Christmas. It's almost here. But can I tell you something? I dislike Christmas music. Is that okay to admit? Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year” unless you are a worship/music pastor in a church. Why? Because everyone loves Christmas music, just not “church” Christmas music. If
The other thing that makes “church” Christmas music difficult is that you only sing these songs once or twice a year, tops. Our praise team/band and worship choir learn one new song a month. That means we spend 4 or 5 Wednesdays (depending on the month) learning a new song to teach the congregation. We will then take 3 Sundays over the next month to teach the new song to the congregation. After that, we will sing/play the song whenever it fits into a particular Sunday’s worship set. But Christmas songs aren’t like that. We still take 4 or 5 Wednesdays to learn them, but then we only sing them one or two times leading up to Christmas. Then we wait eleven months before we break them out again. It’s really kind of frustrating.
So, what do we do? I mean, it’s Christmas, we have to sing something. Thankfully, a few years ago some worship artists started coming out with “Christmas” versions of their worship songs. Sometimes, they would change the lyrics on a verse to something about Christmas and the birth of Jesus. Other times they would take a traditional Christmas hymn and put it with the chorus of one of their songs. Either way, it’s a win/win situation. People get to sing songs about Christmas and the birth of Jesus, but they also get to worship with songs they are familiar with.
The artist who is the best at this (in my opinion) is Paul Baloche. He has actually published a couple of Christmas worship albums where he has taken traditional Christmas hymns and joined them with his modern worship songs. But my favorite modern Christmas worship song is his Christmas version of “Offering”. He added a new (Christmas) verse to his song and came up with something that feels new, familiar, and "Christmasy" all at the same time. The video is below. Enjoy!