O Holy Mix, the Songs Are Brightly Shining

Our 17 favorite renditions of spiritual Christmas songs.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can finally start listening to Christmas music (if you started back in September, you should be ashamed of yourself). We decided to help kickstart your holiday season by offering up our choices of some holiday favorites. But we wanted to limit it a little bit. So below are our choices of some of our favorite sacred Christmas tunes. Some of the artists might surprise you, but we think all of these are honoring to God and might even be considered worship songs. So enjoy, download them and get in the Christmas spirit as we journey toward the 25th. There's nothing special about 17 choices—just the number we ended up with. And, of course, if we forgot anything, let us know in the comments!

A Christmas Song—Denison Witmer

Denison Witmer is the king of sad-but-somehow-joyful songs. Which are sometimes appropriate at Christmas.

Riu Riu Chiu—Sixpence None the Richer

This classic Spanish carol tells the story of God’s protection of the Virgin Mary and of Christ as he becomes Monarch of the World.

Maybe this Christmas—Ron Sexsmith

Ron Sexsmith’s original is a plea for peace and forgiveness, a yearning for heavenly hope and a peace in being prayed for.

Silent Night—Zach Gill

This Jack Johnson accomplice gives a hushed, acoustic bent to this universally well-known Christmas tune. Perfect for a snowy evening.

I Celebrate the Day—Relient K

A lovely piano ballad encapsulates the birth of Christ and how he came to die for our sins.

Rock of Ages—Ben Kweller

A hymn sung by Ben Kweller? Yup.

The Friendly Beasts—Sufjan Stevens

This classic carol (almost childlike in its rumination on the birth of Christ by barnyard animals) is given a fun twist by Sufjan and his guests (including My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden).

White Horse—Over the Rhine

An Advent song in the truest sense of the word, this song travels from the manger in Bethlehem to looking forward to Christ’s return.

O Come O Come Emmanuel—Rosie Thomas

Thomas puts her own spin on this traditional tune about God’s faithfulness, putting the lyrics to a new tune.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings—Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan

The bounciest version of these songs ever, this rendition of the classic carol makes you wonder what’s in the Canadians’ water.

Do You Hear What I Hear?—Copeland

Guitars + Electronica bleeps and bloops + AutoTune = Copeland’s take on a famous carol.

Little Drummer Boy—Low

The inventors of slowcore make this already slow and rhythmic (and surprisingly spiritual) carol even more poignant

O Holy Night—Weezer

Sure, it’s a pop-rock version of a Christmas classic, but it’s Weezer!

Away in a Manger—Mindy Smith

Who better to take on the folkiest Christmas song than the folkstress herself?

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day—Pedro the Lion

The King of Mope does Christmas. Perfect for those quiet afternoons when it’s snowy and gray outside. And when you want to hear a Christmas hymn in the key of sad.

O Little Town of Bethlehem—Jars of Clay

If you’ve ever wondered what Jars would sound like with lots of electronica in the background, here’s your chance.

In the Bleak Mid Winter—Sarah McLachlan

The Queen of Adult Alternative Radio lends her angelic (pun fully intended) voice to this hymn about finding
Christ even in the midst of a cold, dark season.

55 Comments

James Michaels

20

James Michaels commented…

wrong

84,884

Sarah commented…

Personally, I love "Love Came Down at Christmas" by Jars of Clay and the latest "Little Drummer Boy" by The Almost (personally I'd even stick "Hallelujah" by Rufus Wainright and "Dirty and Let Out" by The Almost even though neither is technically a Christmas song, it's just the feelings I get from them, yeah?)

Sara Gonzales

20

Sara Gonzales commented…

Its not Christmas time til I hear Evergreen by Switchfoot (I asked Jon if he remembered the words to this song, he laughed and said no) it came out a few years ago on a cd called Happy Christmas (vol 4) but not mentioned much elsewhere which is too bad. It is, appropriately, good to hear all year long too.

84,884

Jessie commented…

too bad lala is only available in the states! c'mon relevant! you've got some canadian fans too!

Leonard Horne

1

Leonard Horne commented…

Holy, Holy, Holy by Sufjan is amazing! Check that out too!

I love Christmas songs haha; I feel late commenting.

Please log in or register to comment

Log In