Favorite Christmas Carols?

My friend, Nikki, asked today: "What is Your Favorite Christmas Carol?" As I failed trying to formulate a succinct response, I realized I should blog this, too! :-D

"Joy to the World" is JB's, hands down. But you know me - of course I don't have just one. ;-) "O Holy Night" used to top my list...until it became so crazy popular in the last decade that it turned into a power-ballad-requisite for every booming, famous voice. :-P My two classic faves are "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and "In the Bleak Midwinter".

I love "O Come O Come Emmanuel" b/c it's truly meant for the Advent season. I love the minor tones and that it's a prayer we all need daily. (This is the BarlowGirl version - they are my ULTIMATE favorite contemporary group! Their girl harmonies are *my thing*. I really adore a classic choir version of this, but when BarlowGirl popped up, I wanted to plug them, too. ;-))

We didn't grow up singing "In the Bleak Midwinter" in the car or off the radio :-P, but I performed it in several classical choirs I sang with in high school and college. I still so value formal choir music, and while I definitely have found my personal vocal niche in contemporary harmonies, I wouldn't be able to sing them with the confidence I have, had it not been for my concert choir training. I think this is just stunning...

My two contemporary Christian favorites are "Welcome to Our World" by Chris Rice and "To Be With You" by Sara Groves.

The first time I heard "Welcome to Our World", I bawled my eyes out. (It didn't help that it was Will's first Christmas, but I digress. ;-)) I still think it is one of the most precious things I've ever heard.

"To Be With You" is completely new to me THIS year, although apparently it came out in 2008. I heard it on our radio station here, and it went straight to my heart. I bought it online as soon as I got home. :-)

So those are my old and current Christmas faves. What are yours?


  1. As you know, my favorite is Joy to the World!, although I've been reminded of some other very good ones!

  2. My favorite is O Holy Night, but I haven't found a recorded version that I actually like yet. Most people ruin it!
    The orchestral version of Sleigh Ride means the Christmas season to me after playing it for the Youth Orchestra Christmas concert every year for four years during high school.
    I also like Carol of the Bells, both by a bell choir and a vocal choir.
    My favorite Christmas album is John Denver and the Muppets!

  3. I *LOVE* the songs that were in our standard Christmas performance repertoire from my select high school ensemble, too! "Sleigh Ride", "The Holly and the Ivy", "Holly Jolly Christmas", "The Little Dummer Boy", "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella", "In the Bleak Midwinter", and my & my BFF's fave: "Joy Shall Be Yours in the Morning"

  4. Silent Night is my all-time favorite. I remember going to church on Christmas Eve as a kid, and everyone would light/hold a candle and we'd sing it in the dark by candlelight.

    I also love O Holy Night, Ave Maria, and White Christmas (Bing version!), and the entire Nutcracker ballet (okay, *technically* not a carol...).

    Sleigh Ride makes me cringe...I had to play it many, many, many times in Christmas band concerts...totally sick of that one! :(


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