As I said previously, I felt it was time to update my list of favorite and least-favorite Christmas music. It’s easy enough to pick out the Christmas songs you love to hate–but what about the really good ones? So here’s my top-five current favorites:
Fa-la-la-la-la! The4thDave’s Current Favorite Christmas Songs!
5) “O Holy Night”
One of my favorite Christmas “hymns.” I remember a few special occasions of singing this song. It just strikes the right chords in my heart. Here’s an instrumental version of the song performed by jazz musicians who survived Katrina, from the TV show “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” I loved this heart-warming scene in this episode, so I’m including the version with dialogue and cut-aways.
4) “You Gotta Get Up” by Rich Mullins
Not enough people know this song, so any chance to introduce someone to a new Rich Mullins song is worth taking. So here you go: the brilliant Rich Mullins, singing about the joy of Christmas morning.
3) “O Come All Ye Faithful” by the Austin Stone
Christmas is a time to worship, so the most worshipful songs are often my favorites. Here’s a great version by the folks at the Austin Stone church.
2) “I Celebrate the Day” by Relient K
The whole Relient K Christmas album (“Let it Snow, Baby, Let it Rein Deer”) is pretty great–a good balance of serious reverence and playful festiveness. It has its emo moments, but on the whole it’s pretty solid, and I listen to it year after year. This track from the album is my favorite of all, and a great reminder of what matters at Christmas. It’s a song sung to the Savior, playing a bit off of the question structure of “Mary Did You Know” but focusing on what the Christmas child actually came to accomplish.
“I celebrate the day / That you were born to die / So I could one day pray for you to save my life / Pray for you to save my life.”
1) “O Come, O Come Immanuel”
(There are lots of good versions out there–but I really am becoming a fan of the Austin Stone’s worship music–so here you go.)
Probably my favorite Christmas song ever. There’s just so much here; most importantly, it captures the urgency of Advent, of humanity itself, as it yearns for redemption. We didn’t just need a new moral code, another prophet, a new flavor of religion. We needed a savior. We needed redemption. We needed to be made new. Jesus did that. He was “God with us.” And He ransomed His people, captive to sin and death. So, rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel has ransomed us.