Christmas Music – Pop

This third category is a bit of a catch-all. In short, the “Pop” category includes recent-ish holiday tunes that we have come to enjoy. Some of the items in this category are well-received by a wide audience and are on their way to moving into the “traditional” list. Some of the others may never make it there, though we still really enjoy them around our house. Once again, each album cover links to an page where you can order or download the music.

James Taylor – “At Christmas”

I will never forget watching James Taylor perform “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the Today Show in December 2001. It was the best version I ever heard then, and I still believe it to be now. The song appeared on Taylor’s album “October Road” and was then released again some years later on this Christmas album. My favorite version of “Auld Lang Syne” is also on this album.

Michael W. Smith – “Christmastime”

I saw Michael W. Smith perform this album live with the Dallas Symphony back in 2006. I have been a fan of this album ever since. There is some sacred music on here, but there’s also a fair bit of pop music as well.

Shawn Colvin – “Holiday Songs And Lullabies”

“Love Came Down at Christmas” is my favorite song on this album. I also like her cover of the Peanut’s classic “Christmas Time Is Here.” There are several lullabies on here that are also very good. Great album.

Jewel – “Joy- A Holiday collection”

Jewel sings some the old familiar tunes, and she sings them straight. No scatological locutions here, and that’s what makes her renditions so good. The song “Gloria” is worth the price of the album.

John Darnall – “Midnight Clear”

If you come into my office at this time of the year, this album is likely what you’ll hear playing. This is an instrumental album with the acoustic guitar at the center.

Weezer – “Christmas with Weezer”

It really is amazing what otherwise very secular people will sing at Christmas time. On this album, every song except for one is sacred. You may be wondering what a Weezer Christmas album would sound like. Well, it sounds just like Weezer trying to sing Christmas songs, and it’s great.


Ray Charles – “That Spirit of Christmas”

Alabama – “Christmas in Dixie”

Destiny’s Child – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – This song was released several years ago as an “extra” for anyone who purchased the DVD re-release of the animated classic “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” We have been listening to it ever since.

The Bird and the Bee – “Carol of the Bells”

The Eagles – “Please Come Home For Christmas”

Sarah McLachlan – “Silent Night”

Faith Hill – “O Holy Night”

Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas Is You”

Wham! – “Last Christmas” – This is one of those songs that you either love or hate. Though not really fans of George Michael, we like this one.

Jimmy Eat World – “Last Christmas” – This is our favorite cover of “Last Christmas.”

Leigh Nash – “Last Christmas” – Can you believe…

Hawk Nelson – “Last Christmas” – …how many times this song has been covered?


  • Denny Burk

    Nathan, I like Judy Garland’s too. Her rendition is on the Time-Life Treasury mentioned in the previous post.

    By the way, I moved Nat King Cole to the “Traditional” category. I put him on this list by accident.

  • J.A. Swanson

    James Taylor is just awesome no matter what he is singing (well, at least to me). Two years ago, my husband and I were able to attend one of his concerts at a small outdoor venue, here in Seattle. It was absolutely amazing! Love anything he sings!


  • Dana

    I always seem late to these threads, but I always like to put in a good word for Michael Mcdonald’s “Through the Many Winters” CD of 2005. I picked it up somewhat by accident, buying cards at Hallmark, and it’s become my favorite. Some of the tracks are on his later “This Christmas” CD, but not Christmas on the Bayou, Through the Many Winters, etc. Great voice, heartfelt renderings, simplicity all appeal to me. We also love our home taping of “Lessons and Carols” from Cambridge, “taped” (remember that?) years ago from NPR.

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