Christmas may be more of a consumer holiday today than it’s been throughout history, but for Christians, it’s a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Many traditional Christmas songs come from the religion, with hymns being incredibly popular during that time of year. From songs featured in plays and reenactments of Jesus’ birth to some Christmas classics everyone has heard, plenty of Christmas songs are out there to make your religious holiday perfect.
In this article, we’ll look at 31 of the best Christian Christmas songs to get you into the holiday spirit.
1. We Three Kings – Dolly Parton
We Three Kings is an absolute classic of the Christmas season and integral to telling the story of Jesus’ birth. The three kings in the song are the three wise men who visited Jesus and brought gifts for the Messiah. It’s almost directly lifted from the Book of Matthew and was written by John Henry Hopkins Jr. in 1857.
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Celtic Women
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing has been a Christmas song for a very long time and is one of the best songs of the season. From hearing it on A Charlie Brown Christmas specials to singing it among caroling groups, it’s a song almost everyone has heard. It’s also a song celebrating the birth of Jesus and welcoming Him into the world.
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3. Away In A Manger – Sarah McLachlan
Away In A Manger is another of the best songs for telling the story of Jesus’ birth. He’s laid down in a manger because there’s no other place for Him to stay. It is a very uncomfortable place to stay in but a fittingly humble start for a soul so pure. It’s a significant Christmas song that you’ll often hear carolers singing or hear during a play.
4. Do You Hear What I Hear – Home Free
Do You Hear What I Hear? is one of the best-known Christmas songs on this list. While most songs of the season are fairly old, this one was written as recently as 1962. That version was really about the fear of nuclear war, but its meaning has changed over the years to refer to Jesus and the Christmas season as a whole.
5. O Little Town of Bethlehem – Nat King Cole
Many artists have recorded their own versions of O Little Town of Bethlehem. It was written after a trip to the Holy Land, where Philips Brooks got to visit the town his Savior was born. For decades, it has remained a classic song for kids around Christmas time and is a good reminder about the birthplace of Jesus.
6. The First Noel – Carrie Underwood
The First Noel is another of the best Christmas songs of all time, but it’s also a church hymn. While you might hear it at some point over the speakers in a shopping mall, it fits just as well into a Christmas church service and celebrates the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem.
7. Good Christian Men, Rejoice – Dominican House of studies
This is by far the oldest song to find a place on our list, dating all the way back to 1328. Actual Dominican friars sing it, and the mystic who wrote it credits the lyrics to legitimate angels. What better song is there to sing about the coming of Christ than one given directly to us by the angels of God?
8. O Come O Come Emmanuel – Lauren Daigle
Here’s another one of the best hymns to sing around Christmas time. It’s a holiday bop (when it comes to hymns) that welcomes Jesus into the world and thanks him for being born. It’s a song of celebration for the faithful that will get you in just the right mindset for a religious Christmas holiday.
9. Ave Maria – Andrea Bocelli
Ave Maria is a beautiful song, and it’s even more beautiful when someone as talented as Andrea Bocelli picks it up. It’s meant to be the ultimate tribute to Jesus’ mother, Mary of Nazareth, and praises his mother for her role in delivering the Lord to the faithful.
10. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
Hallelujah is one of the best celebratory songs for the Christmas season and is perfect for Christians celebrating the holiday. It fits into a church service just as well as a caroling group, making it one of those songs that give you the best of both worlds.
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11. He Shall Reign Forevermore – Chris Tomlin
Praise and worship songs are an integral part of the Christmas season for Christians. It’s not just a season of happiness; it’s a season to remember the entire reason you have a hope of a life with God one day. He Shall Reign Forevermore is one of those hymns perfect for a Christmas Eve church service.
12. All Is Well – Michael w. Smith feat. carrie underwood
All Is Well is a very powerful Christian song. It’s all about everything being okay in your soul because you know your ultimate destination. But, the hymn also works incredibly well during the Christmas season to recognize the birth of Jesus. Knowing that he was here, died, and rose from the dead are all things that can make you feel as though all is well with your soul.
13. Glory To The Lamb – Marvin Sapp
Marvin Sapp’s version of Glory To The Lamb might be the best one out there. It’s a song that praises Jesus in a contemporary way that saw a lot of success on the Christian charts.
14. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Frank Sinatra
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear is one of the few songs here that aren’t overtly talking about God or Jesus. Instead, it discusses angels playing above us on Earth and wishing for peace on Earth, sentiments synonymous with the Christian Christmas, making it a classic of the season over the years.
15. O Holy Night – Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is a bit synonymous with Christmas thanks to the ridiculous amount of airplay her single All I Want For Christmas Is You gets, but that’s far from the only Christmas songs she produced. For a more religious experience that still uses her amazing vocals, try listening to O Holy Night from one of her Christmas albums.
