Music Charts

#469: Christmas 2012

Chart At A Glance

  • Debuts and shakeups abound on this year’s chart, starting with the first brand-new #1 in 3 years.
  • Last year’s highest debut, David Arkenstone’s “Winter Dreams”, rises from #7 to #1 to dethrone Aselin Debison’s “The Gift” and become the first instrumental song to top the chart.
  • However, Arkenstone had some extremely close competition from #2. After almost a decade of preference for MercyMe’s version of “What Child Is This”, a new instrumental version by Lindsey Stirling takes MercyMe’s place, just narrowly missing #1 here. It did make the historic achievement of debuting at #1 on my regular weekly Top 50, though! It was the first instrumental debut ever on there.
  • Lindsey Stirling may as well be the darling of this Christmas chart, as she has 2 other debuts further down! A beautiful version of an oft-tired classic, “Silent Night”, comes in at #16, while her medley of carols entitled “Celtic Carol”, enters at #43.
  • 6 other songs debut high and low on the chart. Steven Curtis Chapman scores the highest brand-new entry of the year with heartfelt “Christmas Card” at #15, followed closely by an obscure instrumental piece by Terence Kelly at #18, “Lament”.
  • More instrumental pieces by Neal Ewers and The Kings Chamber Orchestra come in at #20 and #21, as well as another instrumental by Joe Bongiorno at #32. In between, “masters of chant” Gregorian score a debut at #29 with “Footsteps In The Snow”.
  • With all the instrumental debuts, wordless pieces now make up a full third of the chart, at 17 songs. Clearly, words are not always needed for music to be beautiful, and indeed, words just get in the way sometimes.
  • Amidst all the shuffling going on this year, several songs unfortunately see large drops or even fall off entirely. Long-running songs by Skip Ewing, Clannad, Jaci Velasquez, and NewSong plunge at least 10 spots, while other chart classics by Steven Curtis Chapman and Jaci, such as “All I Really Want” and “The Angel Song”, respectively, fall off.
  • Note: Rank comparisons between now and last year are for song titles only. Meaning, if I favor a different artist’s version of a song this year than I did last year, the song still counts as having ranked last year
  • Another note: I only chart 1 version of a song in this Top 50; any indicated alternate versions following the main song titles are songs that I would consider ranking if I allowed multiple versions
  • For songs that have lyrics available, song titles are links to lyrics
  • For songs that have multiple artists, “[alt]” links go to the “Alternate Versions” list on the bottom of the page
  • “Watch” and “Hear” links lead to music videos, full-length audio, or audio samples of the songs

