

Music I Like More Every Year: 
Erin O’Donnell ‘Christmas Time is Here’ (2004).  A little jazzy.  I just love it.  No greater explanation possible.  You should own this one.
Russ Taff ‘A Christmas Song’ (1992). Also a little jazzy.  
Harry Connick Jr, When My Heart Finds Christmas (1993), Harry for the Holidays (2003). His combinations of big-band, 40’s jazz, and a bit of quirkiness have become almost traditional favorites for me. He has released a 3rd Christmas CD this year, What A Night!, which I haven’t heard yet. 

Favorite Instrumentals:
Jim Brickman ‘Christmas Memories By the Piano‘ and ‘Peace‘.
Chris Rice ‘The Living Room Sessions: Christmas
Vince Guaraldi Trio ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas‘ 

New Favorites:
Jars of Clay ‘Christmas Songs’ (2007)  Didn’t have the chance to really listen to this last year, but I’m lovin’ it this time around. 
Sufjan Stevens ‘Songs for Christmas’ Vols 1 – 5 (2006).  Quirky, scaled-down, original, completely enjoyable. 
Sara Groves ‘O Holy Night’ (2008) Just downloaded this a few days ago.  Love the artistry, the original music, especially ‘Toy Packaging’, which you can get for free here. 

Lifetime Christmas Music Achievement Award:  Amy Grant 
I’m sorry if you’re not a fan, but ‘A Christmas Album’ (1983) absolutely has to be playing when we start hanging ornaments on the tree.  And a peppermint candle has to be burning. (Trivia: My boyfriend back in the day told me this was his favorite Christmas music. This, and other facts like it, set us on course for marriage. It’s that powerful.)  ‘Home for Christmas’ (1992) is maybe my favorite album as a whole. It includes my all time favorite original Christmas song ever, which still brings me to tears. ‘Breath of Heaven‘.  It has been recorded by other artists, but this recording by this artist…. perfection.  Christmas to Remember (1999) rounds out a great collection…love the instrumental pieces.

Favorite conversation sparked by this post:
me: Neil, what’s your favorite Christmas music?
Neil: you mean genre? artist? recording?
me: CD… like if you had to go pull one off the virtual shelf.
Neil: hmmm….
(sheepishly) you know, I really like the POG one. 
me: really. your choice is Point of Grace? (a group of 4 women)
Neil: what’s this for? Is it going on your blog? (a bit panicked) Wait, wait… does Bon Jovi have a Christmas album? (dives for iTunes… sighs… resigns himself to the truth) Ok, so I just like girl singers.

(which turns out to be not so bad for me) 

Husband’s Favorite (which would have landed on the list anyway):
Point of Grace ‘A Christmas Story’ (1999).  Great arrangements and great variety.

And finally,
What Has Fallen Off the Playlist for Lack of Use:
Mariah Carey, Merry Christmas
Gary Chapman, This Gift
Rebecca St. James, Christmas RSJ 

 Now… please share!!! What are YOUR favorites?  Your ‘must-listen’s?
Or, your must-never-listen-again’s?

18 thoughts on “Wherein I Share My Favorite Christmas Music With You

  1. I have a bazillion Christmas CDs, and a lot of favorites. Your blog has made me start hunting for favorites on different CDs. Nearest the toppest favoritest is Selah’s Christmas one. LOVE their Silent Night.

  2. I’m diggin’ the thread here. Okay, definitely with you on Amy. Although, Chris Eaton’s version of his song is pretty on. But I’m a huge fan. I’m a bit stuck in the 80s for favorite Christmas discs of all time. Sparrow put out a compilation I think in 84. Tim Minor, Bebe and Cece, Steve Taylor, Steven Curtis, and several others. Still gets me. Take 6, He is Christmas. HC,Jr. Handel’s Soulful Messiah. Just a few of my long list of favs.

  3. Growing up my family listed to Amy Grant too, but the one that plays during decorating is Acappela and some big brass sound that my dad loves. I personally love Jewel’s Christmas CD and hope to be adding Michael Buble to the mix this year.

  4. OK. i really didn’t know it was goin on the blog…. until it came out of my mouth….
    I would like to add that one of my all time favs is Whiteheart’s Little Drummer Boy – it was failrly obscure but they rocked it like not a lot of others have. and of course… Bob and Doug’s rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas!

  5. matt… trusting you to cover the MWS love. :)

    t.jackson… I know I speak for Neil when I say THANK YOU for being all vulnerable and transparent and stuff.

    beth… please DO weigh in again. I’m loving everyone’s contributions!

  6. This is a serious matter. I have to think on it further. I will, however, second your opinion of AG’s version of ‘Breath of Heaven’. None better. Also, Vince Guaraldi’s ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ is THE spirit of Christmas for me. And Harry Connick’s ‘Frosty’? Killer. As is EVERYTHING on that album…

    Hmmm…I may weigh in again.

  7. i, too, am a big fan of the vince guaraldi trio’s “a charlie brown christmas” as well as the sufjan stevens christmas stuff.

    and i grew up on amy grant’s “home for christmas” so it holds a special place in my christmas heart, though i feel a bit like neil (and the POG embarrassment) printing it here for the virtual world to see (it’s ok neil, we all have our guilty pleasures).

    a few others i’d recommend:
    -elf soundtrack (yup, the will ferrel movie)
    especially “baby it’s cold outside”-featuring zooey deschanel.
    -b.b. king’s “a christmas celebration of hope.”
    the whole album is good, but my favorite is “merry christmas baby.”

  8. Dude this is totally cracking me up…I already had Neil in the doghouse with the whole Amy Grant thing…and then you include the conversation…classic…btw…I really enjoyed those “A Very Special Christmas”…had songs from Run DMC, Tom Petty and a bunch of other great groups from the 90s.

  9. Janaki… oooo, I will have to be checking that out! Thanks for the comment.

    Doug Reed? DOUG REED??? Doug, my friend, welcome to the blog! Thank you for your contribution. My blog will never be the same. Kind of like Marcia Brady’s cheek….

    Brett…. ha! Don’t give up on him yet. :) besides, no fair showing up, making fun of my husband, and NOT answering the question. What’s YOUR favorite Christmas music?

  10. Point of Grace Neil, really??? Hoping Bon Jovi had a Christmas album as a fall back, really???

    I have to same I am more disappointed than surprised, at least at the Bon Jovi part. All I have to say Kim is that its a good thing he has you.

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