Best Christmas Albums?

Dear Internet: Recommend some Christmas albums, please.

I’m looking for serious suggestions of genuinely good Christmas music which you would put on your stereo while baking sugar cookies, wrapping presents, or just sitting around the fire.  Not mall-muzaak schlock, not Weird-Al joke albums.  Beyond that, the field is wide open.  It could be as mainstream or as edgy and alternative as you like.  Modern, classic, or even classical.  Accoustic or electronic, Western or Eastern, Christian or Pagan.

For reference, the best Christmas album I own is Over the Rhine’s "The Trumpet Child" "Snow Angels".  But that’s also probably the only Christmas album I own.  So – give me some suggestions!

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  1. I grew up with Manheim Steamroller’s electronic Christmas albums….for some reason it just isn’t Christmas until I hear synthesized “Deck the halls”

    Also- classics are always good:

    Nat king cole
    Bing crosby

  2. I love my Boyz II Men “Christmas Interpretations.” I’m a giant dork, though.

  3. We got the Martha Stewart Christmas collections a couple of years ago and I really like them. It’s a good mix of traditional and contemporary.

  4. The Squirrel Nut Zippers’ and the Chieftain’s Christmas albums are really fun. They’re lively, have some traditional stuff, but not all traditional stuff. I look forward to listening to them each year.

  5. Did you mean “Snow Angels” instead of “The Trumpet Child”? I figured that you did, but I’ve heard that assumptions are the lowest form of intelligence, so I ask.

    I like OTR’s “The Darkest Night of the Year”, I like “Snow Angels” better but it’s still a great album.

    Diana Krall has a great album called “Christmas Songs”. Not the snappiest of titles, but the tunes are nice.

    Any of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra albums are worth checking out.

    Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is essential.

    Harry Connick’s “When Mt Heart Finds Christmas” satisfies some of my New Orleans longings during Christmas.

    Fleming and John don’t have an album but they do have two songs o’ the season which are great; “Carol of the Bells” and “Winter Wonderland”. They were free downloads long ago and I don’t know if they are still out there anywhere. Maybe I could get you a copy if you’re interested.

    That’s all that I can pull out off the top of my head.

    Wait, no. Brian Stezer Orchestra has two cool Christmas discs.

    Now, that’s all.

    I think.

  6. Excelsis:A Dark Noel and Excelsis:A Winter’s Song… goth Christmas music! These are definitely some of my favorites!!!

    Two new albums I am loving… Enya’s “And Winter Came” and Loreena McKennit’s “A Midwinter’s Night’s Dream”

    I just found out Sarah Brightman has a new holiday cd out too, but I don’t have that one yet.

    Also, “This Winter’s Night” by MotherTounge. It’s a pagan group.

    I agree with the Trans-Siberian and Harry Connick stuff being good too.

  7. the whole time i was reading the first paragraph i was like – oh! oh! i know one Snow Angels!


    I pretty much hate all Christmas music so I don’t have anything much to add. The Muppets w/ John Denver is pretty nice, IMO

  8. “Christmas Blessings: The Narada Christmas Collection, volume 3”

    “Winter, Fire and Snow: Songs for the Holiday Season”

    Both are collections with various artists. One might be tempted to consider them new age.

  9. John Fahey’s THE JOHN FAHEY CHRISTMAS ALBUM. Any Christmas album by Fahey, actually. Using his acoustic guitar, he transforms old carols into exciting folky-improvised-avant pieces, while retaining the original’s structure. Amazing!

  10. I love anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Manheim Steamrollers. Also, and this is going to sound weird, one of my other favorite christmas albums is The Air Supply Christmas Album.

    I also have a killer playlist of christmas songs, and could burn you CDs.

  11. my current favorite album

    I have to agree about the squirrel nut zippers. Then another option, and one that I probably listen to more than most others is A Christmas Present – New Holiday Traditions. My kids are particularly enamored with the Bare Naked Ladies version of Jingle Bells.

    The best song on it is Martin Sexton’s version of Do you hear what hear which is also available on his excellent Camp Christmas album.

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