Advent hasn’t even started yet, but it’s a short season this year so we need to prepare as much as possible! Here are some Christmas albums to add to your rotation this year – enjoy them while you set up your Christmas tree!
Although any album by TSO is sure to make you rock out on Christmas, this is album is a favorite. It tells the story of an angel sent to earth to give a gift to benefit mankind and a child who is unsure if she believes anymore. The gift the angel ends up giving is the gift of faith. We should always beg the Lord as the Apostles did, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5).
This was a staple in my house growing up and the album that first taught me Latin. With classics like “Silent Night”, “Adeste Fideles”, and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” to “Christmas in Killarney” and “Mele Kalikimaka” to the song he’s probably most known for “White Christmas” this album hits all the right marks. (This album was reissued in 2014 under it’s original title “Merry Christmas” with the same album artwork, fyi).
This modern crooner delivers a Christmas album suitable for any secular celebration without losing the true significance of the holiday season with fun renditions of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Jingle Bells” to beautiful renditions of “Silent Night” and “Ave Maria”. In my house, this has become a new Christmas classic and it might just become one in yours, too.
This album is included because it’s absolutely wonderful. This is actually the soundtrack to the TV Christmas special Denver and the Muppets put on where they tell the story of coming together for Christmas and preparing for the birth of Christ and culminates with Denver telling the story of Jesus’s birth. From “Twelve Days of Christmas” to “Deck the Halls” to “Silent Night, Holy Night” this album relives that story beautifully. And who doesn’t love the Muppets singing Christmas songs!
This is the second Christmas album released by Hanson and man have these guys come a long way from their MMMBop days! Capitalizing on what they do best– harmonizing– this album is full of fun and a range of musical styles from pop to blues to rock n roll. Stand outs on this album include title track “Finally It’s Christmas”, “Peace on Earth”, and “Joy to the Mountain” which is a mashup of “Joy to the World” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain”. This is another album that I’m positive will become a modern Christmas classic in many homes (mine included!).
Since we’re on a Hanson kick, I’d be remiss to not include their first Christmas album. Amazon describes this album as: “This one’s a cut above standard Yuletide fare, boasting the same tuneful effervescence that sets Hanson apart from standard-issue teen idols.” I’d say that’s pretty high praise! Full of fun favorites and original compositions, this album showcases the talent that Hanson had even in their early days and displays great Christmas spirit. Their “Silent Night Medley: O Holy Night/ Silent Night/ O Come All Ye Faithful” is one of my absolute favorite Christmas songs ever. Don’t be fooled by their pre-pubescent voices, this album is worth it.
[Note that these are two box sets] If you’re a fan of Sufjan, these Christmas albums are for you! If you’re into slightly weird and a lot eclectic music, these Christmas albums are for you! In all of his usual wonder and awe and quirk, Sufjan has created 100 Christmas songs that are unique, insightful, and well-crafted. From traditional songs like “Silent Night”, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella”, and “Angels We Have Heard on High” to the very Sufjan-esque “Christmas Unicorn” these songs over 10 discs and 2 box sets are a really wonderful addition to any Christmas music rotation (it might just last all 12 days of Christmas to make it through all of them, too!).
If witticisms are your thing, you’ll love this witty album. Lyrics to standards like “O Christmas Tree” and “We 3 Kings” have been altered (ex. “O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, We hang stuff on your branches” and “We three kings delivering the mail”). If you want to laugh on Christmas (and remember, G.K. Chesterton said that angels can fly because they take themselves lightly, so we should all learn to laugh a little more!) this album is a sure ticket to many belly laughs.
These Christian pop-punk with quirk artists deliver a really great Christmas album, hitting traditional songs like “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Silent Night/Away in a Manger”, and “Good King Wenceslas” just right while adding their touch to other songs like “Santa Claus is Thumbing to Town” and “Handel’s Messiah”. A new favorite will be “In Like a Lion (Always Winter)” which plays on the problem in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that it’s always winter and never Christmas. But be assured, Relient K does find Christmas and they rejoice in the birth of the newborn king with pop-punk guitars and bass and Beach Boys-esque harmonies.
With lots of styles to choose from, there’s sure to be a new Christmas album on this list for you to enjoy this season. What other Christmas albums do you love? Share them in the comments so we can all enjoy!