Albums From the Past for Any Christmas Music Collection
By D.C. Jeans | Metro Voice Music Reviewer
In the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to list a few of the Christmas albums my family enjoy and consider classics. Some are truly time tested and traditional, while a few are a bit more recent and contemporary; all of them, however, share the joy of Jesus’ love and the beauty of the season. If you don’t already have some of these, may I recommend you go out and find them for your tradition, too?
Selah’s “Rose of Bethlehem” is an album not be missed this time of year. Combining the trio’s soothing and soulful voices with some of the greatest songs of Christmas, the message of God’s love is clear on this disc. Even Dolly Parton does a cameo on her “Once Upon a Christmas!” Beautiful.
“It’s Christmas Time” Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra is a great collection of songs from when my parents were kids. This particular version also has radio show performances, which brings with it a historical vibe that is just plain classy. Add the soothing voices of Nat, Bing, and the explosive Sinatra and you’ve got a great listen. We like to play this one loud in the car!
Amy Grant “Home For Christmas” Is an album I remember getting on cassette (if you don’t know what a cassette is, ask your parents) one Christmas Eve and listening to it all the way to our grandparents house, eight hours away. Grant’s husky voice works seamlessly with many of the classic carols she sings on here, and her rendition of “Breath of Heaven” is heart wrenching and stirring.
Michael Crawford’s the voice of Phantom of the Opera, and lends an amazing vocal talent on his “A Christmas Album.” Collecting traditional favorites and some contemporary songs, the album is a wonderful showcase of Crawford’s skills. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but by the end of his version of â€˜O Holy Night’ I have chills and am so moved by the range of his voice I come close to tearsâ€¦ and I’ve heard the song many, many times!
MercyMe “The Christmas Sessions” is another modern take on some Christmas traditionals. Described by singer Bart Millard as “the most ‘rock’ album we’ve done,” it may not be what some of you are looking for. But the singing and music are great and these guys know how to put out some catchy tunes, all while celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Would the Christmas season be complete without Andy Williams “Merry Christmas” playing on the television and the radio? Probably his most remembered seasonal song â€˜It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is still played throughout December, whether inviting everyone to Branson, or simply offering a cheerful reminder. My favorite, however, has always been â€˜Do You Hear What I Hear.’
Even as a child, when my dad would pull out the LP and put it on the turn table, I would belt that song out for everyone to hear. Now, when I listen to the song, I’m reminded of a gentler, more fanciful time, but also reminded of the meaning of the song; Jesus is here and He has come to save.
I hope it’s been a good year for you, as it’s been one of challenges and growth for us. God teaches us so many amazing things in this life, especially about His grace. We also celebrate His immense love for us this time of year as we are reminded of the amazing gift He gave us by lowering Himself to walk among us and teach us. Merry CHRISTmas, indeed!
God bless you all!