Who doesn’t love Christmas carols? Whether you’re jamming out to Jingle Bells, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, or even harmonizing with Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Christmas carols and hymns are a big part of the holiday season. Maybe you even have a favorite Christmas song, or a list of favorites? Here’s some of our favorites (in no particular order).
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
I believe I first heard Brenda’s Lee 1958 classic Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree in the 1990 movie Home Alone. I didn’t pay much attention to it until years later when its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics made it one of my favorites each year. Interestingly, according to the Wikipedia article on the song, Ms. Lee recorded Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree when she was only 13 years old. I would’ve never guessed that just listening to it. There are many cover versions of the retro Christmas tree song available these days. Some of the most recent include covers from Jann Arden, Kaitlyn Baker, & Chasing Deer.
Deck the Halls
Another upbeat classic, Deck the Halls is perhaps one of the oldest carols on this list with its origins tracing to the sixteenth century in Wales. English lyrics were written in 1862 by Thomas Oliphant. It’s a great song to listen to while you’re decorating your tree with lots of fun and festive ornaments, garlands, and lights. As Deck the Halls is around 400-500 years old (perhaps older), many cover versions have been performed over the years. Two of the better known ones are by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and SHeDAISY.
How can you not love White Christmas? While it’s not an upbeat tune like Deck the Halls or Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, it still holds a special place among my holiday traditions. Living in Southeastern Virginia, we don’t get very many white Christmases here, so when we do, they are even more special, just like Irving Berlin’s 1942 classic carol. Of course the best known version is the one sung by the late Bing Crosby, who’s soothing voice can make any Christmas song seem magical. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Mr. Crosby’s version is the best-selling single of all time worldwide to a staggering total of over 100 million copies. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to 1 in every 3 Americans having purchased this one song.
Jingle Bell Rock
Going back to another upbeat song (I’m sensing a trend here), Jingle Bell Rock is another one of my favorite Christmas carols. The classic tune was originally recorded by Bobby Helms in 1957. The cheerful song is perfect for listening to as you frolic through the snow during the Christmas season. It’s also fun to listen to while decorating your home for the holidays. There’s been numerous covers like most Christmas carols, and some of the most recent include Michael Bublé, Robin Lynn, Hot Chelle Rae, Jeremy Camp, McClain Sisters, and Laura Pausini.
A Holly Jolly Christmas
We’ll wrap up this list of my top 5 Christmas carols with A Holly Jolly Christmas, which holds the distinction of being the newest song on this list. It was written by Johnny Marks and the best known version was sung by Burl Ives and released in 1964. I think I probably first heard A Holly Jolly Christmas in the Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Rankin-Bass, which I would watch every year growing up during the holidays. Ives would go on to re-record the song in 1965 for a holiday album called Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, and Jerrod Niemann have all done cover versions of A Holly Jolly Christmas.
So that’s a look at some of my favorite Christmas carols. What are your favorites? Do you agree/disagree with this list?