New Advent Resources: 75-Song Playlist, Books, and More – Brett McCracken

Advent begins this Sunday, November 27, and with it comes another opportunity to slow down and savor the rich devotional beauty of this annual season. If you’re looking for resources to help you and your family enjoy this meaningful span in the Christian calendar, consider the following for your listening, reading, and family-devotion pleasure.

TGC’s 2022 Advent Playlist

You can find TGC’s brand new 75-song Advent playlist on Spotify or Apple Music. See the list of songs at the bottom of this article.

Past Advent Concerts

Though we aren’t hosting a virtual Advent concert in 2022, you can rewatch (or watch for the first time) our 2021 Advent Concert and 2020 Advent Concert. Let these concerts play on your smart TV some evening during Advent, and enjoy them as a family as you wrap presents, decorate cookies, or just relax.

New Albums

In the Bleak Midwinter by John Van Deusen. One of the most exciting indie Christian artists working today—who released one of the year’s best albums back in June—has added to his prolific 2022 with a new Christmas release. Opting for familiar hymns and carols over Christmas originals, Van Deusen’s string-heavy collection here is calming, comforting, minimalist beauty.

It’s Almost Christmas, Vol. III by Praytell. Married duo Jon and Valerie Guerra are back with a third volume of Christmas songs, following their other Christmas collections in 2015 and 2018. This volume is just as excellent, featuring traditional carols and some truly beautiful new originals like “Something Bright, Something Shining” and “Christmas Hymn.”

Sing: Christmas Songs by Ellie Holcomb. Ellie Holcomb’s new seven-song Christmas album is an accompaniment to her new children’s board book Sounding Joy (see below). The album, which includes originals and classics, is a great new option for families with children of all ages.

This Is Our Christmas Album by Switchfoot. After being a prominent presence in Christian music for a quarter century, Switchfoot has finally released a Christmas album. The band will take the album—featuring about half traditional carols and half new originals (like “California Christmas” and “Hometown Christmas”)—on the road to 18 cities this December.

Christmas Hymns by Paul Zach. I’m always in the mood for Paul Zach’s subdued-but-soulful songs for the church. After releasing an album of classic hymns in 2021, Zach will release Christmas Hymns on December 2, featuring a mix of lovely originals and treasured classics, with Taylor Leonhardt and Lauren Plank Goans contributing vocals.

December Songs by Resound Worship. British songwriting collective Resound Worship has just released a four-song EP of songs for congregations to sing during Advent.

New Books for Adults

Emmanuel: An Invitation to Prepare Him Room at Christmas and Always by Ruth Chou Simons (Harvest House Publishers). Another great Advent devotion option is this new 25-day resource by Ruth Chou Simons, who is also holding a streaming event on December 1 in conjunction with the book.

Gifts of Grace by Jared C. Wilson (The Good Book Company). Each of the 25 daily devotionals in this beautifully gospel-centered work helps readers understand a different “gift of grace” we receive through Christ, in salvation.

The God Who Is with Us by Ronnie Martin (B&H). This 25-day devotional helps readers contemplate the nearness of God in our weary world. It includes beautiful illustrations by Nathan Schroeder as well as space for daily journaling and reflection.

Heaven and Nature Sing by Hannah Anderson, with illustrations by Nathan Anderson (B&H). The 25 reflections in this book look at Advent through the lens of the natural world, celebrating how all creation awaits the Creator King.

The Ultimate Christmas Wishlist by Rico Tice (The Good Book Company). This short book is a concise and compelling presentation of the gospel, based on the hope and promise of Isaiah 9:6. Consider giving away copies of this book (only $3.51 in the TGC Store) to unbelievers in your life this Christmas.

The Weary World Rejoices: Daily Devotions for Advent (TGC). If you didn’t pick up our Advent devotional already, get a copy for your Christmas season. The e-book version is only $6.49 in the TGC store.

New Books for Children and Families

The Christmas Surprise by Steph Williams (The Good Book Company). Part of the Little Me, Big God series of storybooks for preschoolers, this book will introduce the Christmas story to your toddler in a biblically faithful way.

The God of Amazing Gifts: Family Devotions For Advent by Lizzie Laferton (The Good Book Company). If you’re looking for a daily devotional to go through with your family during Advent, this is a great option. It includes discussion starters for different aged children, as well as ideas for application and activities.

