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Top 12 Favorite Christmas Songs

Updated on February 8, 2018
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Susan loves the Christmas season. What better way to stay in the Spirit of the Season than with favorite Christmas songs.


I absolutely love Christmas music.

When the radio starts playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving and people complain, I am thrilled.

Christmas music takes me back to so many childhood memories, and I know all the words and can sing with each song. My family gives a sarcastic and unenthusiastic, “Yay.” Once it is close to Christmas time, they are more in the Spirit.

I love all the sweet songs I learned as a child, “Away in the Manger,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and many more.

The songs I have chosen are based on childhood memories and just a love for the music and the feelings it brings.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

I loved watching Rudolph when I was a little kid. Many children relate to being left out and hurt feelings that Rudolph experienced. But Rudolph was a hero. He ran away because he felt like no one loved him or needed him. He grew while he was away and came back to save his loved ones from the Abdominal Snowman and eventually saved Christmas.

"The Little Drummer Boy"

Watching The Little Drummer Boy always made me cry. The Little Drummer boy came to see the Christ-child and had nothing to give, or so he thought. He was able to give his talent and play his drum for the Baby Jesus. He taught the lesson that we don’t have to give material things; we just need to give from our hearts.

"Mr. Grinch"

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is such a classic. We have this grumpy old Grinch who cannot stand anything about Christmas because he thinks it is all about giving gifts and greed. After he has stolen all the gifts, decorations, and food with his poor dog Max, he is returning to his lair. All of the sudden he hears the people in Whoville singing. He hadn’t stolen Christmas by stealing things. He realizes Christmas is in the heart then we see his heart grow with the Spirit of Christmas.

"Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Listening to “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a beautiful song that touches all senses. The song takes us to the sweet birth of Christ in a chaotic world. The “night wind” asking the” little lamb” if he sees “the star” in the sky, the “little lamb” asking the “shepherd boy” if he hears the song singing in the night, the “shepherd boy” asking the “mighty king” if he knows of the Child shivering in the night, and the “mighty king” telling the people to pray for peace. The song ends with the Child bringing “goodness and light.” As a child “Do You Hear What I Hear?” captured the essence of the birth of Christ.

"What Child Is This?"

“What Child Is This?” also brought feelings of peace and wonder at how God had sent this little Child born in a manger to save the world? The strong “This, This is Christ the King” is such a powerful statement when thinking of looking at a small baby on His mother’s lap.

“Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”

Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become an amazing phenomenon in the music world. I love the hard rock edge of how the song starts with the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” I loved the song before I saw them in concert and listened to the back story of each of their songs. For “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo” the angel went out over war-torn lands and saw the suffering children of God. A powerful song that expresses the real needs of a Savior to the real world we live in and, yet, do not know much about unless we have experienced the atrocities.

"I'll Be Home For Christmas"

Being in a very large family of brothers and sisters, I have had many wonderful Christmases. In junior high one of my brothers moved to Boston. When he left and was unable to come home for Christmas, I would listen to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and wish he would walk through the door, but I knew it would be “only in my dreams.” Later in life, I became a military wife and mother, and the intensity of having Christmas without my husband or son was even harder. Knowing they were in a war zone was difficult. All of us dreamed of being together for Christmas. (I love Josh Groban’s version with soldiers and family members speaking). Fortunately, we are all together now, and my brother gets to come celebrate with us more than he did those many years ago. My mother and sister died around Christmas a couple of year ago, and I think of them being home with Christ since they can’t be home with us, which is comforting.

"Santa Claus is Back in Town"

Being a big Elvis fan, I love the edginess of this song. I always picture the 1968 Leather Elvis driving up in the driveway in a big Cadillac bearing outrageous gifts. Maybe a big teddy bear with a diamond necklace. Christmas is a fun time of imagination, and I love listening to Elvis’ Christmas songs.

"Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'"

“Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’” by Lynyrd Skynyrd is another fun edgy song that is a parallel to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Under the Mistletoe.” It is more a Santa and Mrs. Claus song about getting some “lovin’” before the kids wake up.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” while not a Christmas song, it is always played during the Christmas season. It is a fun, classy song of a time when a young woman did worry about her mother, father, sister, and aunt. Of course, she allows the smooth-talker to persuade her to stay just a little while longer because “It’s Cold Outside.”

"O Holy Night"

“O Holy Night” has to be my all-time favorite. “Fall on your knees and hear the Angels sing.” What a beautiful line. All of Earth should realize the extreme value of the greatest Gift from God, His own Son. The beauty of the words and the powerful feelings the song brings is so moving.

"Mary, Did You Know?"

Another very powerful and moving song, “Mary, Did You Know?” The song makes me stop and wonder if Mary knew the magnitude of her part in a history that changed the world. The Son she conceived by God made the greatest impact on the world.

Special Time of Year

Christmas music touches everyone differently. The Spirit of Christmas is what I take from the season’s music. What are your favorite Christmas songs and what memories do they bring to you?


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