This Year's Model - What's Your Take On The New Christmas Music?

12.22.08 | Cecil Van Houten | Comments[12]

Family Life is well into its Christmas programming for 2008.  We've added a number of songs from Christmas albums that released this year including BarlowGirl, Travis Cottrell, Casting Crowns, Sixpence None The Richer, Faith Hill, Mandisa and Point of Grace. 

What's your take on the new songs?  Some are the artist's versions of standards, some are new originals.  Do they stack up compared to your favorite Christmas songs?  Do you prefer hearing the traditional carols done by your favorite artists or do you enjoy original new songs?  Or some of both?  What do you think makes a good Christmas song?  I'd be curious to know your thoughts.

Also, have you listened to our 100% streaming Christmas audio feed?  The reaction from listeners has been overwhelmingly positive.  If we offered other similar feeds with minimal interruption in different music formats, would you listen?


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 12.15.08 Derek Jacobs commented

Dear Cecil,

I really enjoy the original new songs. The older favorites are ok, but you hear them all the time everywhere you go during the Christmas season. I really have enjoyed the newer songs that you guys have been playing. There was one song in particular that I really enjoyed, but I don't know the title or the artist who sang it. It was a song sung from the viewpoint of Mary, she was asking the Lord to send angel's to Joseph to tell him about the baby that she would have so that he wouldn't leave her. If you know the song I'm refering to and could tell me the title and artist I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for your ministry!


on 12.17.08 Mike Pridmore commented

I have appreciated the music lineup for Christmas music. I like a mix of "old" and "new". I like the old songs with the artists style of arrangment. For Example: Oh, Holy Night by David Phelps.I like the song by Casting Crowns called "While You Were Sleeping".

Although there is nothing necessarily "wrong" with it, but I prefer not to hear the Santa Clausey songs. My prefernce is to hear Christ centered music.

This station makes my work day go much better with it than without it. I appreciate the work you people do.

P.S. The song Derek mentioned, I heard that one too and I also would like that information if possible.

on 12.19.08 Mark O'Donal commented

I do like the older Christmas music from Bing and Burl and Kenny Rogers as long as it is occasional. I do not like the Rudolph and Santa music, it makes "our" station like all the others, instead of the Lords. When I heard Neil Diamond I was disturbed in my spirit. The new songs from the Christian artists are excellent and true to Family Life Form.

on 12.19.08 Mark O'Donal commented

I don't mind the older Christmas songs as long as they are Christ centered instead of Santa centered. The new songs from Christian artists are great and true to Family Life's form.

on 12.23.08 Mary Lusk commented

I work in the public schools and was able to play the Christmas streaming all day. Many of the children commented on the music and the fact that it was playing on the radio through the computer.
I would DEFINATELY listen at other holidays and perhaps all the time if this option was available.
Thanks for all you do.

on 12.22.08 Peter Lautensack commented


The mix this year is definitely different than the play list from years past.

As others have commented, the station has sort of 'blurred' its message by including many more 'secular' feel good songs like Jingle Bells, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Frosty the Snowman being played much more frequently.

I would prefer a better mix, especially in the morning, with less artists repeated multiple times within a couple of hours. As noted, you tend to play Denver very frequently (2 times in 1.5 hrs this AM) and underplay others such as Michael W Smith and Michael Card

I do enjoy mixing the modern versions of the carols with the traditional versions and new Christmas songs such as Mandisa's Christmas Makes Me Cry and Josh Groban's I'll be Home for Christmas, but also enjoy Big Daddy Weave and Twila's albums which don't seem to be played very much.

It would be nice to have Tim do the evening call in show one night during the week so we could call in requests for favorite Christmas Carols and songs.

So my suggestion would be to remain true to the stations mission, less 'secular/seasonal' songs, more 'the meaning of Christmas' focused songs, mix the old choral and choir 'standards' with the new Third Day, Casting Crowns, Amy Grant arrangements, add some new styles from Josh and Mandisa and don't over-repeat certain artists.

