Songs for Christmas is a box set of five separate EPs of Christmas-related songs and carols recorded by independent musician Sufjan Stevens between 2001 and 2006. The EPs had been given as gifts to friends and family of Stevens over the past six years, except for 2004 where he was too busy recording the Illinois album. Though the first three EPs have been available on Sufjan Stevens-related fansites for several years, Songs for Christmas is the first official release of these EPs. Most of the tracks are versions of traditional Christmas songs, with a number of original compositions such as “Sister Winter” and “Star of Wonder”. Sufjan Stevens has developed a reputation for being a devoted Christian and many of the songs he chose for inclusion on Songs for Christmas are religious in nature, including his original compositions.
The box set includes a poster of Sufjan Stevens, an animated short for “Put the Lights on the Tree” by Tom Eaton, an essay by Rick Moody, two original short stories by Stevens, stickers, comics and a sing-a-long book for all five discs.
During Stevens’ international tour in the later half of 2006, he regularly performed the original song “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever” while releasing inflatable Santas into the audience for fun.
Songs for Christmas was generally well received by music critics.
Stevens released a follow up, Silver and Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, in November 2012, which contains a further 58 original and traditional songs.
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