16. Joy To The World – Chris tomlin
You can pick from an almost endless number of artists who have recorded Joy To The World. The hymn celebrates Jesus coming to Earth and is based on one of the Psalms. It speaks to the incredible joy the faithful feel knowing their Lord came to our world and their faith will be rewarded one day, celebrating the birth of the Savior during Christmas.
17. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Pentatonix
Pentatonix put a new spin on an old song with this one. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a traditional Christmas song in England that dates from some time in the 16th century. It’s one of those perfect Christmas songs, originating in the carol halls of London and coming to us as a reminder to rest during the holiday despite all the merry cheer.
18. o’ Come, All Ye Faithful – Luther Vandross
O’ Come All Ye Faithful is credited to John Francis Wade, having him pen the song back in 1760. It’s one of the best Christian Christmas songs out there, with an upbeat melody that brings the joy of the holiday to life and serves as a rallying cry for the faithful to come to worship.
19. Silent Night – Josh Groban
How could we forget Silent Night on this list? Even among the nonreligious people who celebrate Christmas, this song sees plenty of play during the holiday season. You can pick from a lot of artists’ versions of this Christmas standard, but we like the one Josh Groban recorded.
20. Go Tell It On The Mountain – Sara Evans
Go Tell It On The Mountain has the distinction of being more than a Christmas song. It became extremely popular among civil rights groups in the face of segregation, but it was published as early as 1907 by John Wesley Work Jr. It’s a beautiful song that has found its way into the Christmas repertoire.
21. Little Drummer Boy – The Trapp Family
Little Drummer Boy was originally recorded by the Trapp Family in 1951, and it’s become a standard of the Christmas holiday. It’s one of the best songs for vocalists to pick up and brings a lot of emotions, perfect for instilling a Christmas spirit in both the Christians and heathens of the world.
22. O Come Let Us Adore Him – Hillsong Worship
O Come Let Us Adore Him might show up all year in church services, but the real version of the song is about the story of Christmas. It’s a call for everyone to come and celebrate the birth of Jesus, drawing people in to worship the coming Savior and remember his birth during the holiday season.
23. Mary, Did You Know? – Pentatonix
There are not many Christmas songs out there that are written from the perspective of Jesus’ mother, Mary. A few praise her, but few are so unique as Mary, Did You Know? Pentatonix is the one that does this song the most justice, and it’s an awesome yet slept-on song for religious holidays.
24. A Christmas Alleluia – Chris tomlin feat. lauren daigle & Leslie Jordan
If you’re looking for a slow, emotional Christmas song, then look no further than A Christmas Alleluia. Lauren Daigle did a very good version of the song, but live versions with Chris Tomlin are just as powerful and evocative. As the title suggests, it’s a Christian celebration of Christmas, perfect for your religious holiday and getting everyone in the right mindset.
25. What A Glorious Night – Sidewalk Prophets
Sidewalk Prophets don’t only put out songs for the Christmas season, but What A Glorious Night is the perfect option for your holiday. It celebrates the night Jesus was born, calling it a glorious evening and marking it as one of the most important in history.
26. The thrill of hope (advent hymn) – Christy Nockels
The Thrill Of Hope (Advent Hymn) is a traditional Christmas song praising the glory of Jesus Christ and calling his birth and life a triumph over death. If you’re looking for a song to put yourself in the right mindset for the holiday, you’ve found it.
27. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus – Laura Story
If you look at prophecy, Jesus’ coming was foretold long before it happened. Many waited their entire lives for the Messiah, and some are even waiting today. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is a song that welcomes the birth of Christ and the coming of the Lord, expressing how long everyone waited for him and how needed he is on Earth.
28. All Glory Be To Christ – Kings Kaleidoscope
All Glory Be To Christ rightfully gives all honors, glory, and accolades to Jesus. It’s a fitting song for a Christian Christmas and one that should be in your repertoire in the first place.
29. Winter Snow – Chris Tomlin feat. audrey assad
If you don’t live where it snows, this song probably won’t be as impactful for you. I just got to finally see a white Christmas, the first one I’d experienced in decades. But Winter Snow by Chris Tomlin is one of your best options for a contemporary Christian song celebrating the Christmas season.
30. You Are Holy – Michael W. Smith
These last two entries are worship songs more than holiday songs, but for many Christians, these two kinds of songs are mostly interchangeable. Depending on the version you listen to (or sing), You Are Holy can become an intricate layer of voices that will make you feel Jesus in the room with you.
31. Hosanna – Hillsong Worship
Hosanna is another song that’s more of a worship hymn than a Christmas song, but it directly celebrates and praises Jesus, so it fits well as a song of the season. You’ll also come to find it’s one of the prettiest worship songs out there, especially when sung by a group of talented vocalists.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.