Top Ten Christmas Albums


By Justin Adams

Working on a Spotify Christmas music playlist? Here are 10 essential Christmas albums from a variety of eras and genres to get you started.

10. A Family Christmas – The Piano Guys

Starting off the list is the Utah-based duo of Steven Sharp Nelson and John Schmidt, whose popular YouTube channel features piano and cello covers of popular songs. This collection of classic Christmas songs covers a broad range of tones, from somber and reflective on “Away in a Manger” to a Pirates of the Caribbean-esque adventure on “Carol of the Bells/God Rest You Merry Gentlemen.”

9. Christmas – Celtic Woman

Well, it might not be the most creative name for a Christmas album, and their stage show might be the tiniest bit cheesy, but for anyone who’s into multilingual singing and violin-driven melodies, then Celtic Woman is for you.

8. Holidays Rule – Various Artists

This compilation album features a number of Christmas songs by indie/alternative artists like The Civil Wars, The Head and the Heart, and Andrew Bird. Quite a few are original songs, so if it gets to be the end of the holiday season and you’re getting sick of all the traditional Christmas songs, give this one a listen.

7. Christmas – Manheim Steamroller

Time to let the synth out. This album is great for when you need to get yourself psyched up to brave the cold and the crowds to get your Christmas shopping done. Turn the volume up and start bobbing your head.

6. Rockin’ Little Christmas – Various Artists

Another compilation album, this one boasts some of the most popular rockers of the ’50s: Chuck Berry, Bobby Helms and Brenda Lee. I grew up with songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” so it may just be the nostalgia speaking, but this album is definitely groovy.

5. Songs for Christmas – Sufjan Stevens

There’s not a whole lot of indie artists out there who would release a 42-track Christmas music album. In fact, there may just be one, and that’s Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan delivers a slew of successful indie covers of classic Christmas songs, but also a number of humorous original songs like “Holy, Holy, etc.” “Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance” and “Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well You Deserved It!).”

4. Christmas Classics – Bing Crosby

Transport yourself back to a simpler time when Christmas wasn’t the crown jewel of consumer culture that it is today, with the deep, warm, inviting voice of Bing Crosby. There’s a reason ol’ Bing is one of the highest-selling artists of the whole 20th century.

3. The Classic Christmas Album – Kenny G

So much glorious saxophone! Kenny G’s Christmas music makes you feel like you’re lounging by the fireplace of a luxury hotel lobby listening to the swanky jazz band hired for the sexiest and classiest Christmas party of all time.

2. Best of Narada Christmas – Various Artists

Unlike the previous two compilation albums, you’ll likely have never heard of any of the artists on this album, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. This collection of mellow new-age arrangements of Christmas songs makes for the perfect ambiance in your home to just snuggle up in a warm blanket next to the fire and admire the glow of your Christmas tree.

1. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

There are so many great things about this album, but the most important is King Cole’s deep sultry voice. Whether he’s singing with a jazz band, a choir or an orchestra, his voice and delivery are top-notch. Really, Nat King Cole is the voice of Christmas.

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