One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music. I love it all—from traditional carols about the birth of Jesus to Rock and Pop songs about Santa, snowmen, and mistletoe—I can’t get enough of it.
There’s no better way to get into the season than with a some fantastic seasonal tunes. So, here’s my list of seven sure-fire Christmas albums to rock your holidays.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio
There’s a certain melancholy to the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon which helps us relate to the titular blockhead. But, the jazzy instrumental takes on familiar staples “Greensleeves” and “O Tannenbaum” make this album a perfect compliment to your holiday party.
- Noel – Josh Groban
Wow! That’s really sums up how I feel about Groban’s take on Christmas music. I was literally blown away the first time I heard this. It’s easily the best Christmas album to come out in the last 20 years. Do yourself a favor and buy this one today.
- Christmas with the Beach Boys – The Beach Boys
This album occupies a special place in my heart. This was probably the third album I remember buying with my own money. I loved The Beach Boys’ harmonies on the old standards, but the most fun was their original tune “Little Saint Nick.”
- Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
I know what you’re thinking—“Isn’t that the Ugly Bug Ball guy?”—and, yes, it is. But, he’s also the snowman in the classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer animated special. If you enjoy Holly Jolly as much as I do the rest of this album will be sure to brighten your spirits.
- Wintersong – Sarah McLachlan
I’m sure Ms. McLachlan tires of her voice being referred to as ethereal, but it really is. This is a fantastic album with wonderful renditions of “Silent Night” and “Christmas Time Is Here”. The highlight of Wintersong is her cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “River”. At one time or another, we’ve all wished we had river that we could skate away on.
- A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1 – Various Artists
The first volume in the “A Very Special Christmas” (AVSC) series of albums may sound a trifle dated, but it’s just so much fun! Released in 1987 to benefit the Special Olympics, AVSC features a who’s who of late 80s rock and pop standouts. This album features two songs currently in heavy rotation on my Christmas playlist: “Christmas (Please Come Home Baby)” by U2 and “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.
- A Christmas Together – John Denver & the Muppets
It never officially felt like Christmas Time until my parents brought out the John Denver and Muppets Christmas record. With renewed interest in the Muppets, A Christmas Together is a great way to get (re-)acquainted with the world’s greatest performing puppet troupe. The songs range from sweet to silly without ever being condescending to the audience or the source material. This album is great fun regardless of your age.
There are so many great Christmas albums out there, so I know I may not have chosen your favorites. Which christmas albums would have made your list? Sound off in the comments below.
All album art courtesy of Amazon
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