Christmas Music for the Whole Family
Last year at Christmas I found myself in a bit of a dilemma when it came to music. I wanted to listen to traditional Christmas carols, and I wanted my children to become familiar with them, but most of the Christmas music in my collection just wasn’t great listening for children. The albums I did have that were kid-friendly either threw in lots of songs about Santa and other non-Christ-centered elements of our cultural Christmas celebration, or else featured cartoonish voices that grated on my nerves rather quickly. I knew there had to be something out there with children’s voices singing the classics, but Arianna was a newborn and I wasn’t really up to searching.
This year I started early, found a few resources I really liked, and took December off from our usual composer study in favor of focusing on Christmas carols. My favorite Christmas CD comes with a book: Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart. We didn’t read the stories of the carols this year, but probably will go through next year during Advent. In addition to using mostly children’s voices on the CD, it also includes all the verses, which I really appreciate.
Another good album that has LOTS of great songs on it is the Christmas Carols CD from Cedarmont Kids (also available as an MP3 download on Amazon, so you can listen to samples.) This one sounds a little more like a stereotypical children’s recording, but I still find it enjoyable.
The last CD we used was A Classical Kids Christmas (also available as an MP3 download). I haven’t fully made up my mind about this album. It attempts to tell a story (I think) which I really couldn’t follow. I love the rest of the Classical Kids CDs, so I was a little disappointed with this album. Still, the production quality is excellent, and the music is beautiful. That’s really all I was looking for, so it’s still worth listening to (for us, anyway).
While I played everything on these CDs, I selected 4 carols that I wanted the boys to really feel like they knew, and then I put those at the beginning of our iPod playlist.
- Joy to the World
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
- Away in a Manger (I also had Ian learn this on the piano.)
- Silent Night
I figure these are songs they are guaranteed to hear throughout the season, especially at church, and I want them to recognize them and sing along. Next year we’ll add a few more to learn intentionally, and I’m sure they’ll be picking up others along the way. Hope you and your family are having a merry Christmas season!