In the Bleak Midwinter (performed by Sarah McLachlan)
One of my mum's favourite carols and one I only heard for the first time last year, since you don't hear it as often as some of the other carols. I like the quiet, simple way it's performed and Sarah has such a haunting voice that suits it so nicely.
Mary's Boy Child/ Oh My Lord(performed by Boney M)
I think this song (Mary's Boy Child) is purely sentimental. When I was little, my family would always go to my mum's friend's house on Christmas Eve. She has a son and daughter who are the same age as brother and I. It was a fairly long car ride there and we'd always put on our Boney M christmas album as we drove, with a big blanket keeping Adam and I warm in the back seat, and everyone would sing. I've never heard another rendition of this song that sounded 'right' since then.
Do You Hear What I Hear? (Performed by Martina McBride)
This was the song I wanted to sing for my first voice recital, but my teacher insisted it was too low for me. In any case, I love the theatrical feel to it, a story that builds with each verse and the gentle bum-bum-bum of the melody.
The First Noel (performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
What I actually ended up singing for my first voice recital. My favourite Christmas carol. Again, I like the fact that it tells a story that continues with each verse and it has my favourite descant in it (which I performed perfectly, after hours of practice and much worrying ;-)). A song that really needs a choir to sound 'right'. The recording's kind of quiet, so you may have to crank your volume a bit.
O Holy Night (Minuit Chretiens) (performed by Charlotte Church)
My mum's favourite carol, this one makes her cry when it's performed well. A song that everyone seems to want to 'pop' up, but a song that really shouldn't be popped up. I have a version in the original French, but the r's are rolled rather annoyingly in it. Charlotte hits that last wonderful note perfectly.
Little Drummer Boy (performed by Josh Groban)
I love the 'pa-rum-pa-pum-pum' parts to it and, again, the fact that it's a story. Josh's version has a wicked celtic feel to it that I love.
Petit Papa Noel (perfomed by Josh Groban)
I used to have a version with Celine Dion and the Chipmunks (seriously), but I seem to have lost it. An adorable little song, not often heard. I love the chorus: "My dear Santa Claus/ when you come down from the sky/ with your thousands of toys/ don't forget my little shoe/ but before you leave / you must cover yourself up warmly/ outside, you will be very cold/ and that's sort of my fault." I don't have a better version than this, and I find Josh makes it sound too dramatic, but you can get the general gist of it.
When a Child is Born (perfomed by several people)
A song I always feel doesn't necessarily have to be Christmas one. I like this one for its simplicity and the pretty lyrics. This one is performed by Sissel, Charles Aznavour, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.