“Ring The Bells” Giveaway


When I was in college, I would break out my cassette (YES. CASSETTE. AMEN.) of Amy Grant’s A Christmas Album just as soon as Halloween was over. It was my Official Soundtrack during November and December road trips, and “Heirlooms” was always a sure-fire recipe for Tender Introspection since I was a terribly sophisticated nineteen year-old and all.

A nineteen year-old driving a Buick Regal that would sputter to a dead stop if the accelerator wasn’t pressed at all times, and yes, that includes at red lights and stop signs.

Anyway, my point is that Amy Grant’s first Christmas CD is the gold standard of Christmas albums for me. Other Christmas albums have joined her in my Christmas music hall-o-fame over the years – like Harry Connick Jr.’s and James Taylor’s, for instance – but I’m a pretty discriminating Christmas music listener. I want worship and reverence and fun wrapped up in one musical package, and I don’t want want a hint of corny in the mix. But other than that I’m not picky at ALL.


Last year, not too long after Melanie and I dragged Travis Cottrell into the vortex of our lives by obsessing over his wife’s jeans, he mentioned that he was about to start working on a Christmas album. He also mentioned that his producer was going to be Brown Bannister, a name I immediately knew because I’d seen it printed on the top, right-hand corner of every piece of Amy Grant sheet music I tried to play on the piano when I was a teenager. Since I knew that Brown Bannister produced Amy Grant’s Christmas albums, I figured that Travis’ Christmas CD was bound to turn out pretty well.

However, I had no idea that when I heard Travis’ Christmas CD for the first time, I would get all teary-eyed and fan my face and feel so unbelievably proud of our friend. The CD is absolutely, positively, completely, stunningly beautiful. Christmas music perfection. We’ve been listening to it in our house since Labor Day (YES. LABOR DAY.), and on at least four different occasions David and I have had in-depth conversations about how great it is. Every single day the five year-old gets in the car when I pick him up from kindergarten and asks if he can hear “Frosty.” Every single morning I have some church with my iPod when I listen to “In The First Light.” It is, plain and simple, a wonderful CD.

Ring the Bells will be released next Tuesday, October 7, and there’s no question that you’re going to want to add it to your Christmas music collection. But if you’d like to try to win one of ten autographed copies of the CD before it’s released, then here’s what you need to do:

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas song.

2. Pause and think for a moment about how this is pretty much the EASIEST GIVEAWAY EVER.

I’ll close this giveaway next Monday and announce the winners next Tuesday.

And just FYI: Travis is so stinkin’ humble and self-deprecating about this whole Christmas CD thing that it’s sort of unbelievable. In fact, we have debated for weeks about how many comments this giveaway will generate, and I have contended that we’re gonna hit the hundreds. Travis’ official prediction is 46.

I have a feeling y’all are going to prove him oh-so-wrong.

Make it a merry one, internets.

This giveaway is now closed.

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  1. Defnitely “O Holy Night” is my favorite Christmas song. Thanks! :)

  2. Carol of the Bells….or What Child is This

    Can’t wait to hear the CD!!!

  3. Let’s hope that random number thing picks the first comment! Unless this posts later. ANYWAY…

    Fave Christmas song is really ambitious – I love them all so much. I do have a special affinity for “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” And if you had all day, I’d list my other 200 favorite Christmas songs.

    Thanks Sophie!

  4. so so many Christmas songs! I love James Taylor’s recent version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” — and of course that Amy Grant TAPE was my favorite of all time as well……

  5. It’s hard to narrow it down to one, but I’ll say “What Child Is This” for now.

  6. Silent night is my favorite Christmas song. My husband’s is Gloria by Michael W Smith which he realized he could download from itunes this summer and now it’s my 5 yr old’s all time favorite song…he even directs who will sing all the different parts. ;-) Love Christmas music…can’t wait to hear this CD.

