Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and what I find helps me most to feel the true Christmas Spirit is to listen to Christmas music. Not just any Christmas music. Not what is usually playing on the local radio station (I’m just not into “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”!) But I do love amazing Christmas music performances that really move me and help me remember the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Why I love to listen to Christmas Music
There’s just something about the way that music carries feelings to your heart and soul. I need what music does for me when I am distracted by the world and everyday life and all of its busy-ness. Christmas music makes me stop and re-focus. Of course, the words of these beautiful songs are also inspiring and only add to the experience!
Most of this playlist is inspiring religious music about Jesus – his birth, his mission, and his glory. But there are a few I have added for sentimental reasons, because they remind me of my childhood Christmases and magical memories. These are the songs I take with me if I go on a road trip, or even if I’m just driving around town running errands. And I love to listen to them while wrapping Christmas gifts, decorating the tree, or addressing Christmas cards!
Angels We Have Heard on High
with Peter Hollens, David Archuleta, the Piano Guys,and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
With a cast of over 1000, this is an epic Christmas video and song. I love how it brings so many elements into it: a family Christmas gathering, the reading of the Christmas story from the scriptures, a children’s portrayal of the Christmas story, an adult portrayal of the first Christmas, the wisemen bowing down before the Christchild and the gathering of the angels to sing praises to the Savior. I love the line, “Every knee shall then bow down”. And at the point when a tear rolls down Alex Boye’s face as he portrays one of the wise men (3:34), I can totally relate because I am also completely moved to tears…
Mary, Did You Know?
This is just so powerful! “Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?” — that he would “one day rule the nations”? And do we all know that the baby Jesus is “Heaven’s perfect lamb” and “the Great I AM” — it is incredibly humbling to think that the precious baby Jesus was given that He might be the unblemished lamb, slain for our sins.
Baby, What You Goin’ to Be?
by Donny Osmond
This is a touching lullaby to the baby Jesus as he lies in the manger. “What you going to be?” All the world is watching and awaits to see… “Did you come to light our way? Are you the one who was meant to be Master…can you be the Savior, come to save the world one day?”
Breath of Heaven
by Wayne Burton and Madilyn Paige
This song comes from Mary’s perspective. “Do you wonder as you watch my face if i wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am for the mercy of your plan. Help me be strong.” This line reminds me we are all mortals with a mission we often do not feel up to. But Mary rose to the occasion, and we can too, with the help of God.
O Holy Night
If you watch this video, you will want to go right out and find someone to help. It just does that to you! And what would be a better way to celebrate Christmas? “Truly He taught us to love one another; his law is love, and his gospel is peace…in his name all oppression will cease.” And may we all “fall on (our) knees” and “hear the angels’ voices.”
Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Bing Crosby
Okay, this may date me, but Bing Crosby Christmas music is just classic. His velvety voice and simple arrangements are perfect. And you know what? My grandson, who is only 4, loves this song, too. It really appeals to all ages! “Pray for peace, people, everywhere — the child, sleeping in the night; he will bring us goodness and light!”
Believe (from Polar Express)
by Josh Groban
“When it seems that we have lost our way we find ourselves again on Christmas day…believe in what your heart is saying…there’s so much to celebrate…if you just believe!” As adults, we often lose the “magic” of Christmas. Not just the wonder at lots of lights and presents, but the wonder at the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. The answer is to trust our hearts and believe again!
Little Drummer Boy (African Style)
by Alex Boye
What a joyful way to celebrate how powerful the gift of music is. We may not have a fitting gift to give a king, but we can serve others and give of our heart. Remember the message: “What will I give?” instead of “What will I get?” I dare you to watch this video and not get up and dance!
by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square
This song is just pure fun. It is lively and cheerful, with a crack of a whip and the bells of a sleigh. It is truly reminiscent of a “Currier & Ives” Christmas scene and brings back memories of snowy Christmases.
Carol of the Bells
by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square
The bell players in this music video are amazing — I love the pure joy and energy in their faces. It is a jubilant celebration of all that is Christmas and the spreading of Christmas cheer!
When Love Was Born
by Mark Schultz and performed by One Voice Children’s Choir
This song is performed inside a tank with a 30-second reverberation and it adds an ethereal element to this Christmas song re-telling the story of Jesus’ birth. “Perfect child gently waits, A mother bends to kiss God’s face. I close my eyes, see the night When love was born…The world was changed forevermore When love was born.”
I hope you will enjoy my favorite Christmas music as much as I do. I participate in several Christmas choirs and even perform as a Charles Dickens-era caroler during the season. So Christmas songs are a big part of my life.
I’d love to have you add your favorites in the comments below. And if you want to know one of my favorite ways to celebrate Christmas, check out this article:
The BEST Christmas Music Playlist
To listen to the entire playlist, click below: