Whether you’re an early Christmas celebrator or a late bloomer, everyone can agree that Christmas music is a major part of the holiday season. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere without hearing the same ten songs over and over….and over. As I’m starting to get in the holiday spirit—who am I kidding, I love Christmas, I’m always in the spirit—I thought I’d compose a list of my favourite holiday albums.
Danielle’s Christmas Music Musts…in no particular order
1) Neil Diamond The Christmas Album
2) Mannheim Steamroller- Christmas
3) A Pan Flute Christmas Vol.2
4) Bing Crosby- Christmas Classics
5) Burl Ives- The Very Best of Burl Ives Christmas
6) Rockin’ Little Christmas
7) The Muppet Christmas Carol Soundtrack
Let’s start with Neil Diamond. This album is one of my favourites for two main reasons. I have so many memories of Christmases as a child with this album playing in the background. Christmas has pretty much always been just my Mum, Dad, sister, and I. We don’t have a lot of family, and the ones we do spend the holidays doing their own thing. This resulted in a lot of time spent making our own holiday traditions. I still remember baking cookies in the kitchen with mum and Michelle while Neil sang classics such as Little Drummer Boy and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. When this album plays, I’m instantly reminded of numerous past Christmas seasons. I also love this album because Neil has such an incredible voice and truly makes these songs feel like Christmas.
Next is Mannheim Steamroller. If you’re looking for an epic arrangement of classic Christmas songs, their album Christmas is definitely for you! The instrumental arrangements of classics such as I Saw Three Ships, Stille Nacht, and Good King Wenceslas will have you breaking out the decorations and getting a head start on making your house Christmas ready. These songs are beautiful and like Neil Diamond’s Christmas Album, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic when listening to them.
Another great instrumental album is A Pan Flute Christmas Volume 2. Featuring the soothing sounds of the pan flute, this albums reinvents many Christmas songs including Do You Hear What I Hear and The Nutcracker Overture. This album often plays in the background at my house during Christmastime when you want to have the feeling of the holidays, but need to get some work done, or are just bored of all the songs that play on the radio daily—Mariah Carey I’m looking at you…hint All I Want for Christmas is You hint!
Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics is exactly what it’s called—a Christmas classic. You can’t have the holiday season without listening to some Bing Crosby crooning about Christmas. His smooth, melodic voice is pleasing to Christmas lovers of all ages! This is a more recent love of mine, but I’m so glad I finally found it. I’ve always heard Bing Crosby on the radio at Christmas, but a few years ago I discovered this album and it was love at first…hear. With a track list of many of my favourites, this album is another that just embraces the feeling of warmth and love that Christmas is all about.
When I think of Christmas, I think of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and when I think of Rudolph, I think of Burl Ives. If I had to pick a voice to represent Christmas, it would be Burl Ives. His album is such a classic that I can’t imagine Christmas without it. His arrangements are a bit different than most versions you’ll hear on the radio, but his voice is just so melodic that it gives me chills.
If you’re looking for something a little different than the usual classics, you should try Rockin’ Little Christmas. This album features some of my favourite upbeat Christmas tunes such as Surfin’ Santa and Mambo Santa Mambo. These songs are incredibly fun and remind me of many spontaneous Christmas dance parties in my living room with my family.
The last album that I’ve included on this list is actually the soundtrack to one of my favourite Christmas movies- Muppet Christmas Carol. Kermit the Frog and the gang singing Christmas songs, yes please! This has been one of my favourite Christmas movies since I was little—we even have it on vhs still—and the music is what really makes it (well, that and Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge). I often find myself singing songs from this album, even when it’s nowhere near Christmastime. Before checking out this album, you should watch this movie! It’s incredible and will have you singing along in no time.
I have many favourite Christmas songs and listen to many different albums, but these are definitely my most played.
If you’re going to check out any of the albums on this list—which I highly recommend that you do—please let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what you guys thought of my picks. Also, if you have any Christmas suggestions, please let me know. I always love discovering new Christmas songs.