  7. My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night,” with “Jingle Bell Rock” as a close second. I have diverse tastes. :-)

  8. O Holy Night, but it has to be sung by someone who can really sing it or I get really sad. Thanks!

  9. My fave Christmas song is O Holy Night. Love it. Says it all.

    And you play your Christmas music after Halloween? Ha. I play it the first time there’s a hint of fall in the air. And occasionally I play it during other months, like April. I LOVE Christmas music and can’t wait till Oct 7 when this CD is released.

    If I don’t win this contest, no worries, because I’ll be in the store on 10/7 buying one. Actually, if I DO win this contest, I’ll probably still be in the store on 10/7 buying one.

  10. My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night”.

  11. I love Christmas music and listen to it year-round when I’m feeling down! My all-time favorite is probably an arrangement of “That Night” that our church choral group did one year. I also love “Just a Kid.”

  12. My favorite Christmas song is White Christmas…it was playing just before my husband proposed 3 1/2 year, 2 houses, 1 dog, and one baby ago. :)

  13. “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel” is my favorite Christmas song.

    “Sleigh Bells” is my favorite winter song. (It helps to have a favorite winter song when you live in Minnesota.)

    And heck, I’d say you could reach close to 1000 with this one.

    The only giveaway that could maybe pull more entries is a free pair of Angela’s jeans.

  14. My favorite Christmas song is “Joy to the World”. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  15. Why, The Little Drummer Boy of course. It also doubles well as first dance songs at weddings :0).

    But, if I had to pick one that is meant for Christmas and not weddings as well it would be O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

  16. My all time favorite is O Come O Come Emmanuel.

    LOVE that one!

  17. My all time favorite is Sleigh Ride.

  18. I love Christmas songs so its hard to pick but I will choose “O Holy Night”!

  19. “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, or whatever the “official” name of hat song is…

  20. Some Children See Him, James Taylor. You know it’s the best one.

  21. Silent Night.
    I remember as a kid, our church used to dim the lights lower and lower with each verse at the Christmas Eve service until it was all the way dark except for the lone light shining on the Cross. It always felt so magical.
    So it remains a favorite.
    Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

  22. There’s a Song in The Air – http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/t/s/tsongair.htm

  23. Oh Holy Night! for sure. I sang it to my son as I rocked him to sleep one night last week and it is still September…

  24. My all time favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night”. Gives me goosebumps every time!

  25. Goodness, FAVORITE Christmas song… Well, Little Drummer Boy is right up there, but there are so many more!!

  26. Ooh! My favorite is “O Come All Ye Faithful” but on Amy Grant’s Christmas album (which I wore out, too) I LOVE a “Tender Tennessee Christmas!”

  27. little drummer boy/peace on earth by david bowie and bing crosby.

    and as soon as i hit send i’ll remember that’s not my favorite song, i really love a different one…

  28. Oh Holy Night. Love it!

  29. I much prefer Travis’ prediction because then I have a much better chance of winning!!

    My favorite Christmas song is ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ and it’s hardly EVER played. Drives me nuts! Maybe I love it so much because I so rarely get to hear it. :o(

  30. Probably Joy to the World. Yay for Jesus and Christmas and all the fun times with family and friends while we celebrate!!! BUT Christmas decorations and music are should NOT appear before Thanksgiving.

  31. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting…), Ave Maria (from my parents old Firestone Christmas LP – yes, vinyl), and anything Bing.

    Love me a giveaway!

  32. Wow, I thought I knew my favorite Christmas song, but after reading all the comments, it’s so hard to pick. But I would have to say “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” I’m all about the minor keys. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. Although I never win anything I’d thought I’d enter to prove Travis wrong.

    And to say that Amy Grant “Breath of Heaven” is my favorite song. And that when I was a little kid I would belt out Tennessee Christmas like I was from the South.

    I have “BooMama Odds” on my side for being named Amy, hope I win!

  34. I’ve never left a comment on here before but I am a Christmas music lover if ever there was one. I have too many favorites, but one that made it onto my list last year for the first time is “Labor of Love” from Andrew Peterson’s new Christmas album, “Behold the Lamb of God.” You’ll love it – Jill Phillips sings it.

