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Stewardship's Christmas playlist - 2023

12 Christ-centred Christmas songs that inspire generosity

Dan Hames Dr Daniel Hames
4 min

‘Well it’s all about the kids, really, isn’t it?’

Our society can associate Christmas quite strongly with children – their innocent delight at Santa, snow, and presents. Christmas, for many people, revolves almost entirely around food, family time, and giving gifts. 

The thing is, Christmas is about children – well, the child. And it is about family and giving, as the Father shares with us his Son. And it is about food, as the Bread of Life is laid in the manger for the life of the world. 


In his classic hymn ‘Joy to the World’, Isaac Watts writes that Christ ‘makes the nations prove / The glories of His righteousness’ – and that is surely what’s going on as shops play Christmas carols, businesses send out cards (whether featuring robins or the Nativity), and communities stop working and trading for a few days. The nations cannot help themselves from ‘proving’ and marking the glory of the incarnation as the Son of God steps in the world.

So, join in as ‘heaven and nature sing’ this Christmas with these twelve songs which self-consciously and joyfully proclaim Jesus the child, the gift, the light and life of the world. 

We hope they inspire you to celebration, joy, and generosity. 


1.    ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!’ by Stbs

The run up to Christmas has to begin in traditional style with this ancient song. It captures the desire of the people of God to see Emmanuel come to earth, triumph over the grave, save us, and bring us to himself.


2.    ‘Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus’ by Red Mountain Church

A lovely version of Charles Wesley’s classic Advent hymn about the expectation of the faithful Old Testament saints as they looked for the coming of Christ.


3.    ‘Hail to the Lord’s Anointed’ by Indelible Grace

This hymn, good for Advent and Epiphany, is based on Psalm 72 and wonderfully captures the love, joy, and hope of Jesus’ everlasting kingdom.


4.    ‘Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)’ by Chris Tomlin

You’ll know this carol, but Chris Tomlin has added a chorus (as he tends to do). And it does rock along joyfully, celebrating with heaven and nature the arrival of the Son.


5.    ‘From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable (Immanuel)’ by Stoneleigh Worship Band 

This is vintage Stuart Townend: telling the story of the gospel with a strong incarnation theme – and inviting us to join in praise. You’ll be clapping by the end!


6.    ‘Comfort and Joy’ by Joyful Noise

An upbeat but reflective song, filled with Scripture quotations and allusions about the coming of Jesus into all our longing and storms.


7.    ‘O Holy Night’ by Josh Groban

‘Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we / Let all within us praise His holy name.’ You can’t add much to that! Except to say that this is an incredible version of a very well-covered song.


8.    ‘O Come, All You Unfaithful’ by Sovereign Grace

A reworking of a classic carol designed to preach the gospel in a fresh way to us in all our sin, fears, and need. Beautiful reassurance for anyone struggling or suffering.


9.    ‘Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery’ by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, and Kristyn Getty

Meditate on the ‘dawning of the King’ in this song, which runs through all that Christ has done for us in his birth, death, and rising to life.


10.    ‘Evermore’ by Phil Wickham

This is an ancient hymn set to an epic arrangement with orchestra and choir.


11.    ‘Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent’ by Red Mountain Church

A hushed and reverential reflection on the descent of Christ to our lowly place as the angels watch in amazement.


12.    ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ by Andrew Peterson

An invitation to look again at Jesus, the light and life of men, the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. A song of praise and wonder from an album full of more of the same. 


Stewardship's Christmas songs playlist

Please add the playlist to your Spotify account and listen along in your own time this Christmas.

More on generosity

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Written by

Dr Daniel Hames

Daniel is Associate Vice President of Union and author, with Michael Reeves, of God Shines Forth: How the Nature of God Shapes and Drives the Mission of the Church. He also leads worship at St Aldates Church, Oxford.