What Is Your Favorite Christmas Song?

Santa was in line in front of my daughter at Jet Blue today. She said:

Apparently Santa’s reindeer are in the shop. Today he’s flying jet blue. There are some very confused children on my flight.

I’m a bit tired and thought we could help each other out. I love Christmas music and thought I would share a few  of my favorite songs with you. I’m hoping you will return the favor.

This next song is deeply meaningful to me. In spite of the pain and suffering in this world, there is the still, small voice calling.

May we remember to adore this season.

I was never much for the pa rum pum pum pum.

I loved this the first time I heard it.

My favorite for all time

And now, let’s hear from you. Please put a link to your favorite if possible.


What Is Your Favorite Christmas Song? — 79 Comments

  1. So many carols are great, but I love the line in O Little Town… that says, “The Hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

  2. I’d have to say “Mary, did you know?” has been near the top of my list since I first heard it.

    But my all-time favorite is the floating melody, “Gesu Bambino”.

  3. I looked up “1 BAM” thinking it was a song… sigh.

    My favorite is “Christmas time is here” https://youtu.be/4PzetPqepXA

    I love the fact that each year thousands of people watch ” A Charlie Brown Christmas” and hear the true meaning of Christmas.

  4. Just looked it up… 15 million people watched the first episode in 1965… i was one of them.

    So, my guess is that it’s been seen by at least 200+ million people over the last 53 years.

    You never even here the name “Jesus” mentioned with Christmas on TV any more.

    Thank you Charles Schulz!

  5. Oh Holy Night
    the stars are brightly shining
    It is the night of OurDear Saviors birth.

    Long lay the world in sin and error pining
    Till He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth

    The thrill of joy the weary world rejoices
    For yoNader breaks a new and glorious morn.

    Fall on your knees
    Oh hear the angels voices
    Oh night Divine
    The night when Christ was born
    Oh night Divine Oh night divine,

  6. The Wexford carol—Alison Krouse and Yo-yo Ma. The words are wonderful and those musicians…just sublime

  7. I have always loved “Away in a Manger.”


    When in parochial grade school, we were cautioned not to sing that song since it was (mistakenly?) attributed to Martin Luther. I loved it then so I disobeyed that mandate, but not without some fear. I’d sing it walking home from school all the while looking over my shoulder to be certain no one was within hearing distance so I wouldn’t get in trouble. ….smile….

  8. Goodness! Picking a couple favorites is very difficult—I could probably listen to Christmas songs all year! But here are a couple of favorites, in no particular order:
    “All Is Well”-by Michael W. Smith
    “Welcome to Our World”-by Chris Rice
    “Coventry Carol”—it has the most beautiful and haunting melody.
    “O Holy Night”—looks like a favorite of many!

    This year marks the 200th anniversary of the first presentation of “Silent Night”! We went to Frankenmuth, Michigan recently and visited the “Silent Night Chapel” at Bronner’s Christmas Store. It is a replica of the chapel in Oberndorf, Austria where the song was first performed. It was a real treat!

  9. “Mary, Did You Know” is one of my all-time favorites. My daughter will do a solo performance of it this year at the Live Nativity pageant in a nearby city; thousands will be there. The best song Mark Lowry ever wrote!

  10. singleman,

    I love that song!! Forgot about it. I’m sure you miss you mom. So, her favorite song is now a part of my playlist and I shall think of her each year!

  11. I’m planning on adding many of your selections on EChurch for the next few weeks! Thank you. Keep them coming.

  12. Dee: I, too, LOVE Michael Card! The Final Word is one of my favorite albums and the song The Final Word always makes me cry.

  13. I was going to say Chris Deburgh “a spaceman came travelling” but in the more traditional vein, i’ve always been fond of “I saw three ships”
    I like the melody and the irony of Bethlehem being land locked.

    But “silent night” sung by a choral group really takes me back to the Christmas of my youth.

    Reminds of those clear cold nights in my home town. Our church was a classic white clapboard building complete with steeple. Lit from within with stained glass windows.

