“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.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. Jabber Jaws says:

    I so love Christmas music! Rocking around the Christmas tree, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Drummer Boy.Sigh, if only I wasn’t sweating in 90 degree weather. Just thought of another – We Are the Reason.

  2. I love all Christmas music, but O Holy Night is my all-time favorite. Although I am quite picky about which versions I like.

  3. My favorite Christmas CAROL is “O Holy Night”. But, my favorite Christmas song to listen to is Amy Grant’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. No matter what, when the song starts, my sweet hubby finds me and we start to dance!

  4. I love “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby singing.

  5. Oh-I LOVE Amy Grant’s Christmas album too! Can’t pick a fav. song though. But I do love Kenny G’s instrumental Christmas album though!

  6. Hmm, picking a favorite Christmas song is like picking my favorite air to breathe. But I guess for today, I will pick Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. No wait… The Christmas Song. No, that’s not right either…. Mary Did You Know…. Aargh. I have too many!

  7. I simply cannot decide…but I know I’ll be humming Christmas carols all day now! How about Adam Sandler’s hannakuh song? just kidding…sort of.

  8. OH Holy Night is definitely my favorite! :)

  9. “Do you hear what I hear?!”

    I love Christmas music….and Travis is my ipod music of choice — always! Man, he can worship God in ways that make me worship so much better! Oh, I can’t wait to hear the Christmas CD! (And yes, Sophie, I still have my Amy Grant cassette!)

  10. Ummm…
    Travis was very, very wrong.

    “Oh, Holy Night” is the measure I use to determine the quality of a Christmas album. They’ve gotta go for it at the end and give me goose bumps.

    I also love “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” because I love the lyrics. MercyMe’s version, in particular.

  11. Oh goodness. This is like deciding which one of my children I love the most.

    I’ll say…”Hark the Herald.” And now I will explain why, because I know you’re DYING to know.

    One, because it has the greatest theologically-packed line of any carol: “Veil’d in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity….”

    Also, the Peanuts sing it at the end of the Charlie Brown Christmas special with their mouths WIDE OPEN and Pigpen’s dirt flutters around them. *sigh* Love it.

  12. Seriously… one? How about Silent Night? It’s what I dream of when my infant cries out in the darkness…

  13. My 2 favorite Christmas songs of all time are “O Holy Night” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” But, currently “Sending You a Little Christmas” (Jim Brickman/Kristy Starling version) is a personal favorite because I live on the other side of the world from my family. My sweet mama sent the sweetest Christmas packages last year. I have no doubts that she’ll top it this year with her special way of loving me.

  14. I think I may the only one to mention this song.

    “How Many Kings” by downhere. It’s a new classic.

    Love Love Love it.

    Thanks for the Giveaway!

  15. I love everything about Christmas! Every song, every decoration

  16. O Holy Night and Mary Did You Know… it’s too hard to choose just one.

    Thanks for this giveaway! :)

  17. I also have memories of Amy Grant’s Christmas *cassette* from my college days! The tape actually belonged to my husband-to-be but we listened to it over and over in the car as we traveled home to my parents’ for the holidays!

    My favorite Christmas song is O Little Town of Bethlehem.

  18. My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night”.
    Yay for a Travis giveaway, he is my FAVORITE!!!

  19. It’s a toss up between “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “O Holy Night.”

  20. “O Holy Night,” no question. Josh Groban’s version just gives me chills, and is a requirement for Christmas Eve on the way home from church.

  21. I can’t tell you just one song, but when I read that Amy Grant’s Christmas album is one of your favorites, I nearly did a back flip- hurkey combo reminiscent of my (short lived)high school cheerleading days.

    Her “Home for Christmas” Christmas CD is old, but still is my absoulte favorite. It has both classical feel and the always fun “rockin around the christmas tree”. I’ve worn several of these CDs out. But, its not Christmas until Amy sings so.

    Another favorite Christmas CD is Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” it is old too. But it is FABULOUS!! My kids LOVE the Santa Claus is coming to town number.

    And, I have Harry Connick’s, Martina McBride, & Point of Grace Chirstmas albums as well. Which I love……because I obviously adore me some Christmas tunes. I’d love to add Travis’s (typed like I actually know him or something) to my collection!

