Monday, November 26, 2007

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

In honor of the arrival of Christmas music season, here are five of my favorite essential Christmas albums.

1. Amy Grant - A Christmas Album
Let me first preface this by saying that Amy Grant is the music I grew up on. Christmas in my house is not Christmas if we don't listen to her three Christmas albums over and over again. And up until I gifted Mom with all three of them in CD format a couple years ago, we listened to this one on vinyl. Anyways, the whole album is definitely a classic, but my favorite song from it is this rearrangement of "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Actually, it might be my favorite Christmas song of all time.
Amy Grant - Little Town

2. Celine Dion - These Are the Special Times
I love Celine Dion, and she definitely knows how to do Christmas music. Her version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" is phenomenal, but the original stuff on here is great too. "Christmas Eve" is a fun song about being in love on Christmas.
Celine Dion - O Come All Ye Faithful
Celine Dion - Christmas Eve

3. Avalon - Joy
I don't have too much to say about this one. Avalon is great, and this whole CD is one of my most frequently played albums this time of year. I don't know if this cover of David Meece's "We Are the Reason" is considered a Christmas song, but it's on the album and it's gorgeous so here it is.
Avalon - We Are the Reason

4. Relient K - Deck the Halls Bruise Your Hand
Often times during this season I find myself wanting something more upbeat, since most Christmas tunes are so mellow. That's when I pull out my Relient K. The songs range from jazzed up versions of the classics (a cover of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah) to the simply hilarious ("Santa Claus is Thumbin' to Town" -- ode to a hitchhiking Santa).
Relient K - Handel's Messiah (The Hallelujah Chorus)
Relient K - Santa Claus is Thumbin' to Town

5. Point of Grace - A Christmas Story
I just realized that all the albums on my list except one are by Christian artists. That's really because that's the majority of the Christmas music I have... I'm not sure why, but probably because there was a time when Christian music was mostly all I listened to, and I think it only makes sense that these artists really know how to do Christmas music because it's central to the faith. Anyways, Point of Grace is no exception. Their harmonies are beautifully spot-on as these girls' always are and the four original songs on here have become classics to me. Here's one of them.
Point of Grace - When Love Came Down