  14. The thing about Christmas songs for me, and perhaps for others, is not so much the song itself but what the song reminds me of, and what I was doing when I first heard it. There are one or two songs that I first sang at Cambridge during a particularly formative time of life, that extraordinarily evocative for me for reasons that I don’t think I could ever explain to anyone else.

    I do rather like a lot of Michael Card’s songs (though I can’t pretend Joseph’s Song is one of them – sorry… 🙁 ).

  15. Victorious,

    I too vote for Away in a Manger.
    When sung by little kids, it can move even the stoniest of hearts, whether they’ll admit to it or not.

  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thotoEXt42E

    Michael W Smit’s “All Is Well” for a modern song.

    For traditional, I love “What Child Is This.” I first remember singing it in second grade, and I promptly memorized all the verses.

    My church doesn’t have a choir, but a nearby church has allowed me to sing in theirs. I don’t do Sundays, but I can sing in the Christmas and spring concerts. I am really excited about our upcoming “Christmas Presence” performance in December.

  17. I guess I’m kind of old school. I’ve always been a ‘Joy to the World’ kinda guy… 🙂 Grew up in New England, went out caroling on many frosty nights, and we loved to belt this out.

    When I was a kid, we had a very fine organ in our church, and a world class organ player/music director. We had a Carol Service on Christmas Eve. When the full congregation and choirs let ‘er rip for this hymn, with incredible organ accompaniment, it was just awe-inspiring. Let Earth receive its King, indeed.

  18. My momma sings in a local trio. They call themselves the Good News Trio. My momma sings soprano, one of her friends from school days sings tenor, one of my friends from school days sings alto. They will be singing “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” at the tree lighting at Clifty park, where our old school once stood.

    So, here are my THREE favorites (yeah, go ahead and slap me over the third one).

    Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
    Do You Hear What I Hear
    And (drumroll please). Pleas Come Home for Christmas, the Eagles’ version!

  19. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

    Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem
    Shinning far through shadows dimmed
    Giving the life for those who long have gone on
    Guiding the wise men on their way
    Unto the place where Jesus lay
    Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on
    Oh beautiful star the hope of light
    Guiding the pilgrims through the night
    Over the mountains ’till the break of dawn
    Into the land of perfect day
    It will give out a lovely ray
    Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on
    Oh beautiful star (beautiful, beautiful star) of Bethlehem
    Star of Bethlehem
    Shine upon us until the glory dawn
    Give us a lamp to light the way
    Unto the land of perfect day
    Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on
    Oh beautiful star the hope, the grace
    For the redeem of good and blessed
    Yonder in glory when the crowd is one
    Jesus is now the star divine
    Brighter and brighter he will shine
    Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on

  20. There is an arrangement of “Away in a Manger” by a laddie named Herbert Chappell (brief wikipedia entry for him here). It’s in a minor key and is sung antiphonally – that is, by two choirs (or two halves of a choir) echoing one another.

    I’ve been unable to find an audio clip, sadly. The best I’ve been able to do is a wee preview of the score here. But it’s a beautiful and haunting song.

  21. “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.” I like the line, “O, rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.”

  22. “Christmas for Cowboys” by John Denver.

    It speaks to the simple joys of Christmas, leaving commercialism behind. A favorite since I was a kid: https://youtu.be/ejLQSpVBxBE

    A recent favorite: Huron Carol, written by a Jesuit missionary for the Huron Indians in Canada. He wrote it using some of their cultural references to help them understand the story of Jesus’ birth. So haunting and beautiful: https://youtu.be/WFjFl3ZvtlA

  23. ION: Cricket

    This, naturally, is the comment Wartburgers have been eagerly awaiting for several days.

    So, at stumps on Day 3 of another intriguing Test between Sri Lanka and England, the hosts dismissed the tourists for 240, but were themselves reduced to 53-4 chasing 327 to win. England are now strong favourites to wrap up the match tomorrow and, with it, their first 3-0 series win in the Sub-Continent.