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    Way more than you needed to know or could possibly care about……

  22. O Holy Night – it always sends chills up and down my spine as I think about the night my Savior was born!

  23. I know this is so silly, but since we’re girls (mostly) I can divulge. I have wanted to be married since I was born, and in the turbulent junior high years, I was in honor choir (not sure how i landed that gig….since i am the WORST singer alive). We would sing “Let It Snow” at our Christmas functions, and I always thought it was the most romantic song ever! I could not wait for the way when my husband and I would sit beside a fire and listen to such a song. I am sure it goes without saying that that has not happened (though I have a super wonderful husband). For some reason, though, that is still my absolute favorite!!!

    I love Jesus, so it seems a bit hypocritical to prefer that song, but its the truth!

    Aren’t you glad you know that now? LOL

  24. O Holy Night. Beyond a doubt, that is my most favorite Christmas song. And, I clicked over to peek at the album, and got to hear a preview of that exact song! AWESOME, incredible, FANTASTIC… it’s just beautiful! I definitely will be getting Travis’ album!

  25. Mary Did You Know

  26. Okay, I’m going to press my luck to win two CDs from you…!

    My favorite Christmas song? How about ALL OF THEM! But if I had to choose, hmmm, really? just one?

    Last year, our church choir sang “Jesus Saves” as part of the program. Technically, it may not be a Christmas song, but it shot to the top of my very long list!

  27. Breath of Heaven, love me some Amy, too!

  28. O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song.

    I never win giveaways, but I am hoping that the random number picker picks me this time, because this is the best!

  29. “Just hear those sleigh bells ringaling, tingtingaling, too…”….

    Amy Grant’s Christmas cassette was indeed my college Christmas music standard, too!!! I still must hear it every Christmas.

    O Holy Night is hands down my fave song. In the First Light on Point of Grace’s Christmas cd was the fave of Christmas ’07.I look forward to hearing it on Travis’.

  30. O Holy Night – for sure but I also love – The First Noel by BeBe & CeCe Winans.

    you are going to have a zillion comments for this giveaway!

  31. “Breath of Heaven” or “O Come, O Come, Immanuel.” Last year in church we did a Travis Cottrell song (I think) at Christmas called “Jesus Saves” and IT.IS.FABULOUS.

  32. I just love Winona Judd’s version of “Go Tell It On Mountain.”

  33. It is easy…except that it isn’t, you know? Probably What Child is This…probably

  34. Everyone else picks it so this is going to sound very un-original, but truly, my favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. My next favorite would have to be from Point of Grace’s christmas album, “Emmanuel, God With Us”. Beautiful!

  35. The little drummer boy … I love the words when you just stop to think about them … wow!

  36. I absolutely love Steven Curtis Chapman’s version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.

  37. Silent Night. We sing it as the last carol on Christmas eve at the candle light service at our church. I have a tin ear, but I sing to the rafters on this.

  38. My favorite all-time Christmas song is O Holy Night.

  39. I love O Holy Night! I can’t wait to hear his new CD.

  40. Carol of the Bells is my favorite…:)

    This is my favorite give away this year!

  41. Just one?! In that case I’d have to say ‘O Holy Night.’

  42. My favourite Christmas song has got to be “Mary, Did You Know?” I have also always love “Wonderful Christmas Time.”

  43. All I have to hear is the first line of “The Christmas Song” (I believe that’s the name of it) and I’m immediately in the Christmas mood! Loved it since I was little!

    I also love “What Child is This”

  44. I just broke out the Christmas music yesterday! bring it on! I like “I’ll be home for Christmas” because I just moved home a few weeks ago. Thanks!

  45. Jennifer Sandberg says:

    I love this contest! I have been going through all the comments writing songs down so I can get all the favorites and have the best Christmas playlist EVER!

    My favorite is “Once in Royal David’s City.” Strange, I know. I just love the words.


  46. My favorite Christmas song is Do you hear what I hear. And a bunch of others. I love Christmas songs.

  47. O Holy Night!

  48. O Holy Night, hands down…
    Mary Did You Know is a running 2nd!!!!

  49. OK, 130 comments one hour in. Are you listening, Travis? We really, really love your music! And with Sophie’s stamp of approval you really can’t go wrong there.

