I like the usability of "Joy Unspeakable Joy" by Chris Tomlin. It's an easy one to pull out again as a Christmas congregational song.
But my most favorite Christmas song ever is probably, "This is Our God" by Travis Cottrell. It's not a mainstream choice, but we sing it year after year because we love it so much.
Recent songs that have caught my attention are "Just A Girl" by Brandon Heath and "Emmanuel" by Xiomi Skerbec.
Classic songs that always go over well are "Emmanuel" by Norman Hutchins and "Christmas Offering" by Paul Baloche
Songs that are great, but could use some updating are:
Wise Men Still Seek Him by Lanny Wolfe and Noel by Lanny Wolfe
A fantastic project that came out very recently is "Motown Christmas" produced by Aaron Lindsey
My absolute, ultimate, favorite Christmas song has always been and will always be "Christmas Time Is Here" in every version imaginable.
Last year for our musical we did Michael W. Smith's version of "Somewhere In My Memory" with our kids choir.
My favorite worshippy church songs weren't actually Christmas - we did "Light The Way" by James Fortune...still love that song.
And "Emmanuel" by Chris Tomlin.
The song by Eddie James titled "Santo" from the project Libre that was released in August. I like that I can use this for Christmas as well as in any service throughout the year.
If you know me at all, this may come as a slight shock...but my Favorite Christmas song that we've done the last several years is actually a Southern Gospel song "Your Presence" by Sisters (formerly known as The Ruppe's).
As you can see a common thread weaving through most of our comments, we all want something that is usable year round.
Our biggest "Hits" at Christmas time have been songs the congregation were already familiar with like:
"How Great Is Our God (Christmas)" (to my knowledge this version has not been recorded, so I took Judith Christie McAllister's version with the Christmas lyrics)
Other double-duty songs for us have been:
Joyful by Brenton Brown (our church really gets into the bridge: Jesus, You are my rescue)
Hope In Me by Mary Alessi (We did this for our "He Brought Hope" service and it's been used about 100 times since then, easy and upbeat)
Peace Speaker by Geron Davis (with a Christmas re-write on the first verse:
It was such a wint’ry day
And the Star was shining bright
Our blessed Savior had come our way
With no kings or queens in sight
Shepherds followed that star to this Holy sight
A virgin just gave birth to the Prince of Peace
On this sacred night .. Now...)
Suggestions from Heart Of Worship Conferences:
If you have attended Heart of Worship either of the last two years, you were given a list of recommendation list of songs broken down in categories...below are the Christmas Songs from each of the past two conferences:
Emmanuel by Xiomi Skerbec (as listed already)
King Jesus Is His Name by Judy Jacobs (80's Babbie Mason song that was revisited)
Name Above All Names by Judy Jacobs (Could be used at either Christmas or Easter)
O Come Let Us Adore Him/Come Holy Spirit by Jaye Thomas (this is usable all year long, I'm one that never gets tired of the simplicity of O Come Let Us Adore Him, it just works)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Kairos Music City Christmas
(A fun, energetic arrangement of a Christmas classic)
You Brought Us Peace by Norman Hutchins (This song was easy to teach, and the church caught it very quickly, making it a very usable song for us)