Favorite Christmas Recordings

Index of Christmas posts | Christmas Nights at Home

George Winston, December (Windham Hill)Ones I feel like I can’t miss (in alphabetical order):

  • Steve Bell, The Feast of Seasons (lyrics)
  • Steve Bell, Keening for the Dawn (includes poetry by Malcolm Guite) (background)
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter, Come Darkness, Come Light
  • Bruce Cockburn, Christmas
  • Connie Dover, The Holly and the Ivy
  • Sara Groves, O Holy Night
  • Kathy Mattea, Good News.
  • John McCutcheon, Winter Solstice
  • Loreena McKennitt, A Midwinter Night’s Dream; forthcoming 2022: Under a Winter’s Moon.
  • Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong
  • Fernando Ortega, Christmas Songs
  • Thom Schuyler, Precious Child (hard-to-find, but worth the search)
  • John Michael Talbot, Birth of Jesus
  • George Winston, December
  • Celtic Christmas, vol. 2, and the many other Windham Hill Celtic Christmas albums…

Favorite classical:

  • Cambridge Singers and John Rutter, Christmas Star
  • The King’s Singers, Christmas
  • Canadian Brass, Noel
  • George F. Handel, The Messiah. My favorite version is the recording by the Academy of Ancient Music, with Christopher Hogwood. Read aloud the scriptural texts to Part 1, “The Messiah Comes” (save Parts II and III for Lent and Easter listening): Isaiah 40:1-5; Haggai 2:6-7; Malachi 3:1-3; Isaiah 7:14; 40:9; 60:1-3; 9:2,6; Luke 2:8-14; Zechariah 9:9; Isaiah 35:5-6; 40:11; Matthew 11:28-30. GCI has a brief intro and listener’s guide.
  • J. S. Bach, Magnificat
  • Bach, Christmas Oratorios
  • Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
  • Welcome All Wonders! Christmas at Washington National Cathedral.
  • Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker Suite
  • Menotti, Amahl and the Night Visitors

Other family favorites:

    Mary Chapin Carpenter - Come Darkness, Come Light

  • Enya, And Winter Came
  • Barenaked Ladies, Barenaked for the Holidays. Their rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is fantastic!
  • Vince Guaraldi Trio, Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Riders in the Sky, Christmas the Cowboy Way. I enjoy this, but one can listen to it one time too often.
  • Willie Nelson, Christmas
  • Amy Grant, Home for Christmas (esp. “Breath of Heaven”).
  • Steven Sharp Nelson, Christmas Cello. And more recently, the Piano Guys, A Family Christmas. If you haven’t heard of the Piano Guys, check out their Star Wars parody, Cello Wars.
  • Point of Grace, A Christmas Story
  • Veggie Tales, A Very Veggie Christmas
  • James Taylor at Christmas
  • Michael Card, The Promise
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