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christmas traditions with kari

Perhaps being a Christmas baby (yes – actually born on December 25th) makes me feel “extra” connected to the holiday season, but I just LOVE this time of year!! I grew up with a mom who loved to sing and she instilled in me a love of music that has carried into all facets of my life. While I’m not as accomplished as I’d like to be on the piano or other musical instruments, I have an appreciation for musical talents, great harmonies, and unique arrangements of more “traditional” songs.

When it comes to Christmas music, I love most of it, but I do have some favorites that I simply can’t get enough of listening to or singing along with (yes – I belt out Christmas music in my car), so I wanted to share my 5 most favorite albums with you! All links below are to the iTunes Store, but you can probably find most of these for download or streaming through the music site of your choice.

  1. Pentatonix – That’s Christmas to Me: I really love this album. I bought it last year when I heard their version of “Mary, Did you Know?” and have practically worn it out at this point! Their harmonies are unreal and I appreciate the mix of traditional holiday songs with several that I had never heard. If I had to choose a favorite track, I’d probably say it’s “That’s Christmas to Me,” but there isn’t a single song on the album that I skip over.
  2. Eclipse 6 – Three Kings: I honestly don’t remember how I heard about this album, but it’s been on repeat during the months of November and December for years now … and I’m still not sick of it. I clearly have a thing for a cappella music. *wink* I’d have to say my favorite track on the album is “Lullaby,” but “Three Kings” would be a very close second.
  3. Mindy Gledhill – Winter Moon: Two years ago I stumbled on Mindy Gledhill’s Anchor album (non-holiday) and was smitten by it. As soon as I learned she had a holiday album, I knew I needed to add it to my playlist … and I wasn’t disappointed. Her sound is so different than most Christmas music which is refreshing. The song that gets my vote for favorite on this album would be “Patapan/Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel.”
  4. Amy Grant – Home for Christmas: I was trying to decide between this album and “A Christmas Album,” but the deciding factor was the track that I go to over and over again … “Breath of Heaven” – listen to it and you’ll understand why I love it so much!
  5. Hilary Weeks – Christmas Once Again: This album has the best rendition of “Silent Night” that I’ve ever heard – hands down. It’s amazing.

I have a lot of other Christmas albums + songs that I love to listen to, but that is my short list of “go to” albums on my playlist. I’d love to hear what some of your favorites are because I’m always in the market for new holiday music. Share them in the comments – I can’t wait to hear what you’re listening to!

P.S. One other absolute favorite is “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” sung by Vocal Point – an a cappella group from BYU who competed in season 3 of The Sing-Off on NBC. Ironically, Pentatonix was also a competitor that season!



10 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    I love the Pentatonix album, my favourite this year! My favourite last year was Straight no Chaser’s, another a capella group with an unorthodox take on some of the classics!

  2. Breath of Heaven is my favorite song as well!! Amy Grant’s albums are the best. There’s just something about Christmas music that gets you in the mood/spirit of Christmas! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Kari!!

  3. Race Ashby Race Ashby says:

    Kari’s Christmas music advice has definitely steered me in the right direction this year. Naming the playlists is half the battle though! With all this new music I had to have two: “Cold Air Don’t Care,” and “Meretricious, and a Happy New Year.” Happy listening, and Merry Christmas!

  4. Kelly Eschenfelder says:

    I absolutely love Christmas music! I probably have 100 Christmas CD’s and rotate them often. Definitely agree with Pentatonix and Amy Grant — two of my faves. Also always love anything by Manheim Steamroller. And then there are others that always make my holiday play list — Kenny Loggins, James Taylor, The Carpenters, John Denver, plus the ever traditional Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Perry Como and Nat King Cole — the list goes on and on!

  5. shannon says:

    Great choices! If you want to know another fun group is Straight No Chaser. They are an a cappella group but you would not know it by listening to them. Under the Influence: Holiday Edition, and Christmas Cheer and Holiday.

  6. Marie says:

    Andrew Peterson’s CD, Behold the Lamb of God is a favorite of mine. The song Labor of Love is a non traditional look at Christmas and the birth of Jesus from Mary’s perspective. Brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it, and I’ve played it a lot!

  7. Katrina says:

    I love Hilary Weeks! But I love her Christmastime album the best. The title song is my favorite. I also love the Glee Christmas albums and the Polar Express soundtrack. I’ll have to check out some of your favorites!

  8. Ericka says:

    I also love Amy Grants Christmas album. It’s my favorite.

  9. Ashley S. says:

    These look great. I really like Dustin Kensrue and Neil Diamond’s Christmas Albums.

  10. Tina C says:

    I’m also a Christmas Baby with real connection to Christmas! I love everything about it and can’t wait for the music. I’m in love with Bing, Ella, David Bowie, Glee, Gene Autry…..the list could go on for ever! I think I’ll have to check out your list and maybe will find some new favorites!