My childhood Christmas became official when the boxes of ornaments were first brought down from the attic – or was it up from the basement? That much I don’t quite recall. Be that as it may, amid those boxes was a large red songbook chock full of the carols of the season my sisters and I couldn’t wait to dig through and find. We loved to flip through those dog-eared pages, singing every lyric therein with seasonal glee right up to and through our Christmas break. I’m pretty sure my love of singing was hatched in those extemporaneous family sing-a-longs.
If I’d been able to develop an iTunes Christmas playlist growing up, it would have started with these ten carols, in order:
- O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
- O Holy Night
- Silent Night
- Carol of the Bells
- Away In A Manger
- What Child Is This?
- The First Noel
- Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
- Angels From the Realms of Glory
- O Come All Ye Faithful
I’m curious what your own ‘playlist’ might look like. I’m certain you’re scratching your head at my list, wondering where ‘Joy to the World’ or ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ are. Why, eleven and twelve, of course.
But then I have some deeply sentimental, though non-religious, offerings that deserve mention, albeit in their own section. White Christmas, Let It Snow, The Christmas Song, and Have a Yourself A Merry Little Christmas each just get me in the holly jolly (oooh, that’s another one!) spirit with little prodding. Oh, and for my money, pretty much anything Bing Crosby recorded for the holiday season is a perennial classic and required listening.
But then, finally, in a category all its own, set apart and far, far afield from all of the above? Handel’s Messiah. Hands down.
So spill. What are your advent faves? Bonus points if you put them in a top 10 format.