*** This is a rough transcript of today’s show ***

It is the 20th of December 2021. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org; I’m Dan van Voorhis.

It is the most wonderful time of the year- 5 days until Christmas, and we have a Monday mailbag that deals with one of my favorite things ever- music for Christmas and today, we here at CHA have a gift for you.

So around early December, I start getting emails about particular versions of Christmas songs- I get texts asking if I’ve “heard this one.” Frankly, I missed my calling as North Pole DJ. So- today’s mailbag is answering a slew of different messages asking me about Christmas music. Today I have my favorite versions of my favorite Christmas Carols. You can always go to 1517.org/almanac for the show notes that will have this list but also, if you are on Apple Music, you can search playlists for “A Very CHA Christmas 2021” for all of these songs that service. (I no longer have Spotify, but that would be awesome if someone has both and can create a Spotify one. Also- search “Dan’s Christmas Gift to You” for more Christmas music.

When I list my favorites, I do so in three categories- Hymns, Traditional, and Pop. There is undoubtedly overlap- but let’s get to it. I’ve got two versions for each track.


Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Kings College Cambridge and Chet Baker

O Holy Night

AKA Cantique Noel- Stan Kenton and Whitney Houston

I Heard the Bells

The Civil Wars and Jane Monheit

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Burl Ives

In the Bleak Midwinter

Dan Fogelberg/Sarah McLachlan


Sleigh Ride

Ronettes and Mel Torme

Christmas Waltz

Nancy Wilson and David Benoit Trio live featuring Jane Monheit

White Christmas

Otis Redding and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

James Taylor and Keston County Cobblers Club

The Christmas Song

Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald


Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Darlene Love (Death Cab or Hanson, maybe)

Last Christmas

Wham! But really, Carly Rae Jepsen

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah, and we don’t need other versions

Fairytale of New York

Pogues- same as above

TIE- Happy Xmas (War is Over) and Wonderful Christmastime

John and Paul reunited!

The Last Word for today comes from the Gospel of Luke and maybe the 1st Christmas (or Advent) hymn- the Magnificat:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,

he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;

he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham, and to his posterity forever.”

This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 20th of December 2021 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.

The show is produced by a man who is nice and rosy, and comfy- he is Christopher Gillespie.

The show is written and read by a man who reminds you that at Christmas time, we let in light and banish… shade? I’m Dan van Voorhis.

You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.