The organised among you will no doubt already have your music for Christmas well under way. After all, the first round of carol services are about to hit this weekend!
And perhaps you love Christmas, and are over the moon that the season of stollen, sparkly lights and stockings is upon us.
But perhaps, you’re struggling to get in to the spirit of things just yet. (That’s me. I haven’t gotten over mourning the ending of summer yet!)
Below is a list of a few Christmas songs I’m listening to at the minute, trying to force some Christmas joy into my scrooge-y outlook. Some are cheesy, some old (and reworked in a way you may not like), and some new. I’m not including the old favourites like ‘O come all ye faithful’ – epic hymns, and done every year for very good reasons. But incase you want something potentially different to listen to, here we go.
The one thing that hopefully links them all, is that they may get you just a little bit more excited about Jesus coming. And if they do, Hurrah! I guess that’s all Christmas should do anyway.
So stick some headphones on and have a wee listen. And yay for Jesus!
(If you don’t have Spotify, they’re all on YouTube too.)
Come thou long expected Jesus – Kings Kaleidoscope
This has been a favourite of mine the past couple of years. It’s a simple arrangement of the old Charles Wesley hymn, and the words are just great. It’s all about the longing for the saviour seen throughout the OT, and seen fulfilled in Jesus birth. But then also carries through to that longing of his people now for Jesus to return again and deliver us. Brilliant.
Come and Stand Amazed– Citizens and Saints
This is another rework of an old hymn, and quite beautifully charts the massive sacrifice Jesus made in leaving the glories of heaven to be reduced to a tiny little baby. Having had a baby myself this year, i’m finding this even more mindblowing..
Mary, did you know – Pentatonix
In all honesty, I do not like this… it is way too twee for my liking. But judging by the multitudinous posts on Facebook last year, it’s generally a hit! And the words are pretty awesome, again showing the massive thing that happened as God became man. And the Pentatonix are pretty cool.. so what do I know.
Carol of the Bells/What child is this – Point of Grace
Classics. If one song makes me feel Christmassy, this is it. I got this album when I was about 8 years old, and listened to it solidly every Christmas since. SO much fun! And this is a beautiful arrangement that might just make you feel like you’re somewhere snowy and stunning.. allow yourself to enjoy the power behind the build at the end. Hurrah for the Son of Mary!
Prepare him room – Sovereign Grace
If you’re still stuck for a solo at a carol service this year, this could be it. Simple and effective. Another cracker off this album is Who would have dreamed.
We three Kings– Steven Curtis Chapman
I know what you’re going to say.. three Kings??! Don’t judge me. But this is quite a fun arrangement of an oldie, and tells the story of Jesus life using the 3 gifts the (unknown number of ) Kings brought. Maybe not one for church, but nice in your personal time! (Also, check out his version of Do you hear what I hear, again potentially not the soundest theologically- feel free to insert a hearty ‘baaa’ after the line ‘Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy’.. but again, quite nice in your own time!)
Wexford Carol – Trad
Don’t completely neglect some good old choral joy! This is one of my favourites (not only because it is traditionally Irish.. you are welcome, but the words are awesome too). This whole album is one of many choral carol albums available that are a bit of a must-listen if you want the old hymns and a bit of Christmas tingle.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day– Casting Crowns
This is a different approach, looking ahead to the peace that we ultimately look forward to. And the fact that the King that came at the first Christmas is the reason we live in hope, knowing that God will eventually sort out the mess of this world. Maybe we’ve never needed reminded of that more than we do this year..
It is, I grant you, slightly on the edge of American cheese, but the line ‘God is not dead, nor does he sleep’, almost always makes me want to cry in relief.
O Come O Come Emmanuel – Pentatonix
Accapella is always going to be a winner at Christmas, and this modern twist on my favourite advent hymn is lovely. Less triumphant like we are used to singing out in church, and more thoughtful, but still worth listening to a lot. Come Lord Jesus.