Top 50

    • 7
    • 2
    • 1
    • Winter Dreams [Instrumental]
    • by David Arkenstone
    • from “Snowfall” (2010)
    • 2
    • 10
    • 1
    • What Child Is This [Instrumental]
    • by Lindsey Stirling [alt]
    • from “What Child Is This” (2012)
    • 1
    • 4
    • 1
    • The Gift
    • by Aselin Debison [alt]
    • from “Sweet Is The Melody” (2002)
    • 5
    • 4
    • 4
    • The Stone Angel [Instrumental]
    • by Paul Cardall
    • from “The Christmas Box” (1997)
    • 6
    • 3
    • 5
    • Strathglass [Instrumental]
    • by Phil Cunningham
    • from “A Celtic Christmas: Peace On Earth” (1999)
    • 3
    • 7
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
    • 4
    • 13
    • 2
    • 8
    • So You Can Really Live
    • by Dan Macaulay
    • Live Performance (2008)
    • 12
    • 7
    • 4
    • We Three Kings [Instrumental]
    • by George Skaroulis [alt]
    • from “Season Traditions” (1998)
    • 11
    • 4
    • 11
    • Walking In The Air [Instrumental]
    • by Fred Simon [alt]
    • from “A Windham Hill Christmas: The Night Before Christmas” (2005)
    • 16
    • 6
    • 5
    • 8
    • 4
    • 5
    • Snowfall [Instrumental]
    • by rada
    • from “Whispers Of Winter” (2002)
    • 9
    • 8
    • 2
    • Here With Us
    • by Joy Williams
    • from “Come, Let Us Adore Him” (2005)
    • 10
    • 5
    • 6
    • 1
    • 15
    • 1
    • 16
    • Silent Night [Instrumental]
    • by Lindsey Stirling
    • from “Silent Night” (2011)
    • 22
    • 2
    • 17
    • 1
    • 18
    • Lament [Instrumental]
    • by Terence Kelly
    • from “Celtic Christmas III” (1997)
    • 17
    • 5
    • 17
    • Christmas Canon
    • by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    • from “The Christmas Attic” (1998)
    • 1
    • 20
    • Song Of Hope And Promise [Instrumental]
    • by Neal Ewers
    • from “The Joy Of Christmas” (2003)
    • 1
    • 21
    • Thorns In The Straw [Instrumental]
    • by The Kings Chamber Orchestra
    • from “Christmas String Heaven” (2009)
    • 15
    • 7
    • 3
    • 18
    • 4
    • 18
    • A Way In A Manger
    • by Robert Mauti
    • from “A Way In A Manger - Single” (2009)
    • 19
    • 7
    • 4
    • 26
    • 3
    • 26
    • 14
    • 5
    • 4
    • Now Behold The Lamb
    • by Kirk Franklin & The Family
    • from “Kirk Franklin & The Family Christmas” (1995)
    • 23
    • 7
    • 9
    • 31
    • 4
    • 28
    • When The Time Is Right
    • by Ginny Owens
    • from “One Silent Night” (2000)
    • 1
    • 29
    • 32
    • 2
    • 30
    • 20
    • 6
    • 7
    • 1
    • 32
    • Feels Like Goodbye [Instrumental]
    • by Joe Bongiorno
    • from “A Candlelight Christmas - Solo Piano” (2010)
    • 25
    • 5
    • 16
    • One King
    • by Point Of Grace
    • from “A Christmas Story” (1999)
    • 21
    • 5
    • 14
    • Christmas Angels
    • by Clannad
    • from “The Best Of Clannad: In A Lifetime” (1997)
    • 28
    • 10
    • 8
    • 29
    • 10
    • 7
    • 34
    • 4
    • 33
    • God Bless Us
    • by Echoing Angels
    • from “God Bless Us - Single” (2009)
    • 35
    • 7
    • 28
    • Greensleeves [Instrumental]
    • by Deuter [alt]
    • from “Celebration Of Light: Music For Winter And The Christmas Season” (2009)
    • 36
    • 6
    • 28
    • Miracles [Instrumental]
    • by Kenny G
    • from “Miracles: The Holiday Album” (1994)
    • 37
    • 2
    • 37
    • The Day’s Last Light [Instrumental]
    • by Séamus Egan
    • from “Celtic Christmas II - A Windham Hill Collection” (1996)
    • 30
    • 7
    • 5
    • 38
    • 7
    • 33
    • 1
    • 43
    • Celtic Carol [Instrumental]
    • by Lindsey Stirling
    • from “Celtic Carol” (2011)
    • 24
    • 5
    • 15
    • Quiet Christmas Song [Gloria]
    • by Jaci Velasquez
    • from “Open House Christmas EP” (2007)
    • 33
    • 10
    • 4
    • 40
    • 2
    • 40
    • Mourning/Rebirth [Instrumental]
    • by David Nevue
    • from “While The Trees Sleep” (1995)
    • 42
    • 4
    • 23
    • I Believe
    • by Natalie Grant
    • from “Believe” (2005)
    • 44
    • 4
    • 39
    • 46
    • 4
    • 45
    • Yo! Ho Ho!
    • by dc Talk
    • from “Yo! Ho Ho!” (1990)
    • 48
    • 3
    • 42

Alternate Versions