    One of my all time favorite Christmas albums is Toby Keith’s Christmas to Christmas. And one of the best songs ever is “What made the baby cry” written by William J. Golay. Yes, is is about what baby Jesus cried about. So touching. Makes me cry every time. Lyrics here: http://www.elyrics.net/read/t/toby-keith-lyrics/what-made-the-baby-cry-lyrics.html

  50. My favorite is Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel! I get so excited when our choir sings it at church!

  51. Breath of Heaven still gives me goosebumps and of course, no one sings it like the Amy!

  52. I don’t know how I’d ever choose a favorite Christmas song. I absolutely adore Christmas music and have my whole life. If actually picking ONE song is a requirement for the give-away, I’d have to say it is Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene’s “Mary, Did You Know?” It has been covered by the likes of Michael English, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, and Wynonna Judd, but the best version EVER is Mark Lowry with the Gaither Vocal Band. Check it out on YouTube. Do it NOW! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0WIJw8JVeU

    BTW, I’m a new Travis Cottrell convert, thanks to you and Melanie. Just downloaded some of his songs to my iPod last week!

  53. Me, me! Um my favorite song is that bell song… You know… “christmas is here. Bringing good cheer” Oh I forget the rest. But I love it. :) H

  54. Clearly you have beat Travis’ prediction!
    My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night . . . I remember one Christmas season listening to my 20-something friend whose body was ravaged with cancer sing this song so beautifully at church . . . and now I can never hear this song without thinking her testimony of God’s goodness and grace in sending His Son! Praise God she is with Him now, already enjoying an eternity of singing with Him and for Him!

  55. “O Holy Night” for sure!!!!!!!!
    I was at Deeper Still Las Vegas and that was the first time I had heard Travis Cottrell. I bought two of his CDs and have had them on rotation in my car ever since!!! If I don’t win, I will be buying it his Christmas CD!

  56. I still like Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer as my favorite – guess it is the kid in me!

  57. My favorite is Mary Did You Know!!

  58. O Come All Ye Faithful. Thanks to you and Travis for a great giveaway!

  59. I think it’s called “Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day” by Celine Dion. I love the song! My daughter performed a dance to it several years ago with her class that I thought was beautiful, so its’ very special to me.

  60. Breath of Heaven, because my darling husband likes to sing it to me.

  61. “welcome to our world” (the chris rice version), I also love “Have yourself a merry little christmas”

  62. My sister says that I start my Christmas music in July and end in March. Whatever!! lol
    My favorite is “Ave Maria”. Technically not a Christmas song, but we’ve sung it for Christmas in choir. And I’ve heard it on Christmas albums. So maybe technically it is really a Christmas song.


  63. I love, love, love O Come,O Come Emmanuel. And Amy Grant’s Christmas music is the greatest… Breath of Heaven cannot done by anyone but Amy!

  64. Love Christmas music! Angels We Have Heard on High.

  65. I actually won a copy of the cd from the photo caption contest on the All Access site but wanted to help boost the comment count anyhow! Good luck to everyone else!

  66. Oh Holy Night… of course.

  67. For old school you can’t beat a really good version of O Holy Night. If I need something a little more “contemporary” then Mary, Did You Know is my pick.

  68. O Holy Night and What Child Is This are my absolute faves!

    Have you ever listened to Kevin Max’s (formerly of DC Talk) Christmas album? It’s called Holy Night and it is A-Maz-Ing!!! His voice is awesome!

  69. Ooh ooh there are so many…Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Oh Holy Night, and Good Christian Men Rejoice are just a few of my favorites!

  70. My favorite Christmas song is “I’ll be Home for Christmas”…a song with a lot of meaning for us since we lived away from family for 6 years.
    I also like “Mary did you know”

  71. “O Holy Night” is my all time favorite! I play Christmas music year round! I never tire of it! Oh, I hope I win!!!

  72. Carol of the Bells is one of our favs around here. We start in on the Christmas music before Thanksgiving.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!
    mnatherson at comcast dot net

  73. I, too, LOVE Christmas music and have been known to listen to it year-round.

    My all-time favorite would have to be “O Holy Night”!

    How exciting that Travis has a Christmas CD!

  74. Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire aka The Christmas Song. Pick Me Oh Random Integer Thingymabob!

  75. Mary Did You Know is my very favorite, followed by O Holy Night.

  76. It’s almost impossible to pin it down to one favorite, but if forced I guess it would have to be “O Holy Night”. I L.O.V.E. Christmas music! And I L.O.V.E. FryDaddy’s music! So this mix is almost too much to fathom.

