12 Christmas Songs: A Christ Centered Christmas



For unto you is born this day . . . a
Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

      ~ Luke 2:11

For
me, Christmas is 100% about Christ.  It’s
in the name.  And you can’t have
Christmas without the joy of music.  As a
teen, I dreamed of one day making it big as a singer.  That did not happen, but my love for music
and singing has not changed.  Narrowing
down only twelve Christmas songs was quite difficult, as I could sing Christmas
songs for hours, until I go hoarse, but the following twelve songs reflect my most
favorite and the reasons why.  And the
order has no bearing on which is the top, as that can change on any given day.
1. Away in a Manger
This was one of the first Christmas songs I remember learning as a child
and I remember lovingly swaddling my own baby doll as was the Christ child. Our
Lord and Savior came to this earth in the humblest of circumstances, as the
song states “…no crib for a bed,” and it is this reason I place this one first
on the list.

2.
The First Noel

Noel is an Old French word meaning Christmas. 
It can also refer to a carol or hymn sung in honor of The First Noel sings of the shepherd, also in humble circumstances,
that recognized right away the magnificent meaning of the star “..Shining in
the East beyond them far.”

Christ’s
birth. 

3. What Child is
This?

Set to the familiar tune of Greensleeves, this is one I sing and hum throughout
the year.  I recently was blessed to sing
this for members of my church Sunday, the 
14th with a good friend of mine.  I sang the melody, the soprano part while she
sang the alto.  The arrangement was
slightly different than standard, and it was a great joy to sing it and feel
the spirit deep in my heart.  You can
listen to and download this version for yourself by following this link.
4. Oh, Come All Ye
Faithful

Meant to be sung majestically and joyfully, this hymn is in reference to verses
in Luke chapter 2.  In verse 9 and 10 it
says, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. . . and they were sore
afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”  And those tidings were the birth of Christ,
an event people had been awaiting for some time.  I can only imagine the joy of being a part of
that, and I am grateful I have the light of Christ in my life today.
5. Joy to the World
One of the 53 arias in Handel’s Messiah,
which he wrote in only 24 days, this is one sung annually in home and church,
and one I look forward to each year.

6. Handel’s Dream
This is a beautifully arranged piece, composed by Michael Mclean, that tells a
poignant fictional story of Handel.  It
is a dream, and perhaps Handel had such a dream as his inspiration for the Messiah
It is partly sang and partly narrated. 
Young Handel is auditioning for the choir of angels to sing at Christ’s
birth.  But he doesn’t make it.  Told he has a different voice, one that will
be brought to the world in his own time, and that more orchestras and choirs
than he can now imagine will be giving voice to his feelings leaves me with
tears in my eyes every time I listen to it. 
One you must hear, if you haven’t already.  And if you have, give it a listen again.  

7. Were You There?
Composed by Natalie Sleeth, this is a treasured song.  I have sang this many times for others since
I was a teenager and played my flute as well. 
With many thought provoking questions throughout.  Were you there on that first Christmas night?
Were you there when the wonder foretold came to earth? Did you hear how the
choirs of angels sang?  Did you see how
they bowed?  Did you know if was God’s
own son, the salvation of the world begun? 
Did you know it was love that was sent from above to the earth?  These are but a few of the glad, powerful
messages in this song.  To learn more
about this great American composer, follow this link.

8. Jingle Bells
& 9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
You have to have the classics.  And
though the focal point of these songs is not the Savior, they are about Santa
Claus and what a great example of goodness was Saint Nicholas.  If we all spread the goodness and cheer, the
true spirit of Christmas, like St. Nick does, the world would be a fantastically
better place to be.  I believe in Santa
Claus.  In the goodness and cheer and
love and service of his name.


10. Angels We Have
Heard on High
Gloria in excelsis Deo. Gloria in excelsis Deo. Latin for “glory to God in the
highest,” in this French carol, the single word ‘Gloria’ is carried through
four full measures, for a total count of sixteen beats, with the rest less than
half that.  Beautifully arranged and fun
to sing the ups and downs of the Gloria, is why this is on my top 12 most loved
Christmas songs.
11. It Could Happen
Again
Part of Colin Raye’s Christmas CD The
Gift
, this song has touch me from the first time I listened to it.  Even during the devastation of war, this is a
retelling of the well known story during WWI when opposing sides came together
to celebrate Christmas, only returning to fight against each other after they
were ordered to.  This portrays the true
meaning of Christ-like love, that men could put up their arms, share what
little they had, sing Christmas carols and bring the spirit to an otherwise
bleak time.  Find the CD here. This CD also happens to be the giveaway item
for today. Don’t forget to enter below.

12. O Holy Night
Many, many versions of this song are out there. 
Rearrangements, numerous singers, wonderful song.  Cantique
De Noel,
or as we know it O Holy
Night
, was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 and later the words were added,
written by Placide Cappeau, a wine merchant and poet who was also a professed
atheist. Over 150 years later this song is still bringing joy to those who know
Christ.

As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the
Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion
always.
~Thomas S. Monson

I
wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much
as I enjoyed writing it. May we remember to keep Christ the center of our
Christmas celebrations and try to bring the feelings and actions surrounding
Christmas throughout the year.

Written by Stephanie
N. Pitman
Author of Honorable Disgrace due out Feb 2, 2015

Available for pre-order http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QPCYIIC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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