I’m wearing Nike shorts, but it’s December, nonetheless, so I’ll take it!
I just love this time of year but it frustrates me at the same time. All I want to do is revel in the beauty of the season and reflect on the year but on the other hand I have to study madly for final exams, shop for Christmas presents, make plans, take tests and resolve to do it all better next year.
My favorite place to rest in December is in Christmas music, I’m sure I’m not alone. I love to be carried away to Bethlehem on a carol or down a snowy mountain on a piano. There is so much richness in the words of Christmas carols, I just want to unwrap them all, they are gifts enough.
Here are some of my favorite Christmas albums to settle into during the holidays (let’s go with Top 5). Some of them are lesser known but just in case you’re stuck in a Justin Bieber/ Mariah Carey rut and want to change it up a bit, feel free to give them a chance:
1. O Holy Night by Sara Groves I listen to this album throughout the year actually, not just during the holiday season. Her words are such a pure reflection of the gospel as presented at Christmas time, it’s a beautiful reminder of the simplicity and purity of Christmas. The songs all flow so wonderfully from one to another, I never skip songs or rearrange them with this album, which is very impressive!
2. Joy- An Irish Christmas by Keith & Kristyn Getty I recently discovered this album and upon sharing my find with friends, I realized that the Getty’s are not as well known as I anticipated. I love their lyrics! Like Sara Groves, their songs don’t just focus on Christmas as a season but as a Gospel way of life, with an upbeat Celtic flair usually.
3. Silver & Gold and Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens I couldn’t separate them. I just couldn’t. Both of Sufjan’s Christmas albums are so fantastic, I could listen for hours (and I do…) For those of you not used to weird Indie music…maybe brace yourself because not all of these songs sound ‘normal’, but they’re fabulous nonetheless. His version of Come Thou Fount on Songs for Christmas is my absolute favorite.
4. Over The Hills and Everywhere – A Christmas EP by Seabird This album is particularly upbeat and perky. Their renditions of classic carols are refreshing and pleasant.
5. Christmas From the Realms of Glory by Bebo Norman Love the guy, love his music, great album!
6. Let it Snow by Jukebox Logic I know I said top 5 but I’m throwing this one in too because you can download it for free on noisetrade.com and that’s the only place you can get it. Merry Christmas. I love a good Acapella choir, and this one is so great! Their version of Sleigh Ride is awesome, it’s hilarious and the entire album is a lot of fun to listen to. I have a lot of fun memories dancing around to this album with my sister during the ‘Ice-Pocalypse’ a few years ago.
Some honorable mentions:
Silent Night by Red Mountain Church
Christmas by Michael Buble
It’s a Wonderful Christmas by Michael W. Smith (classic)
Feast your ears on these gems and happy December!