Thanks for the station and keep pointing to Jesus

Blessings and Merry Christmas


on 12.18.08 Joshua Stormont commented

I have listened to the Christmas streaming and have enjoyed the music. I think I like a mixture of Christmas music; I like the classic songs sung by the classic singers like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, or Nat King Cole. But, I like the new singers singing the classics like Casting Crowns singing I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day. Also, I like new artists create new christmas carols like Newsong did with Christmas Shoes or Josh Groban with Thankful. I think that soon these will be classics too like White Christmas or Jingle Bells. To me, a Christmas song is the best when it is quiet and peaceful sort of like Silent Night; but I think the upbeat are good I just like the quiet and peaceful and ones that have choirs and skillful played instruments like violins, flutes, trumpets, and the like. I love the music of Josh Groban's cd. Overall, there is nothing out there in Christian Christmas music that I do not like. I think all is good when it is giving praise to God and joy and happiness to the heart of the person. Thank you for the music you play and hope that you will play a little bit more variety like I think I've heard Denver and MHO sing Little Drummer Boy twice in one day. I think there is enough Christmas songs out there for it only to be played once in a day. I do have one thing to ask; not for just Christmas music but for all year round, could you please play more Steve Green. I miss hearing his voice on the radio; he does have a new album out and I have never heard one of the songs on the cd on your radio station. Just something for you to consider. Thanks for all that you do as a radio ministry. Merry Christmas!

on 12.26.08 Karl Geisenhof commented

I really enjoyed much of the Christmas music played this year. I did not hear enough Michael Card or Ray Boltz or the Brooklyn Tab. There was too much by commercial artists about commercial entities, although SC began as a human. Groban was a great addition, the Beach Boys weren't. Please keep Christ in Christmas on Christmas. Omit those others.
Also, Please play some Christmas musis throughout the year!!

on 12.26.08 Leanna Weaver commented

Enjoyed the mix of traditional carols, new versions of old songs and new songs. We were disappointed to hear Santa Claus songs and because of it tended to turn the radio off and not bother listening. For folks who want that kind of music, those songs are available on enough of other stations without adding them to Family Life.

on 12.27.08 Polly Schneider commented

I have really enjoyed your station this Christmas, all the music has been great. I am a new listener from eastern pa. We just started getting your station here. What a blessing your station has been to us and we will continue to listen. Thank you for your station. I would also listen if you made the streamimg audio feed year round. Thanks again and God bless you!! Happy New year!!

on 12.31.08 Harry Fleming commented

We really enjoyed the Christmas music stream on the internet. However, like some of the other comments, we prefer to have a more Christ-centered music flow and not many secular, Santa Claus songs. The old favorites from Bing and Nat King Cole are usually good, but weren't big fans of Elvis Presley on our Christianradio station. We are concerned over the shift in music that we are hearing played on FLN. I do have to agree with Josh that I would like to hear more Steve Green and GLAD. Some of the older artists are just are good, (and in my opinion better) than some of the newer ones and yet we rarely get to hear them on the radio.

Keep up the good work.


on 10.25.09 E commented

When I heard the song by Casting Crowns about the little town of Bethlehem and how perhaps we in America mirrored the same response, I felt like a lightening bolt had just gone through me.

I am one of those Christmas folk who live and breathe the message of the birth of Jesus throughout the year, and truly believe we should celebrate the Reason for the season every day of the year, so, yes, I adore all Christmas music.

You cannot get too much of it! Blending in the 'new' with the traditional and popular just makes me realize He is nearer than we think because of the way the musicians are relating Jesus' birth to everyday life. Why do I think that way? Because Casting Crowns told me last year that we in America just might be asleep when He returns to earth, the same way the people were asleep when He came the first time around.

Great stuff. Next generation lyrics and music. It would only take changing a few words to update this song in front of an audience with Jesus after He returns!