Every year I make an iTunes playlist of my favorite Christmas songs–some have been on the album every year since its inception, while others are happy new editions. There are several versions of my playlist before choosing the 20 or so songs that will fit on a CD for the enjoyment of my friends and family. (And I make like 6 copies of the epic mix album for people. Don’t get the piracy police after me!)
So, here it is…my 2011 mix, which I call “Joy Is Born.”
Joy Is Born Christmas Mix 2011
1. “Star Of Wonder” – JJ Heller, Wake Up The World [My good friend, Shari, told me that about JJ's Christmas album and we both love it! JJ's version of "Star of Wonder" is the perfect lead-in to any album. She imagines to capture the wonder of seeking Christ--"Messiah was worth every mile.]
2. “Heaven’s Got A Baby”-The O.C. Supertones, Happy Christmas Vol. 3 [This song is a cheery proclamation and it's on the mix every year. Sometimes it's first, but I'm going for awe and wonder this year, so I needed something a little more subdued.]
3. “Born to Die” -Bebo Norman, Christmas: From the Realms of Glory [As if I would ever make a playlist without a Bebo song. That would just be ridiculous! I assume you already own this album, so I'm not even going to tell you to buy it because you already know how awesome it is!]
4. “Adorn” -Alli Rogers, The Silent Stars [If you don't own The Silent Stars or anything by Alli Rogers, you need to rectify that RIGHT NOW! Go, buy, download, and prosper!]
5. “Ring The Bells” -Travis Cottrell, Ring The Bells [Did you know that Travis Cottrell is the worship leader at Beth Moore's church? Or at least he was.]
6. “I Celebrate The Day”- Relient K, Let It Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer [Relient K's Christmas album is one of my favorites, so this song is ALWAYS on my playlist. Let It Snow Baby is available as a $5 download on Amazon right now!]
A bunch of fans made this music video for “His Favorite Christmas Story.” Love it so much I had to share it here!
7. “His Favorite Christmas Story”- Captial Lights, X Christmas- Various Artists [I haven't heard anything from Capital Lights since their debut album. This song tells a cute story that make me tear up. Every. Single. Time.]
8. “You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)”- Rich Mullins, A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band [I play this song as soon as I get up every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember.]
9. “Feliz Navidad”- David Crowder Band, X Christmas- Various Artists [David Crowder Band + silly Spanish = mucho bueno.]
10. “A Christmas Song For All Year Round” Aaron Sprinkle, Happy Christmas Vol. 3 [I wanted to marry Aaron Sprinkle so I could be "Amy Sprinkle," as it turns out Aaron is already married. I suppose I could legally change my name to "Amy Sprinkle" anyway. Santa, bring a name change for Christmas!]
11. “How Many Kings”-Downhere, How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas [I'll be talking more about this song on Friday Faves. I. Love. It. So much that each word was its own sentence. I played this at my small group's Christmas party "reflection time" and they loved it, too.]
12. “Welcome To Our World”-Chris Rice, Deep Enough to Dream [What is Chris Rice doing these days? Has anyone heard from the guy since he got married? He needs to make more theologically relevant music for the masses.]
13. “The First Noel (Instrumental Version)”-Josh Wilson, Sing: A Christmas – EP [Josh Wilson + instruments of any kind = magic.]
14. “Hallelujah (Light Has Come)”- BarlowGirl, Home For Christmas [The Barlow sisters are always wonderful, and this song is exceptional. Their vocal arrangements make my heart happy.]
15. “What Child Is This”- PLUMB, (Free Download) [Sometimes the best things in life really are free! Plumb's version of "What Child Is This" is an older version than the one we usually sing. Personally, I prefer this version. It was prettied up to celebrate the birth only, and completely revised of the implication of the cross Jesus was to bear.]
16. “Bring A Tourch, Jeanette, Isabella”-Downhere, How Many Kings: Songs For Christmas [It's Downhere again! Their version of this classic makes me want to grab a torch and look for the Christ child myself. I mean, there is a plastic Baby Jesus in the nativity down the street. But I just don't that elicits the joy of the actual event.]
This is the version from his self-titled album, not the Christmas EP. I put the Christmas version on the mix. Josh makes the best facial expressions when he sings. Love, love, love his guy and his beat-up gee-tar!
17. “Sing”- Josh Wilson Sing: A Christmas – EP [What a shock! Another song by my friend, Josh Wilson. I played this at small group two weeks ago when we talked about the LONG-AWAITED joy and expectation of God's timing. "We could never get back home with broken hearts, so Home has come to us." Lyrical genius!]
18. “Snow Globe”- Matt Wertz, Snow Globe [We had a whole Friday Faves dedicated to the hilarity that is this song. See "Friday Faves: Snow Globe Living Edition."]
19. “Mary Did You Know” – Spoken, Happy Christmas Vol. 4 [All punked up like it should be.]
20. “Drummer Boy”-Jars Of Clay, Christmas Songs [I never truly appreciated this song until Jars of Clay recorded their version. Then I researched how the drummer boy is the lowliest of all shepherds, and still he came, and offered what he had--the gift of his playing. I mean, I'm not sure how drumming helps a newborn baby. I would think that would elicit much screaming and sobbing. But I still like the song. It's not like Baby Jesus didn't cry either, so "Silent Night" is a farce, too. And yet I enjoy both songs.]
21. “Jesus, King Of Angels”- Fernando Ortega, Christmas Songs [Oh, Fernando, I love your music.]
This is the video that launched Straight No Chaser into a music career years after graduating from college.
22. “The Christmas Can-Can”-Straight No Chaser, Christmas Cheers [Because I like to end things on a hilarious note, I included this song from acapella group, Straight No Chaser, who became "famous" after their "12 Days of Christmas" video from college re-emerged on YouTube years later. So they recorded a second album, Christmas Cheers.]
I was going to tell you why I chose each and every song, what the song means to me,but that’s entirely too much work, so I added a few notes, a bunch of links, and a handful YouTube videos for your viewing enjoyment.
Have a question about why I chose a song, leave a comment! Tell me what songs are on your “list.”