The Light Before Christmas: A Family Advent Devotional by Marty Machowski (New Growth Press). This new four-week Advent devotional contains 13 devotionals—three for each of the four weeks of Advent and one more for Christmas. Each includes a Scripture, lesson, discussion question, song to sing together, and prayer.

Seek and Find: The First Christmas by Sarah Parker (The Good Book Company). While they search for 450 hidden things in this large-format board book, kids will learn key biblical and theological truths about the first Christmas.

Sounding Joy by Ellie Holcomb (B&H Kids). This children’s board book explores the question “What does joy sound like?” through a delightful collection of Christmastime scenes, leading up to the discovery that joy sounds like the angels singing that Jesus had been born.

Playlist Song List

This year’s Advent playlist includes two-thirds traditional carols (50 songs) and one-third newer original Advent and Christmas songs (25 songs). The song order follows a bit of a chiastic structure, for listeners who geek out on stuff like that. Enjoy!

“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” John Van Deusen
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” Praytell
“Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
“Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming,” Robinson & Rohe
“O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Switchfoot
“Once in Royal David’s City,” Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” Ella Fitzgerald
“Away in a Manger,” Jon McLaughlin
“Joy to the World,” Leigh Nash
“Angels We Have Heard on High,” Phil Wickham
“In the Bleak Midwinter,” Rend Collective
“I Wonder as I Wander,” Rachel Wilhelm
“What Child Is This / Child of the Poor,” The Hound + The Fox
“Joy Has Dawned,” Kings Kaleidoscope
“The Christmas Song,” John Legend and Nat King Cole
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” LOVKN
“Carol of the Bells,” Act of Congress
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Leslie Odom Jr.
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” The Eagle and Child
“Mary Had a Baby,” Odetta
“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” The Porter’s Gate
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” Wilder Adkins
“Little Drummer Boy,” Johnnyswim
“Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Land of Color
“O Come, All Ye Faithful,” Ellie Holcomb
“The Thanksgiving Song,” Ben Rector
“Something Bright, Something Shining,” Praytell
“All Things New,” Ethan Nathaniel, Taylor Armstrong
“All the Earth Was Waiting,” Resound Worship
“How Long, How Long?” Providence
“Christmas Communion Song,” Paul Zach
“1914 (Christmas Truce),” Elias Dummer
“Ring the Bells,” Sandra McCracken
“Bethlehem, a Noble City,” The Welcome Wagon
“Magnificat (Elizabeth & Mary),” Waterdeep
“Face of God,” Phil Wickham
“Long Ago Prophets Knew,” Blacknall Arts
“Christ,” Poor Bishop Hooper
“Christ Is Coming,” Providence
“Jesus, King of Angels,” Fernando Ortega
“Mary & Joseph,” Chris Renzema
“Bethlehem,” Ross King
“Exult in the Savior’s Birth,” Matt Boswell
“Unexpected King,” Temitope
“Comfort, Oh Comfort,” Caroline Cobb
“In These Long, Last Days,” Sister Sinjin
“We Wait,” Sara Groves
“Everything Is New,” Providence
“The Maker of the Sun and Moon,” Jenny & Tyler
“Christmas Hymn,” Praytell, Jon Guerra, Paul Zach
“O Come All Ye Faithful,” Ben Fuller
“Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Young Oceans
“Little Drummer Boy,” Future of Forestry
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” Poor Bishop Hooper
“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” Ordinary Time
“Mary Had a Baby,” Elizabeth Mitchell
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” The Sing Team
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Lauren Daigle
“Carol of the Bells,” Future of Forestry
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Sarah Sparks
“The Christmas Song,” Mary J. Blige
“Joy Has Dawned,” Keith & Kristyn Getty
“What Child Is This” Josh Garrels
“I Wonder as I Wander,” Future of Forestry
“In the Bleak Midwinter,” John Van Deusen
“Angels We Have Heard on High,” Praytell
“Joy to the World,” John Mark McMillan
“Away in the Manger,” Penny and Sparrow
“Silent Night / It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” Switchfoot
“Once in Royal David’s City,” Ola Gjeilo
“O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Elvis Presley
“Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming,” The Brilliance
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” The Worship Initiative, Davy Flowers
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” John Van Deusen
“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” Wilder Adkins

Read More

The Gospel Coalition

Generated by Feedzy