I'm alive. For those wondering, I got married and have now relocated across the United States. Wedding pictures and details to come, you know, once I actually have wedding pictures. Soon, hopefully.
Anywho, Christmas music. I'm firmly in the camp that you don't start listening to it until the day after Thanksgiving. I think it's a shame two such fabulous holidays are crammed in back to back months, but I have my rules and I follow them. And when I bring out the Christmas music there are so tried and true classics that I can't make it through the holiday without. In no particular order here are my top 5 favorites with a bonus honorable mention at the end.
1. Amy Grant - A Christmas Album -- Let's just say it starts off right with "Tennessee Christmas" and gets better from there. I have so many memories of this being the go to Christmas cassette as a child and then being thrilled beyond words when my best friend in high school gifted me with a CD.
2. Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas -- Girlfriend has pipes and she knows how to use them. From the classic hymns "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night" which she so eloquently and powerfully sings to "All I Want For Christmas Is You" the album is perfectly done and never gets old.
3. Charlie Daniels - Christmastime Down South -- If Tennessee isn't your thing, Charlie has you covered with a blanket song regarding the festive season in the South or you can hear him sing about Carolina and Mississippi. Another classic from growing up and one I'm pretty sure my family owns multiple copies of because we all love it. Not a song to be skipped.
4. Casting Crowns - Peace on Earth -- My newest Christmas album addition. I said a few years ago I didn't need any more Christmas CDs, but this was worth 3 times what I paid for it. If "While You Were Sleeping" doesn't make you think extra about the real meaning of this season, then listen again.
5. Steven Curtis Chapman - The Music of Christmas -- Suffice it to say I've been a fan of his since seeing him for $2 at Carson Newman College many many moons ago. This was his first Christmas album and, like Amy Grant, I feel things just started off right. "Christmas is all in the Heart" really resonates with me every time I listen to the song. Starting 5 years ago I had to travel home for Christmas and realized it isn't about how much I decorate my house, though I try to do something, but it's about the attitude of the heart and what's in there that matters.
So there. If someone said to me "You're only allowed to keep 5 CDs out of that Christmas CD box" these are the 5 I would grab and not second guess. There are others that I enjoy, but these are my favorites and receive the most play time. And whether I'm in the South, the Northwest, or overseas if I can hear these albums I don't need Christmas decorations to appreciate the beauty that is this sacred holiday.
Honorable Mention -- NeedToBreathe "Go Tell It On The Mountain". Y'all, it's only a single, but they nailed it. You can bet if they release a Christmas CD it will probably need to be the 6 CDs that I would need to grab because I don't think they can go wrong. And because I love all 3 of you readers so much, here it is in all of its glory.