I love Christmas music, and have a lot of it.... and I do mean a lot. There are songs I like to hear more than others, and they are usually among the first I listen to every year. Here are my top 10, in no particular order, that do not fall into the traditional Christmas carol category:
1) It's Christmas by Ronnie Milsap. I don't know if anyone else has recorded this song, but I can't imagine anyone doing it better. He recorded it in 1986 on his Christmas CD "Christmas With Ronnie Milsap" and I have been enjoying it ever since. It is one of many Christmas CDs I own.
2) We Are the Reason by Avalon. I didn't care much for this 2000 Christmas release, other than this song and one other one on the CD. This song has been done by others, but this is my favorite recording of it, and one I listen to over and over.
3) Christmas Wishes by Anne Murray. This song has been around since 1981, and is my favorite of all the Christmas songs she has recorded over the years. It does end on a romantic note, but I still love to hear it.
4) It's Still the Greatest Story Ever Told by the Gaither Vocal Band. In my estimation, this is one of the greatest modern Christmas Songs from a Christian perspective. The Gaithers wrote it in 1979, but as far as I know it was not recorded until the Gaither Vocal Band did it on their Christmas CD of the same name in 1998. If I was putting these favorites in order, this would likely be at the top.
5) Sweet Baby Jesus by The Kingsmen. Released in 1995, this was the only Christmas CD this well known and long-running group ever did, and they knocked it out of the park with this one..... at least to me. I have been listening to it over and over since 1995.
6) Christmas In Dixie by Kenny Chesney, In 1985, Alabama released their first Christmas CD and this song became a classic from that album. Then 18 years later in 2003, Kenny Chesney recorded it on his Christmas CD with some help from one of the guys from Alabama. As good as Alabama did, I like Chesney's version better.
7) Unto You This Night by Garth Brooks. This song became an instant favorite of mine in 1992 when Garth Brooks released his first Christmas CD. Backed up by a choir on part of the song, Brooks does an awesome job on this favorite of mine.
8) I'll Be Home With Bells On by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. This duo did a Christmas CD in 1984 that includes this song that Dolly wrote. I have loved it for years, and it definitely makes my list.... and is currently my ringtone on my cell.
9) I Have Seen the Light by Integrity/Triumphant Quartet. This song came out on Triumphant Quartet's first Christmas CD when they were going by the group name Integrity Quartet. I think it is an awesome song. I can't find the year it was released, but it isn't that old of a song. It has been done by others, but no one else comes close to this version.
10) Come On, Ring Those Bells by Evie. I remember listening to this as a kid. Evie Tornquist - later Karlson after she married - recorded a Christmas album in 1978 when she was 16 (I think). It has been recorded several times over the years, perhaps more than any other modern Christian Christmas song, but I have yet to hear anyone do it as well.
There are many others that could be on this list, or a longer list..... but I decided to keep it to 10 songs, and try to put my favorite 10 on it. I may look at this list later and think of a few different ones that should make the list, but these are 10 that are definitely way up on my list.