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.