The tree trimming always marks the beginning of "Christmas Music" season in my house (I know we start kinda late), and while I was going through the large number of cds and tapes we've collected over the years, I thought I should do a lineup of my most favorite Christmas albums and the memories attached to them...
-My earliest Christmas memories usually make me think of this album. I remember driving around looking at lights with my family in the car with this in the background. Favorites are Breath of Heaven, The Night Before Christmas and Emmanuel, God with Us.
-A new favorite is James Taylor's cd. His voice instantly takes me back to childhood. I loved discovering this album of old songs covered with his unique sound last year. The best are Winter Wonderland, Go Tell It On the Mountain, River, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Some Children See Him.
-You just have to hear "Chestnuts, roasting..." and bam! It's Christmas time. I love Nat King Cole's voice and this cd is him at his best. Favorites: The Christmas Song, O Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Noel, O Holy Night, Caroling Caroling, and A Cradle in Bethlehem.
-Didn't expect to see this one, did you?...SheDaisy's christmas album was played over and over the first year we got it on the drive to my grandparents house in Alabama for the holidays. At the time, my family and I lived in Texas. It was a loooong trip. I feel for my poor father now as I look back. Best tracks are Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Tinsel Town (and Intro to Tinsel Town which is the scariest thing ever and really shouldn't be associated with Christmas), and the ghost track How Can I Keep From Singing.
-This one is a no-brainer. Linus reciting Luke 2 is one of the few times the Gospel message is brought to network television every year and the music that Guaraldi wrote was perfect! My favorites are My Little Drum, Christmas Time is Here (vocal), Skating, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Christmas Is Coming.
-Sarah McLachlan's album was a more recent acquisition, but it's still a very good one and I have many Christmas memories attached to it. Favorites: Happy Xmas (War is Over), Silent Night, and Song for a Winter's Night.
This cd has been called a score for Christmas and it truly is like a movie soundtrack. All of the orchestrations written by Michael W. Smith are gorgeous and emotional. The best ones are It's a Wonderful Christmas, Song for the King, and Audrey's Gift.
I saved my absolute favorite for last...Harry Connick, Jr, the Michael Buble-esque warbler of my mom's generation. I grew up listening to his cds, but this Christmas album is so different and special and jazzy. It's doesn't seem like Christmas without it. Every song is good, but my favorites are When My Heart Finds Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, What Child is This?, Christmas Dreaming, I Pray on Christmas, and What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?