Top Twelve Best Christmas CDs
What are the best Christmas CDs?
There are certain Christmas CDs that I listen to every Christmas season, some of them over and over, while others sit on the shelf collecting dust. Here are my top twelve, along with the reasons for their being my favorites. These are in no particular order (except for maybe the first three).
Listen while you read! You know you want to! You might have to get up and dance! Get in the mood!
My Favorite Christmas CD is . . .
1) Merry Christmas by Mariah Carey
I know, I know—this is an older one. 1994 to be exact. But I have always loved it. It’s the first CD I’ve played every year since I got it. “All I Want for Christmas is You” really gets me rockin’!
Now, too, it has sentimental value, as it was given to me by a student when I taught high school Spanish. This was a bright, kind, smart boy that no one could dislike. A true gentleman with lots of promise.
This special student went on to serve his country and was killed this past year in Afghanistan. So now, every time I hear it, I will think of him, and it will have even another reason to be my first and favorite.
2) Joy: A Holiday Collection by Jewel
What a beautiful voice! I’ve had this one for a while, too, and it’s one of my tops! And I never get tired of it.
Jewel has a beautiful voice, haunting times. She croons away with some wonderful songs such as “Oh, Holy Night” and “Ave Maria.” Her CD boasts of lovely traditional Christmas hymns, as well as livelier Christmas songs, along with her own originals.
A real treat is Jewel's singing some duets with her mother. They sing a lively, cute one together, making the traditional kids song "Rudolph" really come alive. One of my favorite duet--and songs on the whole C--is the gorgeous “Face of Love.” A friend of mine and I used to harmonize to that song. It’s gorgeous.
4) A Very Special Christmas by various artists
If you haven't invested in any of these CDs, you're missing a treat. I have Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the series of "A Very Special Christmas," and I can’t decide which is my favorite! These CDs include traditional holiday songs, mostly, but the tunes are sung by popular artists such as Sting, Sheryl Crow, Randy Travis, Bon Jovi, and more, to give these songs a new and different sound.
I love hearing new spins on old songs! I'll admit I tire of the same ole Christmas songs, so hearing them sung differently and by varied artists makes my favorites new all over again.
3) The Gift by Jim Brickman
I love anything by this songwriter, pianist, and sometimes singer. I have probably eight or ten of Jim Brickman's CD's. Most of them are purely piano. I even have sheet music so that I can learn to play of his songs on my own piano! This CD actually only has a couple of songs with words, “The Gift” being a beautiful duet. The rest are gorgeous renditions that Brickman tickles on the keys. Brickman is another artist I never tire of.
Another amazing Brickman CD is "Peace," a CD that boasts of mostly piano--heavenly, peaceful piano. You might check that one out, too!
5) Christmas Songs by Diana Krall
The bluesy artist, Diana Krall, just gives a special feel to these familiar songs that she sings. I already liked this lady's regular music, so I was delighted when my brother gave her Christmas CD to me as a gift. Talk about a unique Christmas CD. This one will be unlike any of the others in your collection.
If you like pop, or blues, maybe a little jazzy, easy-going or lively, you'll find it here. Diana Krall's voice ranges from high to low. Her tunes are lovely, interesting arrangements. You are sure to love her deep, soulful sound. I know I do!
6) Snowed In by Hanson
Yeah, in case you were wondering, you are correct! These Hanson Brothers are definitely those three cute, young brothers with all the pretty hair. (By the way, they're all grown up now and are still cute!). The CD is from 1997. You think the Hanson boys might be a little cheesy, you say? Oh my gosh, you’ll be surprised.
The songs are fun, serious, and full of great harmony. My brothers and I love to sing harmony to some of this group's songs. Don’t knock this one until you listen. From “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to “Silent Night,” this one is definitely a keeper!
7) Merry Christmas from the Beach Boys
This is a great mix of fun songs such as “Little Saint Nick” and great harmonizing songs such as “White Christmas.” More than that, this CD is sentimental, as it’s one that I remember listening to with my family as a little girl as my mom and I sat at the kitchen table and put 500 piece Good Ole Days puzzles together. Of course, then, back in the 70’s, we listened to it on 8-track!
8) For Christmas This Year by The Letterman
This is another one that my family and I listened to on 8-track along with the Beach Boys Christmas album. Great songs, great harmony. A copy of this one is a bit harder to find.
Sort of operatic-type Christmas CDs!
9) Noel by Josh Groban
Anyone who has heard singer Josh Groban knows that he has a great voice. His sound is operatic, but not full-blown, if you know what I mean. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too interested. He has just enough vibratto to make his gorgeous voice even more interesting than it already is. Who doesn't get goose bumps when Josh Groban sings one of my favorite of his non-Christmas songs, "You Raise Me Up"?
Groban knocks me out with this CD. Most of his songs are in English, mixed in with a few in Spanish, which are lovely and inspiring whether you know the language or not!
10) Dream a Dream by Charlotte Church
This young lady, Ms. Charlotte Church, has a beautiful voice that, like Josh Groban, may be too operatic-like at times for some people, but I think her sound, her voice, is utra inspiring. My personal favorite is “Oh Holy Night.” This particular Christmas hymn is always one of my favorites, and Church brings a new dimension of "wow" to this song.
On my trip home to see my family this Christmas, I listened to young Miss Charolotte Church's CD twice.Yep. In a row! Like I implied, opera isn't my thing, really. But this lady's sound is angelic and inspiring.
Favorites from 80s and 90s stars
11) Home for Christmas by Amy Grant
Look for this CD from the 90’s with several fun, several traditional songs, along with my favorite, the haunting “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song).”
I have enjoyed Amy Grant's music since the '80s and still have several of her contemporary Christian albums, both CDs and yes, some old cassette tapes. I have always loved her deeper alto voice, perhaps because she sings in my range, so I can sing along much better with her than with other artists.
Grant has several of her own originals on this CD, along with traditional Christmas songs. I listen to this one every year just for "Breath of Heaven." Seriously. It's that good.
12) Christmas in Harmony by Wilson Phillips
Remember this trio of women from the 80’s? I loved them then, and I love them now. They put out a Christmas album in 2010, and it’s delightful. Check it out!
New One: Jackie Evancho
I have many more favorite Christmas CDs that I could share. I stick them all in a couple of containers under the guest room bed, ready to be pulled out at the beginning of the Christmas season. I had to limit my favorite ist to the ones I keep going back to, so this list made the cut. I try to add one to my collection every year. This year, I think I’ll add the ten year old prodigy who was recently discovered on the TV show America’s Got Talent...Miss Jackie Evancho. She was and is amazing.
What about you? What are your favorite Christmas albums, old and new?
Merry Christmas to all!
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