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Monday, December 9, 2013

Awesome Christmas Music

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I mentioned on my December Checklist post that I like to submerse myself as much as possible in Christmas music during the month of December.  It makes me happy and gets me in the Christmas mood like nothing else!  So I thought I would share with you my favorite Christmas albums for your listening enjoyment!

The Birth of Jesus by John Michael Talbot

This may very well be my favorite Christmas album.  The music is just amazing.  If you don't know, John Michael Talbot has a really interesting life story.  He studied several religions and eventually became a monk, but not like locked in a monastery or something.  He started an "integrated monastic community."  Anyway, it's really interesting.  

I bring that up because you can definitely hear those influences in his music.  There are chants, boys' choirs, and an overall liturgical feel to a lot of the songs.  Absolutely beautiful.  I haven't seen this album in stores since I was a kid, so the only place I could find it was on Amazon.  It's worth it just for his rendition of "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent" with a full orchestra and boys' choir.

A Very Veggie Christmas by The Veggie Tales

I was introduced to this CD my freshman year of college by my roommates.  I have very fond memories of trying to make a popcorn chain in our dorm room while laughing hysterically at Junior Asparagus singing, "While by my Sheep."  Kids will love this album, but I loved it long before I had kids.  It's great, and I love that it has some more obscure Christmas songs, like "Ring Little Bells" and "He is Born the Holy Child."

Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller

This is the classic Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album.  They've made a bajillion others since, and they're pretty good, but this one is the best.  I have listened to these songs literally every Christmas that I can remember.  They're classics.

A Christmas to Remember by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra

This one is so random, but it is one of my faves.  I got this one originally in a 3 disk set of old-timey Christmas music from Walmart like, ten years ago.  The other two CD's are ok, but this one is just amazing.  I guess it was an old radio special that Sinatra and Crosby did one year.  It's them just basically hanging out and occasionally singing Christmas songs.  They chat about random stuff, drink toddies, and eat pizza, all on the radio.  It always makes me feel like I'm just chillin' with them on a random Christmas evening.  It's super cool.

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Of course, the Charlie Brown movie is a classic, but a couple of years ago, I got the soundtrack, and I've come to like it just as much!  You get all the awesome songs without having to watch all the kids be total jerks to poor Charlie Brown for absolutely no reason at all.  Plus, since most of the songs don't have words, this is a great one to put on when you have people over or have other things going on.

Noel by Josh Groban

You've probably heard several of Josh Groban's songs on the Christmas radio stations, but the CD is full of good ones.  He does a great version of Little Drummer Boy and several others, and there's even an original song.  

My only complaint with this CD is that he does a version of "I'll be Home for Christmas" where he plays recordings of military men and women sending their greetings to their loved ones back home, and I absolutely cannot listen to it without sobbing like a baby.  (If you know me, you know that I can't even thank someone for their service to our country without crying.  I don't know why.  I just take it very, very seriously.  Probably has to do with Brian being in the Army for 11 years.)  As a matter of fact, if I hear the first few notes, I run into the room yelling, "NOPE!  NO!  SHUT IT DOWN!" until I can turn it off.  Brian swears he's gonna burn me a new CD that doesn't have that track on it someday.  

Christmas by Michael Bublé

This was the #1 Christmas album a couple of years ago, so most people have heard it, or at least some of the tracks off of it.  It is a really great CD.  He does a great job of having fun with the songs ("Santa Buddy, slip a Rolex under the tree...") but still makes them singable.  He has a great voice that is reminiscent of old style crooners like Nat King Cole, and he even manages to make "Blue Christmas" and "All I want for Christmas is You" into songs you won't automatically turn off!

Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans Siberian Orchestra

Of course, the singles off of this CD are amazing.  Their hard rock version of the "Carol of the Bells" ("Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24") is an international phenomenon, and their Christmas version of Pachebel's Cannon is pretty cool, too.   However, the coolest part of this album is that it tells a story.  The songs go along with narration in the liner notes (which they read aloud if you go to their concert) that tells an amazing, beautiful story.  It always touches my heart.  Get the CD and spend an evening listening to it and reading along.  It's worth it.

Chantez Noel

This is a CD I got when I taught my French classes, and I still love it.  It is a collection of Christmas songs in French.  Some of them are traditional songs, and some are just translated, but they are all great.  This CD has my favorite version of "Noel Nouvelet" ever.

I also have a couple of Pandora stations that I love.  Their Christmas Radio station is a great mix of different kinds of Christmas songs, with more variety than the normal radio stations.  They also have a Christmas Jazz station that is really nice background music for parties or just during the day.

What are your favorite Christmas albums?  Any new ones I need to pick up?


  1. Have you ever heard of Andrew Peterson? He has WONDERFUL truth-filled Christmas music! You would probably really enjoy it! Also, you mentioned lots of my favs but some I've never heard of! Can't wait to listen to some "new" music :-)

    1. No I haven't heard of him. I'll have to look him up! Thanks! :o)