My Top 10 Favorite Christmas Albums

1. Josh Groban’s Noel. I’m a little wary of even beginning to describe this masterpiece, because I’m terrified that once I start I’ll be unable to stop. There are just so many things that I could say about it that we could be here all day. Each year as the strains of the opening track, a soaring orchestral arrangement of “Silent Night”, begin, my heart is filled with the overwhelming joy of Christmastime. Especially noteworthy are the number of unique but absolutely perfect collaborations that star on this album, such as Faith Hill in “The First Noel”, and Brian McKnight in “Angels We Have Heard on High.” “Thankful”, a year-round favorite of mine, is an original song you’ll never forget. The closing track, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the most glorious church organ performance I have ever heard.

2. Andrea Bocelli’s My Christmas. There’s probably very little that I could say about Andrea Bocelli’s grace and warmth that hasn’t already been said before. His gorgeous vocals beautifully interpret traditional Christmas classics as well as original pieces. Some of my personal favorites include “I Believe”, a breathtakingly gorgeous duet with Katharine Jenkins, and the original soundtrack music to Jim Carrey’s A Christmas Carol, “God Bless Us Everyone.” You won’t want to miss Natalie Cole’s appearance in “The Christmas Song”, or the Muppet’s amusing contribution to “Jingle Bells.”

3. Michael W. Smith’s Christmastime. Michael W. Smith’s Christmas album truly brings both the expected as well as the unexpected. You’ll love the duet featuring Sandi Patty on “Christmas Waltz”, as well as the Celtic instrumental arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships”. My personal favorite is another instrumental piece, an original song titled “Hope of Israel”.

4. Bing Crosby’s The Very Best of Bing Crosby Christmas. Honestly, it’s hard for me to even imagine the Christmas season without hearing Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas”. This album is the epitome of Christmas season from the golden big band era. I personally love the simplicity of Crosby’s “Silent Night”, and the appearance of the Andrews Sisters in “Jingle Bells” is so very festive.

5. Travis Cotrell’s Ring the Bells. I really wasn’t even familiar with Travis Cotrell when I was given his Christmas album. I was completely blown away with how amazing this cd is. While I absolutely love the majestic title track, which also features Natalie Grant, my personal favorite, “Jesus Saves” is another I listen to year long. I also adore “Home for Christmas Again”, a beautiful song that will wrap around you in cozy warmth.

6. Point of Grace’s A Christmas Story. The incredible harmonies of Point of Grace ring in the Christmas season like no other. The brilliant light of “Joy to the World, the mystery of “Carol of the Bells”, and the jazzy arrangement “Jingle Bell Rock” will forever be classics in my home. Once again, the original pieces really shine through, including “Light of the World” featuring Michael Tate, “Not that Far From Bethlehem” and “One King”. Also of honorable mention is Point of Grace’s newer Christmas album, Winter Wonderland.

7. Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song. Ah, Nat. There will never be another like him. His voice brings warmth and life to every track on this cd. Some music is so good that it’s hard to do anything other than listen to it when it is on. This album is one of them. From “Away in a Manger” to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, this collection is the thing that traditions are made of.

8. Celine Dion’s These are Special Times. Celine and Christmas is just simply a perfectly suited match. While there is much to be said about her traditional pieces, it’s honestly the original pieces that stand out to me the most. “Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” is an incredibly powerful ballad, and “Christmas Eve”, a celebratory pop piece will have you dancing down the highway, just like me.

9. Harry Connick Jr.’s When My Heart Finds Christmas. Harry’s signature mesmerizing jazz celebrates Christmas in a big way on this fabulous album. While my personal favorite happens to be the title track, you simply can’t go wrong with any of the songs on this cd.

10. Elvis Presley’s White Christmas. It’s Elvis singing for Christmas, what more of an explanation could you possibly need? While “Blue Christmas” and “Santa Claus is Back in Town” are forever holiday staples, Elvis does traditional Christmas carols just as well.

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