  35. My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. Thanks to you and Travis for the giveaway.

  36. Having to pick just one, I’d say “O Holy Night”.

  37. i love christmas music. all of it. the only one that comes to mind right now though is silver bells.

  38. My mom loves Christmas music. She sings it year round! I guess I would say that my fav is Silent Night.

    Our family saw Travis a few months ago at Merrimon Ave Baptist Church in Asheville. He was so cool!

  39. I LOVE Christmas music. I LOVE it. L.O.V.E. So many favorites, for so many Christmas moods. What Child is This, Sara Groves’ Child of Wonder, and I love that Amy Grant Christmas cd — I sang nearly every song at church at some point or another. Emmanuel might be my fav on there. But can you discount Breath of Heaven? Oh my goodness… where are my Christmas cds?? I need me some Christmas music. I would possibly pee my pants if I won this one, but if I don’t I think I’ll have to buy it.

  40. I’m listening to Mr. Travis right now (but not a Christmas CD b/c mine isn’t here yet – LPL vol. 3 wonderful!). If by some “random” chance I win, please give it to someone else. I’m just commenting to help boost Travis’ spirts! So many peeps listen to our Miesta! We love you Travis!

  41. Just one? I can’t do that, but my shortlist would include:

    O Holy Night
    Silent Night
    O Little Town of Bethlehem
    Calypso Carol
    What Child is this?
    Infant Holy

    … and probably more which I can’t think of right now.

  42. O Holy Night

    Welcome To Our World—Amy Grant

    Mary, Did You Know?—Mark Lowry

    My fave’s….
    I’m also a Harry Connick Jr. fan…

    love that man.

  43. O Holy Night. Definitely.

  44. O Holy Night…

  45. I love White Christmas and Mary did you know. I also love love love Amy Grant!!!

    I hope I win

  46. Rocking Around the Christmas Tree…

    I love listening to this as we’re decorating the tree.

  47. Oh, just one favorite Christmas song? I love o Come, o Come Emmanuel.

  48. I love The Little Drummer Boy. I would wait anxiously as a little girl for the claymation version to come on tv and I had a 45 of the song. Now I have my own little drummer boy. Only mine is loud.

  49. I’ve already won this CD on All-Access (Thanks, BooMama & BigMama), so don’t count me in for the giveaway, but I figured the extra comment would be good for Travis’ ego prove you right! :)

    I feel the same way about Amy Grant’s 1st Christmas album. My college roommate and I used to lay in our beds in the dark, singing along with the cassette. We knew it so well, that we could perfectly time our entrances and cutoffs with each other & with the cassette, even in the dark! Every year, it’s the first CD I break out. Though I’m sure Travis’ new one will be a contender now!

  50. Nearly all Christmas songs make me happy, but a recent favorite is “The Virgin’s Lullaby” which has Selah, Natalie Grant, Point of Grace, and many other Christian artists. It’s on the songs inspired by A Nativity Story CD, which rocks.

    Although “The Night Before Christmas” on Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas is another one in my top…some. :) I LOVE that CD. Which did originate as a tape in my parents’ house.

  51. A Christmas to Remember-Amy Grant, I can listen to this song over and over again, blaring in my car radio.

  52. I love them all, except for Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (shudder). But I’d say my favorite grownup Christmas song is O Holy Night, and my favorite kid song is The Little Drummer Boy. Always makes me cry.

  53. Oh, it is so hard to pick just one! I don’t think I can…Well, if I HAVE to it would be “I Wonder as I Wander”. (Love those minor keys.) But “Joy the World” is right up there, too.

  54. O Holy Night and Mary, Did you know? are two of my favorites. I also like Winter Wonderland.

  55. Classic favorite: O Holy Night

    Artist fave: Amy Grant “O little town of bethelem” took me years to figure out the words to that one. love to sing the wrong lyrics at the top of my voice now.

  56. Hmmm….favorite Christmas song, I think, is “The First Noel,” but there’s also Glad’s “Glory to God in the Highest,” which I absolutely love and Rich Mullins’ “You Gotta Get Up.” Well, that’s a start, anyway – I have more Christmas music than my husband even realized existed before we were married. :-)

  57. Hands down,
    Mark Lowry’s “Mary Did You Know?”
    I never hear it that I don’t have tears…just typing it NOW I do. Whew!

