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  • Devin Gackle

The 12 Songs of Christmas You Really Need to Hear

Original title, I know. But seriously, you need to hear these songs.

There are a few epic covers of Christmas carols on here, but the rest are really awesome songs about Christmas itself, and about the whole reason we have Christmas--the birth of the man, Jesus. I picked these songs for their amazing lyrics, incredible musicality, and inspiration. I guess you could say these are my favorite Christmas songs. Enjoy!

1. Winter Snow by Audrey Assad (and Chris Tomlin)

I can't get over this song. Audrey has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard, so I felt pretty honored to lead this song on my church's music team last Christmas. Take special note that the video above is a live performance from her.

I don't have many words to describe the awesomeness of this song, but it's basically about how instead of coming into the world with a big heavenly bang, Jesus came in the most ordinary, human way possible. But he still changed the world.

2. Heaven Everywhere by Francesca Battistelli

This song is also almost to awesome to describe. This song is about how everyone is a little bit kinder, and more generous, and just better around the holidays. But I love that she points out "it's funny how it takes a holiday to show us how the world could truly change," and then goes on to say that if we were like this all the time, there would be more love in the world. Like, year round.

3. The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath

The lyrics to this song are simply beautiful. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite line. It's a very intersting take on the night Jesus was born, but also on what was going on in the hearts of man during that time. If you listen to the song, you'll know what I'm talking about.

4. I Celebrate the Day by Relient K

This song is so quiet, but so powerful. Relient K has a talent for powerful and beautiful lyrics, and this song is no exception. If you want to be inspired, I highly recommend this song. I also recommend it because it might be my favorite (Let It Snow, Baby...Let It Reindeer is definitely my favorite Christmas album).

Also, you can bet Relient K will show up again.

5. Winter Wonderland/Don't Worry Be Happy by Pentatonix, featuring Tori Kelly

A Christmas/non-Christmas mash-up? Um, yes please. I love what they did with this, especially since normally the song Don't Worry Be Happy annoys me. But this song is genius. Actually their whole Christmas album is genius. And now please enjoy the creative and masterful masters of acapella.

Side note: anyone else think they should make a guest appearance in a Pitch Perfect movie?

6. Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant

I first heard this song when I was in middle school, and it's stuck with me. Mary's journey to Bethlehem wasn't easy, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and this song is a great insight into that journey.

7. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon

Another master of songwriting, John Lennon. And he doesn't disappoint. There's nothing I need to say, really, about how great this song is.

8. Better Days by The Goo Goo Dolls

I think this song could go up there on the list of most inspirational songs ever. John Rzeznik is a brilliant songwriter (and one of my favorites). He wrote this song in response to the Hurrican Katrina disaster; at the time he said "Right now, I feel as though there’s a huge amount of unfairness going on in this country and it’sreally starting to annoy me. I know I’m not an authority on it, but I just wanted to speak my piece — I don’t know if I’m speaking for anyone else, although that would be nice." This song offers incredible insight, and a powerful message we hopefully all take to heart someday.

9. Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix

Yep, them again. This song is just beautiflly arranged and performed; if you're not moved you might be a robot.

10. O Holy Night by Home Free

These dudes rock. And they are also (like Pentatonix) winners of The Sing-Off. But that's beside the point. The point is, this arrangement is awesome, the church setting of the video is spectacular, and that one guy is not shy about using his smolder.

11. Hallelujah Chrismas by Cloverfield

I put up a link to a short article sharing this song because YouTube removed the audio from every video containing this song...

Anyway, listening to this song is so worth it. They take the melody to Hallelujah, and change the lyrics to be about the nativity story, and it's awesome. The cafe setting is really cool too; at first I kind of wondered if those people were actually in that cafe, but when they start's just so great.

12. 12 Days of Christmas by Relient K

Now hear me out. Yes, 12 Days of Christmas is pretty much the most annoying Christmas song ever. But Relient K makes this song super awesome. I guarantee you'll want to hear it over and over again.

Random bonus: This Is My Wish by Old Wave (from the Glade commercial)

For those of you wondering what that song is in the Glade Christmas commercial, I found it. Unfortunately, this song isn't on iTunes or Spotify yet, but I greatly anticipate it. So enjoy this sweet little extended edition of the Glade commercial. :)

Other random bonus: Someday At Christmas by Stevie Wonder, featuring Andra Day (from the Apple commercial)

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