Top 5 of All Time: Black Christmas Songs

This writer bets you won't agree with his picks. Do you?

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It is not a traditional holiday album, but Houston's work on the sound track to the 1996 holiday film The Preacher's Wife feels like a holiday church party, and "Joy," her interpretation of the Kirk Franklin classic, is the revival. Houston channels her gospel pedigree to churn out a flawless performance with the Georgia Mass Choir, matching their energy note for note. Houston later released One Wish: The Holiday Album in 2003, but nothing matched her work on "Joy."

1. "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway

There are holiday songs, and there are holiday standards. Holiday songs come and go, but holiday standards stay, permanently imprinting themselves into the yearly traditions. That's what Hathaway's "This Christmas" has done. Thirty years after it made its debut on his self-entitled album, "This Christmas" is arguably the soul man's most beloved song, becoming as much of a staple in Christmas songbooks as "Jingle Bells." The evidence lies in the numerous remakes the song has undergone in its short lifetime. And though none touch the original, when any version of "This Christmas" comes on the speakers, people carol along. 

Jozen Cummings is a writer living in Harlem, N.Y. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog,

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Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter

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