Merry Christmas! Hop in here to read my definitive list of the best songs about the TRUE meaning of Christmas!
· Dec 24, 2023 ·

I've already given you the best Christmas movies of all time and the best Christmas albums of all time.

So I figured I'd dive into the deep waters this year and deliver up a list of the best REAL Christmas songs ever written.

And by "real" I mean songs about the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus Christ. The incarnation of the savior and King of Kings. This also includes traditional "advent" songs.

So if you're looking for "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (A certified banger, no doubt) or my wife's personal favorite "The Happiest Christmas Tree" you might find it on a future list.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, I present to you the BEST Christmas songs you should be singing with your family in worship today!

I promise I'm not trying to make this the longest NTB article ever. I promise.

O Holy Night

Based on a poem written in 1843 and then set to music by French composer Adolphe Adam 4 years later, O Holy Night is one of the most iconic Christmas songs of all time.

It really captures the purpose of Christmas.

Here's one of the great lines from this song:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

'Til He appears and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Listen to Josh Groban for probably the best modern version of the song:

Silent Night

Here's a song that routinely makes EVERY list of Christmas songs. And it's a beloved classic for a reason.

The third verse, declaring the Lordship of Christ even at his birth, as a babe on that silent night, is sure to stir up the desire to worship.

Silent night, holy night

Son of God, love's pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

There are a million versions out there, here's one of them:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

If I were to rank the songs on the list, rest assured, this would be near the top.

It's an advent song and it beautifully captures the entire scope of scripture, including the verses we usually skip over.

Here is one of those verses that isn't usually sung:

O come, O come, great Lord of might,

who to your tribes on Sinai's height

in ancient times did give the law

in cloud and majesty and awe.

The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament as well. The coming of Jesus, Emmanuel, is the fulfillment of all of scripture.

Ding! Dong! Merrily on High!

I bet you didn't expect to see a song with "ding dong" in the title, but here we are!

So far the songs have all been sweet, soft, even haunting Christmas music. But there's an entirely different category of Christmas song that deserves highlighting and these are the songs of praise and joy!

This song is beautiful and joyful.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

This Charles Wesley hymn that pictures us singing alongside the angels about the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem is one of the sweetest sounds you'll ever hear.

Hail the heav'nly Prince of Peace!

Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,

Ris'n with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by,

Born that man no more may die;

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth.

For a festive Irish version of the song, listen to the Gettys version.

If you aren't Getty-maxxing this Christmas you are doing it wrong.

O Come, All Ye Faithful! (Adeste Fidelis)

O come, let us adore Him!

There's not much more to be said. Christ came as a child and deserves our true adoration.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!

Glory to God, glory in the highest:

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

Christ is Lord, people! And it's wonderful to hear people proclaim it, even if it's just once a year.

It's really, really hard to beat Andrea Bocelli singing the song as Adeste Fidelis in Latin.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

This Christmas carol is quite old compared to the others on the list, with the earliest version of this English song dating back to the 1650s, with slightly different lyrics.

The message of the song: be joyful because Christ has come!

A message we all need to hear during the hustle and bustle of the season.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, thou long expected Jesus,

born to set thy people free;

from our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,

hope of all the earth thou art;

dear desire of every nation,

joy of every longing heart.

"Desire of every nation"??? Anti-Christian Nationalists hardest hit!

Since this is another Charles Wesley tune we may as well listen to the Keith and Kristyn Getty version of this song as well:

Joy to the World!

For our final official entry we have to acknowledge the GOAT (Greatest of all time) Christmas song.

This 1719 Isaac Watts tune that was originally written about Christ's SECOND coming has become one of the most iconic songs of Christmas and Christendom, declaring:

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders, of His love.

I'm sorry, but the official list has to end somewhere. And there are about 1,000 songs I left off and if I offended you with their exclusion, I'm sorry.

Harriet Rigby asked kindly that Welcome to Our World, a great modern song, be included, so I will insert it here:

Lastly, there's no way to narrow this modern example Christmas music celebrating Jesus down to just one song, but you need to be listening to Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God album front to back.

If you aren't Andrew Peterson-maxxing this Christmas season what are you even doing?

That's it. That's the list. But it's incomplete! Please, add your favorites to the comments below and let me know what you would have included instead!

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