#1. You Make It Feel Like Christmas – Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani’s new music video with paramour Blake Shelton is nothing but fun. The video’s classic American Christmas themes are joined by a subtle sample of irony, enough to stave off any potential resentment to what otherwise looks like perfection. The music video is really today’s ultimate in a feel-good family-friendly Christmas music video. It’s not an overstatement to say that the music video exudes pure joy: whether it’s Shelton in a tux and Stefani in a sequined gown bringing back old-Hollywood glamour, or its the fact that all of the performers with them are children, dancing and playing instruments… it’s hard not to watch this music video without smiling. Even Stefani’s snowman and her enthusiasm for it: if these two uber-talented superstars were not so cool, we would have to call them adorable.
#2. The Christmas Song – Lauren Daigle
This ultra-spare production of Lauren Daigle’s brand new Christmas music video is just fine with us. The video doesn’t even accommodate color, except for super-8 footage behind the scenes (a super-8 filter on video? Who can tell in 2018…) But the simplicity works because at this point in her recent skyrocketing ascent to the favored mainstream, we get a chance to see Daigle singing about what she cares most about: celebrating her God. Daigle’s authenticity amid unguarded moments in the studio with her fellow musicians: beautiful in every way.
#3. Gloria – The Piano Guys
In case you missed it, last December, The Piano Guys shot a music video for “Gloria,” and they were joined by vocalists David Archuleta, Peter Hollens, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and over 1000 locals who volunteered as angels and background singers. The Piano Guys are so bursting with earnest happiness that they could easily be mistaken for a SNL parody of themselves… except, they kind of earn it in this piece. Apparently, they set a record for the largest ever live Nativity scene in history. But it’s really when the Mormon Tabernacle choir’s (angelic?) voices kick in around the mid-song mark that it is almost impossible not to get the chills. This song approaches the sublime. Love this music video enough to want to see the Piano Guys in action? Piano Guys are on tour now.
#4. Little Drummer Boy – Pentonix
Generally speaking, a group of five hipster singers standing in the Hollywood Hills in front of a somewhat-smoggy downtown L.A. cityscape is not the stuff of a remarkable music video. Except in the case of The Pentonix’ “Little Drummer Boy,” it definitely is. To hear their acapella treatment of the classic Christmas song is one thing, but it is quite another thing, a visual gift, really, to see the performers, especially Kevin Olusola, start with beatboxing and carry the song’s melody with a new level of vocal percussion. Masterful.
#5. Carol of the Bells – Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling, the multi-talented artist known for her dances choreographed to her violin performances, brings us our #5 Christmas music video. Stirling and a small cadre of other luminaries dance across the screen in blue diaphanous high-slit dresses. Stirling seems to move as effortlessly as the snow falls in the downtown L.A. warehouse’s deep spaces of blues and grays: perfection.