rebelling against low expectations

What’s your favorite Christmas carol and why?

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DIANA WRITES:There are so many new and old Christmas songs on the radio, in the malls, and at our churches. What’s your favorite and why? Is there a song that has had a big impact on you spiritually? What songs do you find most glorifying to God?


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  • Carol of the Bells when it’s instrumental, O Come O Come Emmanuel when someone with a very clear, beautiful voice is singing it(like at the end of the Veggie Tales movie the Star of Christmas when they bring the guy in jail cookies and some Christmas love).

    I love how complex the Carol of the Bells is and all the different pieces that go into it. It’s beautiful and powerful. My church once did a instrumental version of it where they had the drummers playing on rain barrels and every time they hit it, the lights underneath the rain barrels turned a different color. O Come O Come Emmanuel has a beautiful, reverent feel to it. It’s simple, but it’s holy. Casting Crowns did an instrumental version of that song that I really love in their album Peace on Earth.

  • “How Many Kings” by Downhere is a POWERFUL song!! This is one I’d say has impacted me spiritually and is also very glorifying to God with the message behind it…
    “Little Drummer Boy” has ALWAYS been on of my favs. but I think it’s just really pretty…it’s a good song and has a good message, but I wouldn’t say it’s had a huge impact on me…I just like it (especially Josh Groban’s version! <3)
    "Do You Hear What I Hear" is another of my favorites…again, i wouldn't say this one has impacted me a lot, but I do love it!! Anthem Lights has my favorite version.. πŸ˜‰
    "Mary Did You Know" is also a song that has impacted me a lot because I feel like Mary is often overlooked in the story of Jesus' birth, but this song really brings out a lot about her possible thoughts….Pentatonix has one of my favorite versions of this one.
    "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" is another song that I really like a lot!!! It's message is actually a been deeper than what's said on the surface and I really like the message behind it talking about Jesus as the "star of Bethlehem"…

    Of course there are other songs I like and that are fun, but these rank as some of my favorites! =)

      • YES!! I know they aren’t a christian band in ANY sense of the word (hence some of their lifestyles) but still, the passion with which they sang that song was breathtaking! <3

        • I’ve only heard the Christmas album and I really don’t know too much about the band, it sounds like I don’t want to! lol But yes that song is amazing.

          • I don’t know all the songs they sing, but most of their stuff I’ve heard is pretty clean and enjoyable to listen too!! I just know at least most of them aren’t Christians…

            Avi Kaplan (the bass) sings some with Home Free (my FAVORITE band right now) and he does collabs with other people too..he’s REALLY good!

            Kevin Olusola (the african-american…and i don’t know why it’s suddenly typing in bold letters) does a LOT of solo stuff…and is a PHENOMENAL cello player!!!!

          • I didn’t think they were Christians by the way some of them looked and dressed.. Avi is my favorite member of the band, he has a really interesting voice. I’ll have to check out his other songs, I didn’t know he did other stuff. I’m always amazed at Kevin’s talent and the sounds he’s able to make.

          • Yeah!! I think Avi is my fav also!!!! <3

            I KNOW! I'm AMAZED by people who can do stuff like that with their voices!! one of the guys in Home Free can do it too…

          • Sorry for the late reply, I’m not on here very often. I really like them! Thank you for recommending them to me.

          • Wow…I would NEVER have thought of that!! LOL…I think I like Avi better though.. πŸ˜‰ Have you heard Home Free’s bass singer?? he’s pretty good but doesn’t quite have Avi’s range…

          • I like what I hear better, but idk if it’s just crazy amplification, ya know? He might be standing two inches away from a condenser mic cranked up to the max, and that’s the only way they can get him to sound that good. Idk though. I’ve never actually heard of Home Free, are they also an a cappella band? =)

          • Haha! #true…

            YES! They are new…they won…the Voice was it?? They are 5 guys mainly dedicated to doing country music mashups and covers, but they do other stuff too…the high tenor guy has an AMAZING voice and range (and a big southern drawl.. πŸ˜‰ ) and the bass guy is also REALLY good!! I like all of them, but those 2 are my favs…

            I think my favorite songs they’ve done thus far are probably Elvira (which they did WITH the Oak Ridge Boys who originally wrote the song), their Alabama mashup, their Hunter Hayes mashup, and their version of All About That Base (they clean it up from Meghan Trainer’s version).