    Johnny Bairstow’s first-innings century notwithstanding, the main thing separating the teams was Sri Lanka’s first-innings collapse during a fine spell from Adil Rashid. Sri Lanka were dominant on 187-2 (replying, remember, to England’s 336 all out). But the last 8 wickets added only 53 more runs, giving England a first-innings lead of 96.

    An interesting feature of the match is that, in the three completed innings so far, three different bowlers have taken a five-fer: Lakshan Sandakan (5-95 in England’s first innings), Dilruwan Perera (5-88 in England’s second innings) and Rashid, whose 5-49 was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s aforementioned collapse. In Sri Lanka’s second innings thus far, Rashid is wicketless but Moeen – a noted fourth-innings wicket-taker – has two.


  24. Sinatra . . . any Christmas song. I poignantly remember sitting with my dad in the hospital as he lay dying listening to Sinatra sing, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” No, not a “carol”, but it spoke to my spirit during that time.

  25. GMFS

    Update on the cricket:

    A superb unbroken (at the time of writing) 6th-wicket stand of 99 between Kusal Mendis and Roshen Silva has steered Sri Lanka to 181-5, aided – it has to be said – by some poor bowling from England. Sri Lanka need 146 runs for what would be a remarkable win.


  26. Latest:

    A spectacular run-out by Jack Leach accounted for Kusal Mendis, but not before he and Silva had compiled a century partnership (102, to be exact). Sri Lanka are now 216-7, Dickwella having just departed for 19, and need 111 runs to win.

  27. Final cricket update for today:

    After a fine finish, in which Sri Lanka’s final wicket put on 58 in a superb display of uninhibited batting, England eventually won by 42 runs. Sri Lankan number 11 Malinda Pushpakumara finished unbeaten on 42; unsurprisingly, this is his highest Test score. At one point, the final pair were almost threatening to pull off a sensational win.

    This is only the third time Sri Lanka have lost a home series 3-0, and represents a significant achievement for England, therefore. While the tourists were exceptional, Sri Lanka competed throughout and the scoreline is slightly harsh on them. Overall, a fine few weeks of cricket, and a reminder of why cricket remains by far the most popular sport in Wartburg.

  28. My IPad has nearly 1,000 Christmas Songs on it. I have playlists in excess of 8 hours long for categories such as Christmas Classical (Canadian Brass are fun), Christmas Country (love Martina McBride’s Christmas album), and Christmas Jazz (surprising how much is out there), Christmas Traditional (Bing and the boys), and Christmas Pop (I’ll admit to having the Carpenters’ album). I also have a category for Christmas Novelty, i.e. Straight No Chaser’s 12 Days. The Christmas Ballads playlist this is where I place songs like “Mary, Did you Know”.

    My favorite Christmas song? “O Holy Night” for this text:
    Truly He taught us to love one another,
    His law is love and his gospel is peace.
    Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother,
    And in His name all oppression shall cease.

  29. ION: Science and technology

    At around 19:45 UCT (in somewhat over two hours at the time of writing) NASA’s Mars InSight mission will, all being well, signal home to indicate that it has landed safely. Eight minutes later, at around 19:53 UCT, the signal should be received by mission control at JPL. However, there’s a lot can go wrong in the so-called “7 minutes of terror” as the craft descends through the martian atmosphere.

    Unlike other recent robot landers on the red planet, InSight will stay in place. It will drill around 5m below the surface to measure sub-surface temperatures; it also carries seismometers to measure Marsquakes. The idea is to gather new data on the internal structure of Mars; in particular, whether it still has a liquid core.


  30. Telemetry indicates that InSight has touched down on Mars. So, now we’ll find out whether Mars has a liquid core. Well, maybe tomorrow, anyway.

  31. SO nice to see all the superb recommendations! I will enjoy listening to all the suggestions this Christmas season.

  32. I absolutely love “O Holy Night.” It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs. My favorite secular Christmas song is Bing Crosby’s version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”