  58. maybe since you mentioned amy grant so many times in this post this giveaway should be limited to amys only. okay? okay. :) just kidding (unless you think that’s a fabulous idea.)

    ANYway. my favorite christmas song is…a tie! “breath of heaven” and “come and worship” from bebo’s christmas cd. if you don’t have that one you need to get it, too!

    merry… september!

  59. Teresa Neal says:

    “When My Heart Finds Christmas” song by Harry Connick, Jr. I LOVE IT! Whenever I hear that song I sing it. If I am along or at least semi-alone I sing it at the top of my lungs. If I am in public, I still sing in a normal voice. The only embarrassing thing is that I don’t really have the talent to sing. But, I love the song and it makes me want to hug my family and hug the world everytime I hear it!

  60. Too hard to pick just one. I really love almost every Christmas song there is, both secular and non-secular. I prefer the hymns like O Holy Night, Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful most of all :)

  61. Silent Night

  62. My favorite is O Holy Night. The music goes so well with the words, and it “plays” with your emotions…bringing you up one minute, down the next. I love it!! And I KNOW I’d love this cd. =D

  63. O Holy Night is my favorite.

    Travis will definitely get more comments than Cheeze-Its vs. Cheese Nips!

  64. 1.”Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant, who is my all time favorite artist hands down. It evokes the heaviness that she must have felt being as young as she was and carrying the Christ child, heavily pregnant, and making that journey with her new husband. It’s a beautiful song and I look forward to listening to it every year.

    2. Easy – kind of. “Breath of Heaven” is my all time fave Christmas song, but I love all Christmas music (except Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer – I can’t stand it), especially when I can’t be home for the holidays, it helps me feel close to everyone I am missing.

  65. My all time favorite is Little Drummer Boy followed by Do You Hear What I Hear. Love those! This sounds like an awesome CD.

  66. I love Mary Did you Know. I guess my favorite traditional one is Silent Night because it reminds me of my mom ~ it was her favorite! Thanks for the giveaway, hope I win. And Travis definitely underestimated the number of comments!!!

  67. Right now…Virgin’s Lullaby. Heard it last year and have sung it to myself countless times since last December. By the way, I really love your blog. I’m not a blogger (yet!), but have found a new hobby in reading other’s blogs.

  68. This isn’t an easy choice! I have favorites to sing, to listen to, to try to play on the piano, etc.

    Will have to go with Carol of the Bells.

  69. high-five, boo mama; I have the same cassette!

    My favorite Christmas song is Joy to the World.

  70. 1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
    2. Little Drummer Boy – Harry Connick Jr.
    3. Breath of Heaven – Amy Grant

    Mmmm, you have put me in the MOOD!

  71. My favorite is Oh Holy Night, but I have so many favorites. I LOVE Christmas music!!!

    Travis has already been proven wrong, we are already in the 50s!!! LOL

  72. Happy to contribute my comment to the competition! And I will definitely be contributed this cd to my collection whether I win or not! So excited! Thanks Sophie!

  73. “O Holy Night” all the way! Hmmm…also, although it’s not a Christmas song per se, I also love “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring” on Amy’s “Home for Christmas” CD. Oh, and let’s not forget Heather Payne rocking out on “All is Well” on the POG “Winter Wonderland” CD….sigh. I love Christmas music!

  74. My favorite Christmas song by far is “O Holy Night”

    And yeah – I am THAT girl, I play Christmas music year round. I always play it when I clean, there’s something about Christmas music that I just love year round. In fact, when the little man is napping today, I already have my mixed Christmas CD ready to pop in and jam to while I have some house cleaning to do!

    Thanks so much for this giveaway!

  75. I love No Eye Has Seen from Michael W. Smith’s first Christmas album, but my favorite traditional Christmas song would be the instrumental version of Sleigh Ride.

  76. Song of choice?
    Angels We Have Heard On High…specifically the chorus because I rock out on the bass line Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ria!