            I’m a country music lover, so that’s prolly why I like them so much. πŸ˜‰ hehehe….

            Oh! And yup! They’re a capella….they took the place of Pentatonix as my fav band.. πŸ˜‰ =D

          • Oh ok, that sounds cool. =) I kinda like country, but I honestly don’t like a cappella or contemporary country stuff all that much so they might not be my favorite lol. =)

          • Yeah I totally getcha!! They’re my absolute fav, but if you don’t really care for country all that much then I could understand how you wouldn’t like very much….they make it pretty fun though; but at the same time they still keep it country…well, as country as coutnry music today is! haha..

          • Tbh I mainly like country hymns ‘cuz they don’t mess with the lyrics or melody as much. =P I’ve never really gotten into other country stuff…any recommendations for stuff that’s not contemporary that’s clean? lol.

          • Like modern country stuff you mean..??
            Josh Turner has some good stuff (Why Don’t We Just Dance, and Your Man).
            Florida Georgia Line is really good; they aren’t always the cleanest though (“Stay” is a good clean one!)
            Alabama is an older band, but they are clean and have really good music!!! And you’d prolly enjoy it if you enjoy country hymns.. πŸ˜‰
            Carrie Underwood has some clean stuff!! Most of her stuff is clean actually..there are only like 3 songs I don’t listen to of hers….
            Blake Shelton has a good song called “God Gave Me You” but I don’t listen to much else of his…most people say he’s pretty risque…
            BRETT ELDGREDGE!!! He’s REALLY good and clean!!!
            (I’m scrolling through my iPod…LOL)
            Darius Rucker’s, Wagon Wheel is one of my FAV’S
            There’s a song called Talledega by Eric Church that I like, but idk what other stuff he sings…
            Highway Don’t Care and Meanwhile Back and Mamma’s
            by Tim McGraw
            George Strait is older and has some really good ones.. “Check Yes or No” and Write this Down are good…
            “Sold” and “I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery
            “I Don’t Dance” Lee Brice
            RASCAL FLATTS!!
            This one song called Chicken Fried but I don’t remember who sings it…

            Okay…I think that should answer your question at least to some extent! LOL

    • I haven’t heard Josh Groban’s version, but you need to look up Pentatonix’s Little Drummer Boy video. It’s incredible- as good as their rendition of “Mary Did You Know”. I agree, that was amazing.

  • I have so many favorites! Right now my top favorite is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, because of the first verse, especially the line “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray, O tidings of comfort and joy.” I really noticed those words for the first time this year.

    • Random factoid: Did you know that the original song is entitled “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” not “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”? Rest Ye Merry was a common expression back then apparently. =P #RandomTriviaFactoidsFTW

  • I Love Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Oh Holy Night, Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Mary Did You Know and Angels We Have Heard On High and other songs that are really Christ centered and remind you of the true meaning of this holiday. I remember singing Angels We Have Heard On High for the small church we were attending about 4 or 5 years ago, it was a cold Christmas Eve and hardly anyone had shown up for the show but everyone who was close to my family showed up and it was truely amazing. Afterwards we all talked and sang and just enjoyed each other on the night that we remembered our savior being born. I like a few of the just fun Christmas songs but I much prefer to listen to the ones that remind me of what Christmas is all about.

  • Carol of the Bells:Sing We Now of Christmas by Barlowgirl
    Their voices sound like angels! It is a beautiful version of Carol of the Bells
    Be Born in Me by Francesca Battistelli
    The song is sung by Mary’s perspective of Jesus going to to be born.
    O Holy Night by any good singer.
    I love the lyrics of this song.
    O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by The Piano Guys.
    They did a good instrumental version of this song.
    That’s all I have for now. Merry Christmas, Diana and to all the commentators!!

  • “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by any good a capella group… Or instrumentalist… or anybody with a good voice, really. πŸ˜‰ It’s my favorite because the music is beyond gorgeous, and the words are so full of meaning.

