18 Non-Traditional Christmas Songs You Should Know

Updated on September 11, 2019
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

Artist, photographer, designer—Gina believes that the main purpose of the arts is to enrich lives, making life a more pleasant experience.

1. "The Christmas Shoes" by NewSong

The story that inspired NewSong’s ballad about a young boy’s quest to buy his sick mother a pair of shoes so she could "look beautiful/If mama meets Jesus tonight" actually began as an annual Christmas reading that St. Louis radio listeners had come to love.

The song depicts the "sincere honesty and pure love this little boy had for his mother at Christmas, when we’re usually so caught up in worrying about gifts,"

2. "One Last Christmas" by Matthew West

It was a story that was heard around the world. Dax Locke, a sweet little boy barely a year old, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and traveled, with his devoted parents, several hundred miles from his small town of Washington, Ill.. to receive medical care at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Dax bravely battled his disease for well over a year, spending 15 months at St. Jude before doctors determined in the fall of 2009 that there were no more medical treatments available, and sadly told his parents, Austin and Julie Locke, that he probably would not live through December.

Determined to give their son one last Christmas, the family returned to Washington, decorated their home, bought a tree and purchased presents for Dax, even though it was only October. As the story caught on, their hometown and then the entire state of Illinois followed suit, and thousands of people also decorated their homes for the holiday, putting Christmas lights out in the fall that read ‘DAX.’ CNN heard the story, and soon pictures were flooding in from people around the world who were also putting up holiday decorations all over their houses to pay honor to Dax as he fought for his life, and celebrate the holiday a little early with the brave little boy.

3. "Crying For A Christmas" by Scott Krippayne

"My world is crying,
Crying for a Christmas
Some way to know for sure -
That our God is with us
We could all use a sign
A little glimpse of divine
For a world that still cries for Christmas"

I think this is just such a brilliant and beautiful song. These words speak straight to my heart right now. It acknowledges my sadness, my pain, yet still offers hope and meaning all at the same time.

4. "Christmas In Heaven" by Sarah Schieber

In 2007, Sarah's husband, Chad, collapsed and died while they were both running in the Chicago marathon. A police officer in Midland, Michigan, Chad was only 35 years old and left behind Sarah with their three young children. Sarah, who had just released an independent CD at the time of Chad's death, has been sharing her story of grief, heartache, and hope with people across the country.

I pray this song will comfort those who have lost loved ones and are facing the holidays alone.

5. "My Grown-Up Christmas" by Kelly Clarkson

"My grown up christmas list

Not for myself

But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart

That wars would never start

And time would heal all hearts

And everyone would have a friend

And right would always win

And love would never end

This is my grown up christmas."

6. "What God Wants For Christmas" by Darius Rucker

This song is grounded in the religious meaning of the holiday and delivers a perfect sacred message in what can seem an increasingly secular season.

"I wonder what God wants for Christmas,

What might put a smile on His face.

Every Bible with no dust, the devil givin’ up

Might be what’s on His wishlist."

7. "Give Love On Christmas Day" by Johnny Gill

"Why don't you give love on Christmas Day
Oh even the man who has everything
Would be so happy if you would bring
Him love on Christmas Day,
No greater gift is there than love."

8. "Every Year, Every Christmas" by Luther Vandross

I am sure that many of us can relate to the pain and fear of losing someone. Luther Vandross really pours out his heart in this song, "Every Year Every Christmas," and if you have lost someone close, Christmas, and the Holidays can be a very difficult time for you.

9. "The Heart of Christmas" by Matthew West

"The Heart of Christmas" is the title song from the GMC movie The Heart of Christmas based on the incredible true story of the Locke family and the community that gave a little boy one last Christmas. Please be sure to listen to, and watch the video for, "The Heart of Christmas."

10. "When Hope Came Down" by Kari Jobe

11. "Christmas Offering" by Casting Crowns

12. "A Christmas To Believe In" by Matthew West

Every year we get so caught up in the materialism of the Holidays, when we should be enjoying the moments spent with family and friends. This song really spells out those heart-felt desires of our hearts.

