MercyMe Unwraps Top Holiday Albums Chart With No. 1 Bow

Here comes Santa Claus: the seasonal Top Holiday Albums chart returns to Billboard. The survey will be compiled on a weekly basis through early January and viewable in print and on Billboard's websites.

MercyMe debuts at No. 1 on the chart with MercyMe It's Christmas!, the act's first leader on the list and second to reach the tally, following 2005's No. 10-peaking The Christmas Sessions. The new set also opens at No. 12 on Top Christian Albums, with 2,000 copies sold in the week ending Oct. 15, according to Nielsen Music.

The new 11-song LP includes classics and new material. "'O Come O Come' is my favorite," the band's Mike Scheuchzer tells Billboard. "It's always been one of my favorite Christmas carols."

PETERSON'S PEAK: With his eighth appearance on Top Christian Albums, Andrew Peterson scores his best rank and sales week, as Burning Edge of a Dream begins at No. 3 (5,000 sold).

"This album came out of a pretty scary time, a bit of a mid-life freak-out," Peterson tells Billboard. "The only things steady in that season were my family and God. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped spread the word."

'RIVER' FLOWS: On Christian Airplay, Jordan Feliz's debut single "The River" surges 12-9 as the chart's top gainer (up by 12 percent to 6 million in audience). The upbeat track is from Feliz's debut album Beloved, released Oct. 2.