I love the holidays. The decorations, the food, the parties. I also love listening to Christmas music and watching holiday specials too. This year, there are new Christmas CDs from Blake Shelton, Ceelo Green, Lady Antebellum, Rod Stewart and more. Here are some of my favorite Christmas albums:
- Barbra Streisand — A Christmas Album
One of the most enduring Christmas albums ever, this album came out originally in 1967. Her version of “Jingle Bells” is a classic, other highlights include “The Christmas Song” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”
- Josh Groban — Noel
David Foster did a fantastic job producing this album. The arrangements are so lush and beautiful. Add in the angelic voice of Josh, and you have a holiday classic. Highlights include: “The First Noel” with Faith Hill and “Little Drummer Boy”.
- NSync — Home for Christmas
Sure, they were a boy band, but they were also great singers. What I love about this CD, is how many original songs are on there. And a decent amount of uptempo songs too. I love Justin, but the group was special too. Highlights include: “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” and “O Holy Night” (A Cappella).
- A Very Special Christmas
The original and still the best. A wide variety of artists singing Christmas songs, new and old. Stand outs include Madonna “Santa Baby” and the Pointer Sisters “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Plus proceeds go to the Special Olympics.
- Patti LaBelle — This Christmas
This one always gets played in our house. Secular and religious songs, both done justice by this classy lady. Highlights include “If Every Day Could Be Christmas” as well as the title track.
- Vanessa Williams — Silver and Gold
Call it a smooth jazz Christmas. Perfect for an afternoon spent baking holiday cookies, or an intimate dinner party. “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is one the highlights.
- Natalie Cole — Holly & Ivy
Taking after her father, Miss Natalie does a great job on this album. Backed by a swinging big band and orchestra, highlights include “Jingle Bells” and “Caroling, Caroling”.
- Mariah Carey — Merry Christmas
A diva Christmas. Traditional songs as well as new ones. Highlights include “All I Want for Christmas is You” and “Joy to the World”.
- Babyface — Christmas with Babyface
Great arrangements from one of the top producer/songwriters of the last few decades. Only 1 original song in the bunch, but a reggae version of “Little Drummer Boy” is among the new versions of classic songs.
- The Year without a Santa Claus
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town
These specials from my childhood, are still great today. They were all from Rankin and Bass and featured stop motion animation. The stories, characters and songs all hold up well. There’s a reason they are still shown every year.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
Another Christmas classic. If this was made today, I doubt it would get on the air. But to have a Christmas special that talks about the birth of Jesus being the real reason of the season is a wonderful thing.
- Pee Wee’s Christmas Special
Paul Reuben’s alter ego put on a Christmas special in his Playhouse. Fun for adults and kids alike.
- Frosty the Snow Man
Another favorite Christmas song brought to animated form. Tell me you don’t get teary eyed watching it.
That’s it! What are your holiday favorites? Did I miss anything? I would love to hear from you.
Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Wear Speedos. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.