Since it’s now the time for holiday music to be socially acceptable (after Thanksgiving), it only makes sense to comprise a list of the best albums to bring about that joyful holiday spirit. There have been hundreds of Christmas albums made over the years, so it’s pertinent to weed out the less than satisfactory ones. When listening to these albums, don’t forget the wise words of Will Ferrell “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Not everyone has to have the voice of an angel, just make sure you have good taste in music.
5. A Very She & Him Christmas
A more recent Christmas album is by up-and-coming duo She & Him. They released A Very She & Him Christmas in 2011 and was one of the best-selling albums during the holiday season of that year. Anyone binge-watching New Girl knows Zooey Deschanel has a unique voice, which makes for an interesting take on the usual hits heard during the holiday rush. Combined with a guitar, piano, and even a ukulele at times, the duo recreates the classics with a more simplistic feel, rather than the over-the-top orchestra-fueled powerhouse listeners are more accustomed to.
4. White Christmas
Bing Crosby is the source for many holiday hits. The biggest song of his career was his recording of “White Christmas,” which was originally written by Irving Berlin, and is still the best-selling single of all time. Though it was released in 1945, the songs still filter through the holiday radio stations today. Following Elvis’ album, White Christmas is the second best-selling Christmas album of all time.
3. A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra
The fifties were the prime of music, especially for the holidays. While many have obsessed over Michael Buble’s Christmas album in 2011, some forget where his style originated. Frank Sinatra released his first holiday album A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra in 1957, the same year as Elvis Presley’s album. It serves as a more conservative album for those opposed to the idea of a hip-shaking sex symbol singing about Jesus. The album combines Sinatra’s smooth, confident voice with an orchestra that only amplifies it and tugs at heart strings across the country.
2. Christmas With Johnny Cash
While Johnny Cash recorded the collection of songs between 1962 and 1980, Christmas With Johnny Cash wasn’t released until after his death in 2003, making it all the more powerful. All but one song on the album are covers of traditional Christmas songs. The last song on the album is an original called “Life as We Knew It,” a song about gratitude and growing up poor in rural Arkansas. Be sure to play it around those spoiled brats we all have in our families. You know the ones.
1. Elvis’ Christmas Album
The best-selling Christmas album of all time belongs to none other than Elvis Presley. It goes without saying his career was huge in the ‘50s and still continues to hold influence in music today. The iconic “Blue Christmas” topped the Billboard charts and made it possible for holiday singles to be ranked in the pop charts. Elvis’ Christmas Album reached the No. 1 spot on the U.S. charts and is considered an essential album for the holidays today.