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Christmas Series: an Exponent II Merry Christmas Playlist

by Aimee Evans Hickman

by Aimee Evans Hickman

Click on the picture to the left to go to hear a playlist of our permabloggers’ favorite Christmas carols. Merry Christmas!

In no particular order…
All the Emilys: “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”

Two out of three Emilys say, “I like the verse, ‘This fruit doth make my soul to thrive it keeps my dying faith alive.’ Because Christ is the center of my reason for staying.

Melody: Patty Griffith’s “Mary”
Because Mary is the closest thing we have to divine feminine. And in my mind her humanity somehow provides a link between heaven and earth. She lived, she wept, she “stayed behind and started cleaning up the place” like so many of us do-out of love and reverence and necessity. And she knew God.

JessR: Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”
My favorite is Nat King Cole’s version of The Christmas Song. It reminds me of my grandfather. It was his favorite. It also talks about all my favorite parts of Christmas: being home around family and the excitement of kids around this time of year.

Deborah: “In the Bleak Midwinter”
Two different composers set to music this poem of Christina Rossetti’s. I’m partial to the Gustav Holst version. I adore the lyrics, and recently wrote this on Facebook:

My three-year-old has used her experiential knowledge of babies to improve upon Rossetti’s original lyrics.

Traditional version: “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.”
Kidlet’s interpretation: “What can I give him, poor as I am? A teether and a pacifier and a great big hug.”

Starfoxy: Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella”
1. French
2. Women announcing Christ’s birth and visiting the stable.
3. It’s a sin to talk so loud while Baby Jesus is sleeping. “C’est un tort, quand l’enfant someille, c’est un tort de crier si forte.”

1&3 are kind of silly, but two is quite serious. Where Mary is often the only woman shown in most Nativity scenes (male shepherds, male wise men, ambiguous-but-probably-male angels) this has two women (with names!) doing something important.

Amy: “Carol of Joy
Mostly for sentimental reasons–I sang this for a couple different Christmas concerts while I was in BYU Singers and it was always a really wonderful experience.

We’ll claim By Common Consent’s Kristine for this one: the Welsh carol, “Poverty”
Read her BCC post, “Merry and Martha.”

Caroline and Libby: Cloverton’s “Hallelujah”

Libby: Pentatonix’s “Carol of the Bells” and the entire album, Kenton’s Christmas
Start with “Carol of the Bells,” then enjoy their whole album.

My all-time favorite Christmas album is a magnificent remastered Stan Kenton release from 1961.

Heather S and Libby: “The Cherry Tree
Anonymous 4’s “The Cherry Tree” is the kind of spare, clear music that is devotional for me.

Emily U: this version of “Ave Maria,” “What is This Lovely Fragrance,” “Magnificant in G,” Friendly Beasts,” and The Shepherd’s Farewell
“Ave Maria” comes from Chanticleer’s Christmas album called “Our Heart’s Joy.”

“What is This Lovely Fragrance” comes from  Christmas Day in the Morning: The John Rutter Christmas Album by the Cambridge Singers.

“Magnificant in G” is more Advent than Christmas but I also love settings of the Magnificat.  I like this one by Charles Villiers Stanford.
And “The Shepherd’s Farewell” by Berlioz about the flight to Egypt.

Heather S: “Gabriel’s Message

EmilyCC: Nigerian Christmas carol, “Betelehemu” and “Some Children See Him
I love both of these Christmas carols because they help me (and my children, I hope) to remember all of God’s children celebrating the birth of Christ.

Violadiva: The sacred music world wouldn’t be the same without Dr. Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium, a work inspired by this beautiful painting at Norton Simon Museum and celebrating the purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Commissioned by a man to give his wife for Christmas. What a gift to her and the world!


EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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5 Responses

  1. X2 Dora says:

    Love this list! I’m late to the party, but wanted to add some of my favorites that others haven’t listed.
    O Come O Come Emmanuel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmdkZ4Z0itY
    Angels We Have Heard On High https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAMzAIH12yc
    Coventry Carol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hl1yXMFA5c

  2. Patricia I Johnson says:

    We sang this with (battery-operated) candles at a stake Christmas concert several years ago. We processed into the chapel; we had the words memorized. It was like bearing my testimony of the Savior to the assembled audience. Just a favorite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARZsnP9KGPA

  1. December 24, 2014

    […] by Aimee Evans Hickman Click on the picture to the left to go to hear a playlist of our permabloggers’ …read more       […]

  2. January 14, 2016

    […] For other lovely songs for your Christmas listening, check out our Merry Christmas playlist recommendations! […]

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