With only 4 weeks until Christmas day, I thought I’d share some Christmas playlists. While Christian religious tradition holds that the time leading up to Christmas, known as Advent, should be a time of preparation for Christmas, and thus songs of anticipation, not songs of Christmas should be played, I feel that Christmas music does help us prepare for the coming of Christ and Christmas. And there is a mix of religious Christmas music, as well as secular popular music, though while commercial, I feel still should put people in the mood of the season of giving, as that is what the season is all about – God’s gift to us with the birth of his Son. May we look for ways to be gifts to each other, and gift our talents to the world and back to our Creator. I truly love this season, and the music, along with Mass and the events at my church, to put me in the mood to receive Jesus on Christmas morning.
As a kid I grew up listening to oldies, with Johnny Mathis Christmas album prominently played from my mom’s music collection. I also worked a job in college every December in a gift shop as a gift wrapper. My responsibility was also to periodically change the cassettes of Christmas music playing overhead. Among the cassettes in the Christmas collection were Frank Sinatra and Kenny Rogers, who became among my favorites.
So I’ve created 4 Christmas playlists. The first is oldies, from Sinatra to Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, and many others. I think Johnny has the smoothest, sweetest voice, Bing the most traditional, Sinatra the Christmas crooner, but Nat, well he could just plain make you ooze Christmas listening to him sing. Such great, classic Christmas music, perhaps most recently popularized by the “Home Alone” movies, though I’m realizing that those movies aren’t so recent! Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth,” another of my Christmas favorites, again dreaming of peace on earth as our Christmas gift – can it be?
The Ultimate Christmas Oldies playlist:
The musical and visual beauty of Lindsey Stirling’s “Carol Of The Bells” makes me come back to this video year after year:
And her “Angels We Have Heard On High” is heavenly. If you have the opportunity to see her, she’s well worth the time and effort.
And consider a Christmas gift to yourself some year, and see Trans Siberian Orchestra. They are a spectacle not to be missed, moving and inspirational. Perhaps their most well known Christmas song is “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo”:
The next list is pop Christmas tunes, mostly 80s performers and their holiday offerings, from Bruce Springsteen to Bon Jovi, the Eagles, Madonna, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, and of course “Band Aid”:
The Ultimate Christmas Pop playlist:
The next playlist features perhaps my most favorite Christmas performer, Amy Grant. I added some of her “friends”, including her longtime friend Michael W. Smith, her husband Vince Gill, and fellow Christian performing artist Steven Curtis Chapman, among others. Amy Grant’s “Breath Of Heaven” is among my all-time Christmas song favorites, telling the Christmas story from the perspective a scared teenage girl, carrying the Savior of the world (with video clips from “The Nativity” movie):
Also on this list Becky Kelley’s “Where’s The Line To See Jesus” again reminds of the reason for the season:
As well as Amy Grant’s “Grown Up Christmas List” is a wish for the world, a materialistic society which has so much and seemingly needs so little, yet truly needs so much:
The Amy Grant & Friends Christmas playlist:
Lastly is an “unfinished” playlist that I will continue to add and subtract from, of Country Christmas songs. It’s far from inclusive of all the best songs, but is starting with many of the artists I like, including Kenny Rogers, as mentioned above, Reba McEntire, Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood, Trisha Yearwood, and Martina McBride, with a smattering of other Country greats. I love this video clip of Carrie Underwood singing with her son “The Little Drummer Boy”:
The Country Christmas playlist:
While not a song, this is one of my favorite Christmas video clips, in which Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” tells Charlie and friends what Christmas is all about:
So whether your wrapping Christmas gifts, traveling in the car to see the relatives for Christmas, snuggling by the fire awaiting Santa and his sleigh, or opening presents on Christmas morning, consider streaming one of these playlists, setting the mood and lifting your spirits, for truly the most wonderful time of the year.
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Get ready for CHRISTMAS!