9 Unique Christmas Music Albums You Don’t Want to Miss

unique Christmas music

When does your family begin listening to Christmas music?  While some members of my family (*coughmyhusbandcough*) insist that we wait until well past Thanksgiving to enjoy Christmas music, others of us sneak in our favorite holiday tunes much earlier!

Each year, classic family Christmas favorites join new tunes and recent discoveries to create a memorable soundtrack for our family’s Christmas season.

If you’re looking for some fun, fresh sounds to enliven your Christmas music enjoyment, don’t miss these 9 unique Christmas albums.

unique Christmas music

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1. Mountain Aires: Christmas

The Mountain Aires explore both traditional songs and their own compositions in a blend of traditional Celtic, folk, and bluegrass sounds.

My brother and other homeschooled teens started this bluegrass band during highschool.  The Christmas album was their second recording.  Echo the Legacy, their original album, is worth listening to year-round!

Give this album a try if you’re looking for Celtic or bluegrass instrumental Christmas music!

2. Kate Rusby: Sweet Bells

I’m a huge Kate Rusby fan. Rusby is an English singer-songwriter whose music often combines elements of traditional and folk elements along with a bit of English and Celtic flair. She has one of the purest sounding voices. It is a pure joy to listen to Rusby’s music, and her Christmas album, Sweet Bells, is no exception!

3. A Slugs and Bugs Christmas

If you enjoy a good bit of silliness mixed in with the serious, Slugs and Bugs Christmas is for you!  This is technically a children’s album, but our whole family laughs and sings along.

4. Sing the Bible Family Christmas

This album was released last year, but it quickly has become one of my all-time favorite albums not only at Christmas, but all year long!  The lyrics are taken straight from Scripture, and the music is inspired by the jazz music from Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

My favorite track is “When the Fullness of Time Had Come.”  It still brings me to tears.  I cannot recommend this CD enough!  (And if you like this Christmas music, be sure to check out the other 3 volumes of Sing the Bible music!)

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5. Loreena McKennitt: A Midwinter Night’s Dream

If you like ethereal, haunting melodies and unique instrumentals, you need to check out Loreena McKennitt’s A Midwinter Night’s Dream album! McKennitt’s music always sounds mysterious and uniquely beautiful! (Not Christmas-related, but I do love her versions of “The Lady of Shallot” and “The Highwayman”!)

6. The Birth of Jesus

If you want peaceful, tranquil Christmas music with a bit of a medieval flavor, I recommend John Michael Talbot’s Christmas album!ย  ย I love his rendition of “O, How a Rose E’er Blooming”!

7. Rosie Thomas: A Very Rosie Christmas

A Very Rosie Christmas combines unique versions of classic Christmas songs with some of Thomas’s original tunes. Ethereal vocals, joy, with that wonderful singer-songwriter flair.

8. Handel’s Young Messiah

I will likely shock all the Handel purists out there (and my IRL friends who know how much I love the original Handel’s Messiah) when I suggest you add the Young Messiah to your Christmas music rotation!  It takes the original words and music of Handel and gives them a unique twist.

Unfortunately, the original album my husband grew up listening to is not easily accessible any longer.  Keep your eye out for this album cover, however, when you’re shopping thrift stores!

There is a newer Young Messiah which we also own and enjoy.  But nothing quite replaces our love for the original.  Part of that is personal: Phil Driscoll’s recording of “The Trumpet Shall Sound” so inspired my husband and me that we used that song for our wedding recessional!  Here is that track for your enjoyment:

9. Behold the Lamb of God

This is likely not new Christmas music to many of you. But if you’re one of the few who does not already know and love this album, don’t let another Christmas season pass you by!

Andrew Peterson has created a beautiful album that gives us gorgeous and Advent-appropriate music to enjoy.  The tracks start with the promises and longing of the Old Testament believers and lead us gradually thru the story of redemption.  There’s even a slightly silly song for Matthew’s Begats!  This Christmas album is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

Bonus Unique Christmas Music Recommendations:

Looking for even more fun Christmas ideas? Don’t miss my advent round-up!

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I’ve curated beautiful, delightful Advent Memory Work so you don’t have to. Get your copy here.

