Wynona did it this year. So did Peter Cetera. Bette Midler also did it. Gladys Knight did it, Pipless no less! Let’s not leave out James Taylor, Sarah McLachlin, Brad Paisley, and Hall & Oates. Oh, and I almost forgot, Twisted Sister did it too. So, what can this odd cast of characters have in common? They all released Christmas CDs this year. This is probably only the tip of the iceberg. But thanks to ITunes, I am made aware of these. Should I pay for a Twisted Sister Christmas CD? Don’t laugh. Lita Ford has a duet with Dee Snider. I’m sorry, but I just can’t picture those two crooning, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas“. Sigh.
Well, this is my annual dilemma. I love Christmas music. I especially think it’s great when someone I enjoy hearing otherwise, grabs ahold of a great Christmas song and does a great job with it. Unfortunately, everybody has a Christmas CD out and how would I possibly purchase them all? Aside from that, how many versions of “The Christmas Song” do we really need? And I think the Christian artists have an edge because Christmas becomes a matter of faith, not just presents and trees and Santa. (Not that I object to presents … let me be perfectly clear about that!) Still, I find myself wanting to get so many Christmas CDs, and that’s just not in my budget. So I may need to pick out one new one and be satisfied with that. Not sure what it will be. One thing’s for sure. If I’ll just procrastinate, Christmas will be over and I won’t be nearly as interested in it anymore. That’s a plan!
What is your favorite Christmas CD? Or maybe top four or five? Do you like Christmas music? Well, there are all kinds of Christmas CDs. I was just listening to one I bought in Wal-Mart by an unknown (to me) group called V.I.P. called Chrismas A Cappella. It’s very well done. I’ll use some of those as some background music as people gather for worship on Sundays and in between worship and class. That sets a happy mood, to me. Anyway, it’s not going to make my all-time favorites list. Well, here’s my list of favorites. I can’t call them “best of”, because I like them all equally!
*For a real bluegrass feel, grab Emmylou Harris’ Light of the Stable. She does The First Noel without instrumental accompaniment and it is beautiful.
*For city slicker sound with a good country twang, Garth Brooks’ Magic of Christmas is full of brass with great arrangements and his signature vocals.
*George Strait has two or three Christmas CD’s out, but I like Merry Christmas Wherever You Are. There’s just something about that title song that grabs you by the heart. Plus George has lots of steel guitar and some Texas swing in the mix. I like it.
*Probably one of my all time country favorites, though, is the duet album featuring Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton called Once Upon A Christmas. I think it’s a perfect Christmas collection. And I am unanimous in this!
*If you like Jazz, join me in loving Harry Connick, Jr.’s awesome CD called “When My Heart Finds Christmas“. The title song alone is worth buying the CD.
*The Beach Boys Christmas Album is a great collection … and every song is so cool…it’s the Beach Boys…what else could it be?
*A CD that is THE SOUND of Christmas to me is The Carpenter’s Christmas Portrait. It’s perfect.
*City on a Hill did a three or four compilation CDs featuring Third Day, Leanne Nash, Caedman’s Call, and a bunch of other folks … in that set is a Christmas CD called It’s Christmas Time. It is excellent by every standard. Third Day has a new Christmas CD I haven’t heard yet!
I’m sure there are others I’m not thinking about. I’d like to get Doris Day’s Christmas CD I just noticed is available on Amazon. Yes, DORIS DAY…what a beauty … and she was a good person. And for some bust out my speakers big vocals I may pick up Clay Aiken’s Merry Christmas With Love. Somewhere, if it survived Katrina, I have a mountain music Christmas CD and a big band CD that are both instrumentals. I like them a lot also. Oh, wait, there’s Sandi Patty’s The Voice of Christmas. I’ve always been a fan.
So, you can see, I’m hopeless. I love Christmas music across most genres (I still can’t do Christmas rap, and I don’t like the song about the grandmother who gets run over by the reindeer!). Anyway…I reserve the right to ammend this list if I think of others. What are your Christmas favorites? I know, Thanksgiving was just yesterday. We should give the dressing time to digest, but time marches on! Thanks for reading!
And just to show that everyone gets into the Christmas spirit, here’s Cyndi Lauper and Martha Stewart with Winter Wonderland.