  77. I love this contest!

    My absolute favorite is All is Well by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith from MWS’s Christmas CD–from back in 1989 or 1990.

    I have sung that to my daughter since I first held her 4 years ago [she is adopted from China] and it is the one song that would calm her immediately and still does to this day.

  78. I’ll play along so that we can boost Travis’s confidence. I love O’ Holy Night.

  79. Sophie~
    I, too, am a picky, no, not picky, shall we say discerning Christmas music listener, and I have to agree that Amy, Harry, and James are among the best. So, seeing as how you agree with my tastes and all, I KNOW that I’ll LOVE this one, too. Therefore, I MUST win this!
    And, I don’t know if this “qualifies” as a Christmas song or not, but I love Mary did you know. (Not sure if that’s the actual title or not ;) ). Anyway, that song always requires a few Kleenex.
    Thanks, Sophie, for getting Travis into your little world and for blessing us in the process!

  80. So hard to choose, but I would have to say “Angels We Have Heard on High”

  81. I love O Holy Night. I love the classics by Amy Grant and Sandy Patti (you know her, right??) too.

  82. I love Christmas music! I Call Him Lord is one that comes to mind, and I love the Christmas Song sung by Michael Tait. The list could go on and on.

  83. “The Night Before Christmas” by Amy Grant. Oh that song does put me in a Christmas mood!!!

  84. Little Drummer Boy makes me cry every time.

  85. “Labor of Love” by Andrew Peterson

  86. Oh my! I feel like I should call you friend even though I’ve only posted here a couple of times and you have no idea who I am. It’s the Amy Grant Christmas album talk that make me feel like we’re kindred spirits. I feel exactly the same way! Thank you God for friends I don’t know! :) I’ve been have 80’s flashback lately and this just fits right into the mood!

    My favorite Christmas song is O Come All Ye Faithful. When I was a little girl, my dad got me a music box that plays this. I still love it!

  87. “Joy to the World” says it all for me.
    Thinking…thinking…Yes, in fact, this IS the easiest give-away ever.
    Thank you for sharing the joy.

  88. That’s hard to pick one. But I have to say Oh Holy Night.

    46?? Honestly? Does he not read your blog and see the comment number spin out of control? :)

  89. “O Holy Night” without a doubt!

  90. Silent Night is probably my favorite Christmas song. Just love Christmas music! It’s soooo refreshing and easy to get into the spirit of Christmas with it.

    Well we have well surpassed Travis’ expection and the morning is still young!

  91. I love O Holy Night, too.
    Oh, and I’m guessing 300+ comments!

  92. There is nothing else I want more than this for my birthday in Nov., so it would be absolutely fabulous to get it early as a giveaway. I love, love, love Christmas music just about any time of the year and play it constantly.

    I’ve been going to Travis’ site just to listen to the one song he’s got on there over and over again.

    My favorite Christmas song is hard to narrow down, but I do love Silent Night pretty much above all others . . . though Travis singing O Holy Night is a close second!!!

    Thanks SO much for hosting this, dear Sophie!!

  93. Amy Grant’s Christmas album is also my mainstay, so if Travis compares to that then I’ll just get myself one if I don’t win here….favorite Christmas song…Tennessee Christmas…by the Christmas music queen herself

  94. I never win these things. But it’s worth a shot :)

    And my favorite Christmas song is Labor of Love, by Andrew Peterson. Makes me cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

  95. Ave Maria by Charlotte Church!

  96. I love Silver Bells!

  97. I don’t know if it is possible to pick just one Christmas song that I love above the others. I think I would have to go with O Holy Night or Silent Night, those two are classic’s and are for sure tops in my book. Thanks for hosting this awesome give a way

  98. Ok… so I had the Amy Grant record. Do I win? :-)

    My favorite Christmas song changes every year, depending on life. Last year I really liked Jewel’s Ave Maria… come to think of it, her Christmas album is pretty good too.

    Thanks for sharing more fab music with us!


  99. silent night. thanks, boomama!!

  100. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear is my favorite Christmas song.