Not all the best Christmas music can be found on the radio!
There’s an annual debate among my husband and his siblings.
No, it’s not about who gifts to who for Christmas. Or even where we spend the holidays.
Instead, it’s about how soon is too soon to break out the eggnog and the Christmas music.
Personally, I prefer to savor my fresh-pressed apple cider until Thanksgiving has come and gone. Then, and only then, do I break out the raw milk, farm-fresh eggs, and whole nutmeg to create the most delicious (and nourishing!) homemade eggnog.
When my one CD of Thanksgiving music has been on repeat for several weeks and it’s time to pack up the Thanksgiving books and autumn decorations, then I begin to play our most beloved Christmas carols.
While the rest of the country is out shopping for good deals, I’m sitting at home, sipping my eggnog, and listening to my own curated Christmas playlists.
Here is some of my favorite Christmas music; the songs I grew up on and the albums my whole family enjoys.
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Favorite Christmas Albums
This collection of songs is tinged with the melancholy of waiting, which is overcome by the joy of the expected coming. With Scripture turned to song in the form of Isaiah 11 and the Magnificat, and musical glimpses into the stories of Zechariah, Mary, and Eve, two Christmas hymns round out the rest of this album. An easy-listening sound that’s so soothing it could be on during my children’s naptime, but a worshipful quality that makes it one I want to have on all throughout the day.
Christmas music in Sandra’s own distinct style.
Andrew Peterson knows the power of story, and he brings that belief in story to his music. This collection takes us from the foretelling of a coming Savior to the cradle where He lay.
I’ve long appreciated the way Michael Card brings Scripture to life through his music. This album of his Christmas songs is no exception.
Modern-day hymn writers and talented musical artists Keith and Kristyn Getty have given us one of my favorite Christmas albums. I never get tired of listening to it! (They also just released Sing! An Irish Christmas recorded live at The Grand Ole Opry House .)
A Christmas carol sing-along with the Gettys!
When my oldest was young, I went on a search for some Christmas music that would make it easy for her to learn all the verses of the classic carols. The Cedarmont Kids albums fit the bill! A simple, clear melody provides accompaniment (but doesn’t drown out) the clear voices of the children singing. (Each album also includes split tracks.)
This Christmas CD comes with its own book! Volume 3 in the Hymns for a Kids’ Heart series, the book includes a short devotional, the musical score, and the lyrics to all the verses of each carol.
Seeds of Christmas takes us from the Old Testament prophecies to the birth of Jesus–with lyrics straight from Scripture.
Unto Us weaves Scripture passages with Christmas tunes old and new for an upbeat album that provides a delightful change from traditional Christmas music.
Steve Green has been a favorite for as long as I can remember, making these two albums quintessential Christmas music to me. Filled with joy and wonder, I love these renditions of the classic songs of Christmas.
This upbeat album from Steven Curtis Chapman combines classic carols with beautiful originals all ages will enjoy.
Lovely Christmas carols in Fernando Ortega’s inimitable style.
Stirring contemporary renditions of Christmas classics.
Upbeat but classic Christmas music our whole family enjoys–from the group that brought us “It’s About the Cross.” (Be sure to check out their earlier album, Snowball. The Ball Brothers play on repeat around here!)
A fresh take on some Christmas favorites.
Christmas music in Sara’s lovely style.
Not your traditional Christmas music!
Christmas praise coupled with some more traditional Christmas hymns.
A re-imagined version of her earlier album, this is a lovely compilation of both traditional and original Christmas songs.
A peppy collection of mostly traditional Christmas songs.
Gentle listening Christmas music.
A reflective compilation of Christmas songs.
Achingly beautiful renditions of old Christmas carols.
With his unique style, Josh Garrels brings us an easy-listening Christmas album.
Southern Gospel for the whole family.
Gentle Gospel Christmas music.
An eclectic collection of Christmas music.
A taste of Handel’s Messiah!
There’s nothing more exquisitely beautiful than Handel’s Messiah. It’s like a fine work of art that we want to experience again and again, making sure we never forget it and that our children grow to love it as we do. ( This version conducted by Christopher Hogwood, with Oxford Choir of Christ Church Cathedral and The Academy of Ancient Music is my husband’s favorite.)
A unique collection of spirited folk carols and classic Christmas songs. A fun way for the whole family to learn some older carols!
It’s not Christmas without Bing Crosby crooning about a “White Christmas”. We love the collections that include of some of his lesser-known recordings of Christmas carols, as well as clips from radio broadcasts.
Instrumental Christmas Albums
Lovely easy-listening violin Christmas music!
Gorgeous piano Christmas music.
I love the rich orchestrations I find in Michael W. Smith’s music, and this album is no exception. Mostly instrumental, it makes the perfect background music for holiday meals.
I’ve always loved the inimitable sound of Mannheim Steamroller. To me, their “Carol of the Bells” is synonymous with the sound of Christmas.
The Best Christmas Singles
- “It’s About the Cross” by The Ball Brothers
- “Little Baby” by The Martensons
- “O Holy Night” by David Phelps
- “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” by Jill Phillips
- “The First Noel” by Josh Turner
- “Here With Us” by Joy Williams
I’d love to hear about your favorite Christmas song or album!
Because He Lives,
P.S. You might also be interested in this list of All-Time Favorite Christmas Books You’ll Be Sure to Love.
Here at Club31Women, we recognize that not everyone has the same taste or point of view on books, music, or movies, but we offer these short reviews for your consideration. Our hope is that you will find something new and wonderful on this list of recommended resources!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women