  • This calls for a top ten list. =P

    10. Little Drummer Boy (to the beat of Bolero by Maurice Ravel). Bolero is a fantabulous piece, and when you put a Christmas carol to it’s beat you just can’t go wrong. This is an instrumental only version.

    9. Feliz Navidad (‘Nuff said hehe)

    8. Oh Holy Night. I’m a nerd, I think I actually like Pavarotti’s version the best. =P

    7. The instrumental Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. Lyrics are goofy, the instrumental version is so much better. So much interesting percussion.

    6. Apollo’s Fire Holiday. You’ve probably never heard of this group, they do like, pre-baroque stuff. I enjoy Fum Fum Fum and I Saw 3 Ships.

    5. Linus and Lucy/Skating by Vince Guaraldi. Amazingly fun both to play on piano or shakers and to listen to.

    3. For Unto Us a Child Is Born by Handel. This piece is simply stupendous, if you haven’t heard it you must listen to it.

    4. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. Get the original sung by Thurl Ravenscroft. He has one of the best voices ever.

    2. Almost anything by Mannheim Steamroller. Stille Nacht, Bring a Torch, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, they’re almost all amazing, especially….

    1. Deck The Halls by Mannheim Steamroller. It’s simply amazing that they made this song with ALL SYNTHESIZERS in 1984! It’s so unbelievably ahead of it’s time. Plus it’s like the most fun song on the face of the planet lol. =)

  • Oh Holy Night and Joy to the World are good classic Christmas carols that I love. Also “Prepare Him Room” and “The Unbelievable” by Sovereign Grace Music are really beautiful and the whole Chris Tomlin Christmas cd is very beautifully done. I like Christmas music that is very worshipful. Also the cd by Andrew Peterson called “Behold the Lamb of God” is pretty, I like “Labor of Love” and the first song on there (can’t remember the name of it). I love when we can celebrate Jesus’s birth through beautiful music!

    • I like don’t know any of the modern music people are putting down. I feel like I’m behind the times.

  • I love Unto Us by Aaron Shust. The strings in the background are AMAZING although a little hard to hear and the lyrics are spot-on. Actually that whole album is stupendous.
    Toby Mac’s version of O come all ye faithful is really great, too.

  • O Holy Night is one of the most beautiful Christmas carols out there, I believe. It has such meaning, and it’s just so beautiful. Haha, that’s all I can say. It’s just beautiful. πŸ™‚

  • Hark the Harold Angels Sing! Maybe it’s because they sang it at the end of Charlie Brown Christmas, but I think that one and Silent Night are two of the best.

  • “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli is definitely one of my favorites. “Here with Us” by Joy Williams is awesome as well.

  • I love O Holy Night. It’s an old one, but it does a really good job telling what Jesus did and why He was here, and it’s a worship song at the same time!

    As far as newer songs go, I love Be Born in Me by Francesca Battistelli, This Is Christmas by Kutless, and a million others. πŸ˜›

  • Oh! I love it!!
    Honestly, I love O Holy Night. It so beautifully preaches the Gospel πŸ™‚
    ” Long lay the world in sin and error pining
    Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth”

    I am utterly convinced that we will spend an eternity marveling at the beauty and awe of Christ coming to us.

  • What a great question!

    My favourite would have to be “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. The words are beautiful and exceptionally rich in dealing with the meaning of Christmas and the nature of captivity and redemption. The music is also incredible: in the Gregorian chant melody you can hear this timeless, aching sense of our inadequacy – one which drives us to repentance. (I’m a musician, so I tend to analyse the meaning of hymn tunes – sometimes more than necessary, but anyway…)

    My LEAST favourite would probably be “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Enough said about that one.

  • I love “I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day”. It’s an old hymn that you don’t hear very often, but Casting Crowns did it in their Christmas album to a different tune, and it’s really good.
    The history of it is really neat too. Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow after he had lost his wife his son had been badly wound. It’s starts out with despair at the darkness of the world, but ends with the hope of Christ. I love the part about “God is not dead, nor does He sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail”.
    Anyways, that’s my favorite. = )

  • I really like “I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day” also. I guess just the story it tells really touches my heart every time I hear it. I also like “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” mainly because of the richness that can come across when someone sings it. Ah! Christmas music is the best though, really.