What are your favorite Christmas songs to enjoy?  Do you have any unique Christmas music suggestions?  Share in the comments!

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13 thoughts on “9 Unique Christmas Music Albums You Don’t Want to Miss”

  1. Thanks for sharing these Christmas selections. I’m not tech savvy and wish I could find them all in CD form.

  2. Mountain Aires Christmas CD was the first gift my now husband gave to me the year we started courting. He was Zachโ€™s wing-mate at PHC and loved their music. (Actually, for my birthday 5 days before Christmas, he gave me their original CD, so I would have the complete set ๐Ÿ˜‰ He played his own copy in the car and I still think of him driving me home and the almost last stop sign every time I hear their Be Thou My Vision. Anyway, some of these other selections look super โ€“ definitely will check some of them out!

    1. Oh, what sweet memories! Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how certain CDs or playlists have such vivid memories attached to places, times, or even smells. I will never be able to listen to Loreena McKennit’s Lady of Shallot or Dvorak’s Cello Concerto without being transported back to my freshman dorm room with my dear friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ We played those songs (and a few others with which I won’t bore you) on repeat!

  3. I am so happy you enjoy poetry with your children! I’ve been writing poetry since I was 11 & I’m now 52! I have hundreds that I want to get published into a book -if only as a legacy to my children.
    One of our goals is to learn to play the piano. We have a beautiful one that came with our home! Right now I can only play Mary had a little lamb!
    We love to sing as a family & have several Christmas songbooks. I don’t have a favorite song, however Glor…Ian en excelsious Gloria tends to stick with me ALL year! Dec.1st we divide ALL our songbooks, CDs, records & tapes & sing & listen to Christmas music through New Year’s Eve! It’s a nice way to ring in the New Year!
    I played a chord organ as a child, but ALL the notes were numbered. I understand #’s & my kids do too much better than the notes alphabetical. Do you know how I can find how to # the piano keys?
    Do you know of a reputable Christian self publishing company? & also where I can download or purchase flashcards for addition, subtraction, multiplication & division?
    God bless you & yours, I’m thankful for your blog.
    Sincerely, MaryBeth Myers

    1. What a delightful legacy to pass on to your children! I hope you can find a good resource for publishing them. Alas, I do not know of any Christian self-publishing companies to share with you.

      For math facts, I love the super fun, easy, hands-on games Kate Snow suggests. This flip-and-check printable is also a good option for fact drill.

      That’s amazing that a beautiful piano came with your home! โค We emphasize note-reading in our piano studies to try to prepare the kids for entering a room with a piano, being handed a hymnal, and being asked to play. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not familiar with the process for numbering the keys. I think the Faber series is *excellent* and easy to approach even with little musical background. Here is the adult beginner guide.

      Thanks for commenting, MaryBeth! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This is an incredible list. Thank you so much! I take my Christmas listening experience very seriously and I am always looking for albums to add to my playlist.

  5. I love unique and diverse Christmas albums. My favorite is Seabird’s “Over the Hills and Everywhere”. They take traditional carols and give them new, beautiful melodies. Their version of Go, Tell It on the Mountain is actually the only version I like of that song because I’ve never liked the tune. Other favorites are: Over the Rhine-Snow Angels, Joy Electric-The Magic of Christmas (so fun!) Future of Forestry- Advent Christmas EP, Sufjan Stevens-Songs for Christmas, TobyMac-Christmas in Diverse City, and Relient K-Deck the Halls, Bruise your Hand.

  6. The Andrew Peterson and Slugs and Bugs albums are among my most favorites – so I’m guessing we’ll enjoy a lot of the others! I’m always looking for new Christmas listening material and I tend to enjoy things off the beaten path. Another one that I really love is Nathan Clark George’s “Still.” Unfortunately it’s a little hard to find digitally but it’s full of old English and German carols with a mildly bluegrass instrumentation and because it’s a solo singer, I feel like I can appreciate the words more than in the classical choral arrangements. And a final favorite is Elizabeth Mitchell’s “Sounding Joy.” She’s a children’s folk singer. The album is a mix of traditional carols, spirituals, and folk songs. Her Joy to the World is one of my favorites.

    Thanks for this list!

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