Christmas may be over, but I'm not quite ready to shelve the holiday music just yet. From mid-December to early January in our household, something Christmas-y is almost always playing in the background—growing up, it was a Perry Como Christmas album on my parents' record player; these days it's Sufjan Stevens jingling merrily from the speakers of my wife's computer.And every year after Christmas, I quiz my friends: what holiday music did you listen to this year? What interesting or inspiring Christmas albums should I add to my list of music to acquire between now and next December? Here are a few of the records that have been looping almost constantly through my headphones this Christmas:
What about you? What music provided the soundtrack to your 2008 Christmas? Which of it will you haul out again next year?
- Andrea Bocelli's Sacred Arias—this might just be the ultimate Christmas album, as far as I'm concerned. His rendition of Ave Maria is heartbreakingly beautiful.
- Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas has become a family favorite over the last few years. Lots of familiar Christmas classics, but some interesting new songs as well... and Stevens doesn't forget that beyond all the holiday craziness, Christmas is ultimately about Jesus.
- The Welcome Wagon's Welcome to the Welcome Wagon isn't exactly a Christmas album, but I now associate it with Christmas because I've been listening to it heavily this month. A really inspiring collection of worshipful music.
- On a goofier note, Doctor Octoroc's 8-bit Jesus is amazing, in a geeky sort of way. It's a collection of classic Christmas music done in the style of 8-bit video game music. If you didn't grow up playing Castlevania and Contra, the appeal might be lost on you, but I've found it quite charming.
(You'd better hurry with those recommendations—I figure I've got about a week of Christmas-music-listening left before people start giving me funny looks.)