"More than just a Merry Christmas
I'm wishing you a Christmas to believe in
Where the moments turn to memories
And years from now you'll close your eyes and see them
More than just another busy season
I'm wishing you a Christmas to believe in"

13. "Do You Have Room?" by Shawna Belt Edwards

This song asked such a poignant question: Do you have room? Although it originally asked the question based on having room for Jesus in our hearts, I believe this song has so much more meaning, especially this Christmas, with everything that has been happening in the country. Do we have room in our hearts for compassion? Do we have room in our hearts for love? Do we have room in our hearts to share what we have with those in need? Do we have room in our hearts for humanity?

14. "A Baby Changes Everything" by Faith Hill

This song has several meanings to me. Nine months ago, I became a grandmother. I can still remember the day when my son came to me and told me that he was to become a father. I was not happy. Both he and the mother-to-be were very young. They had not yet begun to live their lives, and soon they were to become parents.

Plans went into effect to prepare for this bundle of joy. She is the most precious thing you can imagine, but she has changed all of our lives, in a very good way.

I can only imagine what Mary went through, as a teenager, being told that she was going to bear the Son of God. She was engaged to Joseph, and was now being visited by an Angel to be told she would give birth to the child who would save mankind. I can only guess that she must have felt what any first-time expectant mother feels....excitement, fear of the unknown, all the feeling associated with the changes in the body, nausea.....unprepared for what was to come. A baby really changes everything.

15. "Joseph's Lullaby" by Mercy Me

16. "A Strange Way To Save The World" by 4Him

Joseph must have been thrown for a loop when he heard that his unwed fiancee was pregnant, especially since in that day and age unwed pregnancy was unheard of. I can imagine how confused and bewildered he must have been when the angel explained things to him. I am sure it must have taken quite some time to sink in, but seeing the Son of the Living God lying in that manger must have been an eye-opening experience for him. Then he began asking himself, and surely God as well, why? Why did it have to be me? He must have doubted his ability to raise a child, seeing as he had no experience with fatherhood. Then, understanding the purpose for which Jesus was sent, Joseph felt compassion for the babe, knowing that he would suffer great anguish before his end. The baby must have seemed so small to him, and yet the shoulders of the man he would become would one day bear the weight of the world's sins on his shoulders.

17. "Breath Of Heaven" by Amy Grant

18. "Mary Did You Know?" By Pentatonix

What's your favorite part of the Holidays?

See results

Bonus video: "A Different Kind Of Christmas" by Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz is no stranger to heartache. ‘Different Kind Of Christmas’ was written to honor his wife’s father who passed away two years ago.

Bonus video

There are so many kids in foster care right now. All they want for Christmas is to be at home or with a family.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse


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    • profile image


      6 months ago

      Great list! I love obscure Christmas music. Here's a playlist of some lesser-known Christmas songs: https://open.spotify.com/user/qaz23/playlist/22Hs4...

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      3 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Well, I am so glad to share them with you, Shauna. Enjoy.

      Merry Christmas.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Gina, the only song I'm familiar with in this list is Mary Did You Know?. The first time I heard it, it brought tears to my eyes.

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful list and introducing me to some wonderful music.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      3 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Rachel. Thanks for visiting. Yes, I am familiar with "Mary, did you know?" It is on the list above.....the very last song. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by, and leaving your feedback. I appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Rachel Alba 

      3 years ago

      Hi Gina, You're right, these are really beautiful songs. There is another one that is recently becoming popular, "Mary Did You Know?" Thank you for bringing them to light.

      Blessings to you.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      3 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Alicia and Ms. Dora. These are some of my favorite Christmas songs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Happy to share them, Alicia. Thank you, Ms. Dora, for those sweet words. Yes, the stories that inspired many of these songs are very touching. I hope my story can be as inspiring as these. Thanks, again, Ms. Dora.

      Thank you for visiting. I'm currently in recovery mode from another surgery, and of course, music is very good therapy...especially really good Christmas music.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      All the stories which give birth to these songs are inspiring. Your is also. thanks for introducing these songs which we really should know.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never heard of these songs, either. Thanks for sharing them, Gina. I'm always happy to learn about new music.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      3 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Bill. Thanks for visiting. You know, I grew up listening to all the traditional Christmas Carols, but over the years so many of these songs captured my attention and my heart.

      I'm so happy to share them, as I am aware that many others, like yourself, may not have heard of them.

      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oddly I haven't heard of even one of them. Sigh! Thanks for the list. I guess I'll go listen to music now.


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