    Also, if the random number generator genie picks mine it will totally make my birthday wish come true, since my birthday is two days before Christmas. But no pressure or anything.


  77. “O Holy Night” is my all time favorite!!

    Can’t wait to hear his CD.

  78. I too have fond memories of the Amy Grant Christmas Cassette. We wore.it.out. And my Mom eventually bought it on CD.

    I loves me some Christmas music, though we have a mandate in our home that it shall only be listened to between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And when we travel for Thanksgiving, we take the CD’s with us and listen to them on the way home. Seriously.

    Husband bought me the Peanuts Christmas soundtrack last year, and right now that’s my favorite Christmas music. Brings back warm fuzzy memories of curling up with a blanket and watching Charlie Brown and his sad little tree.

  79. “Good News” off of Avalon’s Christmas CD will give you chills and tears every time.

    I also love “In the First Light”- beautiful.

    Traditional: Angels We have Heard on High- the “glorias” never get old. :)

  80. Mary Did You Know? is my favorite. I love to think about Jesus’ birth through his young mother’s perspective.

  81. O Holy Night…

    And I LOVE Amy’s first Christmas album, too. Still a Christmas-nostalgia producer for me. : )

  82. I love the Silent Night/Peace, Peace arrangement, brings back wonderful memories of my church’s Christmas Eve service growing up.

  83. Kelly Kulich says:

    O Holy Night…I cry every single time I hear it. It reminds me of going to church as a little girl every Christmas eve, when it actually snowed for Christmas!

  84. My favorite is Angels We have Heard on High. I love the glorias =)

  85. Sacred–O Holy Night
    Secular–Hark, How the Bells

    And I LOVED that first Amy Grant Christmas album, too! My parents had the RECORD–yes, the lp–and I about wore it out!

  86. I love “O Holy Night”…and Amy’s and MWS’s first Christmas album as well.

  87. Well, it appears that #46 has long come and gone…
    Favorite Christmas song… hmm… that’s hard. But I think O Holy Night.

  88. “Once in Royal David’s City.”

  89. I love Christmas music so much that I start listening to my CD’s in September!

    I have so many favorites but if I had to pick JUST ONE, it would be “Welcome to the World” by Michael W. Smith. I also love O Holy Night, Silent Night, and What Child is This. . . just to name a few.

  90. Mary Did You Know is my very favorite.

  91. I love almost all Christmas music, so choosing one song isn’t possible. One song that is definitely close to the top of my list is Little Drummer Boy. I get all teary eyed when it comes on.

  92. Oh, I love Christmas music! Michael W. Smith’s album last year was really good. My favorite Christmas song is I Wonder As I Wander.
    Hope I win!

  93. Well, he’s already oh-so-wrong. Sorry, Travis. But I still would love his CD.

    I don’t know. I think anything by Handel ranks right up there as some of the best Christmas music ever. But I also love “Oh Holy Night” and the words to “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” are hard to beat.

  94. My favorite is I Wonder as I Wander.
    Hope I win!

  95. My very favorite is “Go Tell It On The Mountain”. My 3yo daughter sang it for months after Christmas last year. It was really cute!

  96. There’s no way I can pick just one for my favorite Christmas song. I love them all!
    But since I have to list one I love, I’ll put down Mary Did You Know.

    My son tears up every time he hears it.
    He’s 11.

  97. O come, O Come Emmanuel and O Holy Night.

  98. Just one song? Really??
    Well, Christmas ain’t Christmas without O Holy Night, so I’ll go with that one.

    And win or not, I too will be in the stores on 10/7. The Amy Grant album is an All Time Fave with my mom, sis and me, so I’m thinking I’ll get 3 copies and mail ’em out as “Yay, It’s Christmastime Again (Or Close Enough)” gifts. :)

  99. Hard, hard choice–I love Christmas music, but I’ll say “Go Tell It On the Mountain”, especially when done with a very gospel, sing-it-out kind of way as it is on the album (yes–album–not even cassette)I grew up with–Little Drummer Boy (I think…don’t hold me to that name). Imagine my disappointment when the CD version of the album did not have this song on it.

  100. Oh and since like 10 people have commented in the time it took me to type my comment… yeah. Sayonara, 46!