I love Christmas music, but I'm picky about it. I like what I call classic Christmas music. Meaning, I like instrumental Christmas music, I like choral Christmas music, I like individual singers or small groups singing traditional carols, and even newer carols if they are thoughtful with beautiful melodies.
I'm not a big fan of many of the Christmas albums put out by popular singers. I love Neil Diamond eleven months out of the year, but I absolutely don't want to listen to him in December. I have a Manhattan Transfer Christmas CD that some years doesn't even make it out of the case. Same for my Glen Miller Christmas album. I'm a die hard Peter Breinholt fan, and own all of his albums but one. Any guesses on what one that might be? (here's a pretty broad hint). Last year, on a whim, I bought a CD of popular Christmas songs that was sold by the post office. It took me only one listen to remember that this was not my thing. I don't even know where that CD is now.
So, when I heard that the Mormon Church had set up a stream of Christmas Music, I gave it a listen.
It's all Mormon Tabernacle Choir (as nearly as I can tell), along with different soloists (probably from the Christmas Concerts that they've been doing over the years).
If you want to try it out, go here.
And, as long as we're talking about Christmas Music, I want to give a quick shout out for my new Christmas CD for 2010. It's the Voice Male Christmas Live 2 CD set. In addition to having sentimental value for me (it's Phil Kesler's last CD), I like it for its merits. I like the songs they chose (although I wish they would have included the Heidi/Phil duet of I'll be Home for Christmas. Obviously I wasn't consulted on that-- again.) I think the selections strike a near perfect balance between the sacred spiritual side and joyful playful side of the season. Best of all, since it's a live recording, there are lots of jokes and sillinesses between the songs that just crack me up.
And now, just to end this all, I'm just going to list just a few of my favorite Christmas songs/albums.
A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas (The arrangement of The First Noel sometimes makes me cry)
Amahl and the Night Vistors
Celtic Woman - A Christmas Celebration
Pretty Much Any Christmas Music by Kurt Bestor
Amy Grant's 2003 Christmas Album (I always skip over "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree)
. . . also, in spite of what I just wrote about my Christmas Music snobbery, I freely admit that anytime I hear any version of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song, I bust up laughing. Hey, we all have our guilty pleasures, right?
So, what about you? Any Christmas music you particularly like?
(Don't worry--Like Planet Fitness, this post is a Judgement Free Zone.)