Think You Hate Christmas Music?

Find traditional Christmas music grating, irrelevant or just plain silly? I’ve never been a fan of separating music in to sacred and secular categories–particularly at Christmas. What better time to be reminded that the holy and the human are inextricably intertwined? I think all (most?) music can be sacred if it touches your heart, reveals to you a universal truth, expands your understanding of God and God’s people or just makes you feel seen.

With that in mind, here is your Doubting Believer Guide to Christmas music for people who hate Christmas music.

This song from the Killers, featuring Elton John, tells us how Joseph’s friends really felt about his predicament.


Didn’t know this was a Christmas song? It’s clearly a song of Mary.


This song makes me laugh and cry. The scene it sets is hilarious, yet incredibly moving. Something powerful happens when we gather together at the table.


Can’t relate to Christmas songs about Hallmark-card looking families? Here’s one for you.


And another one for those dysfunctional family gatherings. After all, how many of us think our family is the weird one, and everyone else has picture-perfect celebrations? Yeah, not true at all.


Like Wonder, this is not traditionally thought of as a Christmas song, but for those whose December has been hard because of illness, relationship problems, grief or anxiety, this is your song. An acknowledgement that it’s been hard and an offering of hope that the coming year will be better.


This remake of Cheap Trick’s I Wish It Was Christmas Today always makes me smile.


Whether it is through time-honored traditional hymns, new fangled pop songs or some of the above tunes, may you find music that makes your heart sing this Christmas.

Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.


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