  • Who Would’ve Dreamed by Sovereign Grace Music (I think), and All Glory Be To Christ by Kings Kaleidoscope. I like them because they’re fresh, loaded with truth, and they help me see and feel the weight of Jesus’ coming.

  • Mary Did you Know by Buddy Greene. I love it because of the genuine humanity of Jesus balanced with the absolute deity of Jesus, the God veiled in flesh. It’s a beautiful picture of the incarnation as humanity and deity meeting in Jesus Christ.

  • Wowza, there are so many good songs on here. Like others have said, I love Sovereign Grace and the Gettys’ Christmas music. I’m also a big Chris Tomlin Christmas fan.

    When it comes to more recent editions of classic carols, I’ve been listening to two new albums a fair bit, A Very RELEVANT Christmas, Parts 1 and 2. There are a ton of different artists on there – from Kings Kaleidoscope to Ellie Holcomb. And, for a limited time, you can download these albums for free! Which I would totally do. Just saying. πŸ™‚ You can get them here: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/the-drop/very-relevant-christmas-vol-5-part-one.

  • I think one of my favorites is While You Were Sleeping by Casting Crowns because it brings back so many memories and is just a good reminder not to “fall asleep” during the Christmas season. And I also like MercyMe’s new Christmas album πŸ™‚

  • Unto Us, by Handel. ItΒ΄s not a traditional “Christmas” song, but itΒ΄s the prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 9 speaking about how God will come and rule, set to REALLY cool music and choirwork. This song gives me so much hope for the future because even though the worldΒ΄s a huge mess right now, God redeemed us two thousand years ago with His birth, death, and resurrection, which is, after all, what Christmas is all about.

  • I like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” It’s moving, and it sends a clear message about the ups and downs of life.

  • Ok, changed my mind, I do have a favorite Christmas song. We sang it in youth group last night, and I loved it from the first verse. “Come and Worship” by Bebo Norman. It’s so beautiful. The musical background is simple yet so gentle and soft…

  • “While You Were Sleeping” by Casting Crowns. I really like this song because it talks about how no body was paying attention was born and we still dont pay attention to the world now(i dont mean checking Facebook and the news). We need to through God’s eyes and keep our eyes wide open. (yes I just quoted a Sabrina Carpenteer song..)

  • 1.”Joseph’s Lullaby” by Mercy Me
    2.”Hallelujah” by Barlow Girl. Sound/instrumental-wise, I love the mysterious-sounding versus and the victorious-sounding chorus. Lyric-wise, the chorus wonderfully sums up what Christmas means for all Christians.
    3. “Grown-up Christmas list” by Anthem Lights
    4. “O Holy Night.” I love how the second verse emphasizes God’s Justice – something that can be overlooked sometimes.
    5. “O come O come, Emmanuel”
    6. “Carol of the Bells”
    7. The entire Natalie Grant Christmas album.
    8. “If Jesus were like Santa Claus” by Jimmy Needham. You have to listen to this one! Okay. For that matter, just listen to everything Jimmy Needham ever wrote.
    9……and pretty much everything else (except the ones we can all agree are obnoxious;)

  • I know this discussion was originally published a year ago… But, I’ll go ahead and comment anyway, if only just for fun. πŸ˜‰

    My favorite Christmas song time and time again has always been ‘Joy to the World’. I love this anthem of joy because it reminds us of the character of the God we serve. Also, it paints this truth in our minds: God rules over ALL… THIS ENTIRE UNIVERSE. Even nature praises Him. The purpose of life is to glorify God.

    Also, the hymn that has really stood out to me this particular year is ‘O Holy Night’. I’ve always heard this song. But, it is really just this year that I fully understand the beauty and power of its lyrics.

    Also, just for fun, I’ll throw in ‘Our Lullaby’ by MercyMe. It’s simply a pretty song. πŸ˜‰

    Ah! So many more I could name!

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