Christmas Music Pt. II

Much like yesterday's commentary on Christmas movies, I still really love last year's Christmas music choices. Because it's highly unlikely I will come across new music I want to hear (other than new albums by artists I'm already familiar with), I'd love to share a new list of top ten Christmas favorites with you for this year. And guess what? I'm consulting with Pandora this time to determine the music I have actually listened to and *liked* in the past year rather than relying on memory! Hoozah! :)

1. David Bowie & Bing Crosby – "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth"

Random note: David Bowie (according to Wikipedia) didn't want to sing "Little Drummer Boy" so they created the "Peace on Earth" portion for him to sing while Bing Crosby sang the original "Little Drummer Boy". This is currently my top favorite Christmas song of choice; I love how their voices blend together and sound simply wonderful!

2. Burl Ives - "A Holly Jolly Christmas"

I always think of the animated Christmas cartoons when I hear this song and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Basically, this song is a classic. :)

3. Amy Grant - "Christmas Lullaby (I Will Lead You Home)"

Such a calming song in the maddening, crazy rush that is the holiday season. It's also a great reminder of what the season is all about.

4. The Eagles - "Please Come Home For Christmas"

My dad loves classic rock and I totally consider the Eagles to be the epitome of "classic rock" along with, of course, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc, etc… Plus, it's always a breath of fresh air to hear something a tad bit different, yet Christmasy. Thank you Eagles for doing something just a bit different than others artists who are also paying music in the Christmas genre, even if you're song is just a -bit- depressing. ;)

5. Celine Dion - "Christmas Eve"

If my dad encouraged me to listen to classic rock, my mom encouraged me to listen to "soft rock" and Celine Dion is at the top of that list of artists. I really love this album by Celine Dion, but this particular track "Christmas Eve" was marked as a like in my Pandora list, which is why it made the cut and other songs on the album didn't. Dion has a gorgeous voice and this particular song is uplifting and fun. If you prefer a more down-to-earth, solemn, quiet Christmas choice I recommend "Ava Maria", also on her Christmas album.

6. Donny Osmond - "Angels We Have Heard On High"

When I was really little my mom would put on her Christmas records while we made Christmas cookies and wrapped presents. Needless to say that those albums from the 60s and 70s were what I came to consider "classic" Christmas music. Obviously there was Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, and many traditionalists, but there were also popular artists from that time as well including, of course, the Osmond family. The series of progression when Donny Osmond started working on broadway and did a song for Disney's Mulan ("I'll Make a Man Out of You"), led to him creating a new album as an adult without his brothers. While "Angels We Have Heard on High" was not the song on my Pandora list (rather it was "It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year"), Donny Osmond has a strong voice that reminds me of my childhood. Unless the music was really bad in your childhood, you can never really overcome it; it tends to always be a part of your life reminding you of times past. Christmas is one of those times filled with memories and reminders of traditions and times spent with family; Donny Osmond (new or old) is part of those memories for me.

7. MercyMe - "Joseph's Lullaby"

I heard this song for the first time this year and I fell in love. It's such a pleasant and calming song, especially considering how busy Jesus, Mary, and Joseph would be in the days following Jesus' birth. It's a reminder to me, especially, to slow down and enjoy the holiday season; this time of joy and celebration will be gone far sooner than I anticipate.

8. Michael W. Smith - "All Is Well"

It's true. I like calm and quiet music. I stay stressed out 90% of the time (ask Justin), so this quiet music makes me slow down and relax, even if it's only temporary. :) Plus, I think Michael W. Smith puts together some of the most beautiful music compilations ever. I love how he uses children, choirs, and orchestras to intermingle with his singing and piano-playing. Just lovely.

9. Point of Grace - "Emmanuel, God With Us"

I've been listening to this song since October… Beyond the gorgeous singing, I absolutely love the beautiful message. There is nothing more wonderful than keeping others in your thoughts and prayers all year long, but most especially at this time of year when the media is a constant reminder of what you may or may not have.

10. Point of Grace - "Not That Far From Bethlehem"

Yes, I do love Point of Grace's cd A Christmas Story (much better than A Tennessee Christmas if you are considering it). This song is a reminder that things aren't as bad as they seem. As a pessimistic friend optimistically told Justin and I last night "things could always be worse". ;) I say that to be funny, but truthfully Mary had quite the load to bear not only physically (in the form of Jesus) but also emotionally. As we all known, during the Christmas season we tend to take on more and more things until we are overwhelmed both at home and at work. I love hearing a reminder through this song that "this [burden] too shall pass".

What artists and songs are you listening to at this time of year? Anything you think I might like? I love to hear new music! Share with me in the comments! :)

* Click on any of the song links to order from Amazon.
** I'm participating in Blogmas 2014! Are you?

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