* From velvety crooners to soulful Motown, we rank these essential Christmas albums
* Listen to holiday favorites perfect for your next get-together or office holiday party
* Stream all your favorite Christmas albums on Amazon
Eggnog, sugar cookies, festive decorations and of course, Christmas music. As the song goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and what better way to kick off the holidays than by ranking some of the most notable Christmas albums.
From easy-listening jazz and soulful Motown to unconventional rockers and velvety crooners, we ranked 12 essential Christmas albums from worst to best.
(SPY tip: you can download your favorite Christmas albums for free right now with an Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial – sign up here.)
12. Home For Christmas by *NSync
Some of you might be wondering why *NSync’s Christmas album isn’t higher on this list. Truth is: it’s a decent album; it ticks all the boxes for a Christmas album, but overall, it lacks the upbeat *NSync-ness we’ve all come to know and love. When it’s all said and done, what’s Christmas without a little early 2000s nostalgia, right?
11. Christmas Eve And Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Mixing familiar holiday songs with opera and progressive rock, Christmas Eve And Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra gives listeners the holiday feels but more on the edgier, bolder side. You’re more inclined to explore the vast unknown of the North Pole then say, sip eggnog and decorate a Christmas tree.
10. Ultimate Christmas Collection by Jackson 5
Boasting plenty of funk and spot-on musicality, The Ultimate Christmas Collection from The Jackson 5 re-imagines all your Christmas favorites with sophistication and style thanks to the feet-tapping remake of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and adding their own flair to classics like “Frosty the Snowman,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. You even get a special season’s greetings from Michael, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie to make your holidays extra memorable.
9. Miracles: The Holiday Album by Kenny G
For those seeking a jazzier, laid-back holiday, Kenny G’s saxophone provides a festive interpretation of go-to holiday hits including “Winter Wonderland,” “Silent Night,” and “Silver Bells”. Miracles may have been released in 1994, but it’s still very much a holiday staple that can be enjoyed by all.
8. The Best Of/20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection by Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men gives a soulful interpretation on Christmas hits you’ll gladly play over and over again even months after the holidays are long gone. Michael, Nathan, Shawn and Wayne offer a flawless semi-acapella version of “Silent Night” and re-imagined originals like “Joyous Song” that take you right back to the days of feel-good 90s R&B.
7. These Are Special Times by Céline Dion
Céline Dion and Christmas music? You’ve got yourself a Christmas worth cheering about. One listen and you can’t help but feel like “these are special times,” just like her album title suggests. Céline’s version of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” is a must-listen while “Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day” will give you all the holiday feels one could ever ask for.
6. That’s Christmas To Me (Deluxe Edition) by Pentatonix
If you’re looking for an unconventional Christmas album, Pentatonix are here to harmonize and beatbox their way into your next holiday get-together as old favorites like “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland” are given magically awesome acapella arrangements.
5. Home Alone – 25th Anniversary Edition by John Williams
A pop culture classic in its own right, the Home Alone soundtrack from John Williams features a care-free balance of fun, chaos and warmth that comes with family, holiday travels and unexpected adventures as captured in the film. Once the main title “Somewhere in My Memory” plays, you know the soundtrack will definitely bring back good memories.
4. White Christmas by Bing Crosby
Crosby’s interpretation of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” is not only an iconic holiday jingle; it’s also the best-selling single of all time. Bet you didn’t know Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling single ever.
Other classics like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Silver Bells”, and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” will have you reaching for that hot cocoa and ready to take on Christmas like a boss.
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio
When you hear “Christmas Time Is Here” from the beloved Peanuts characters, it brings a warm nostalgic feeling of holiday magic. Even decades later, Charlie Brown, his friends and the music are loved by fans young and old. Songs like “Skating” and “Christmas is Coming” illustrates the cool, laid-back west coast jazz that is brilliantly captured by Vince Guaraldi Trio.
2. Christmas by Michael Bublé
You know that warm, happy feeling you get when you listen to a song that resonates awe and wonder? Well, that’s basically what Christmas from Michael Bublé is all about. Even old-school Christmas songs sound better as Bublé adds a heaping layer of buttery smooth goodness to every track that’s guaranteed to give you chills and put you in a joyous holiday mood.
1. Merry Christmas by Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas tops our list because it not only is an incredible Christmas album, there’s one particular song we think is kind of a big deal. And we think the world agrees. Since 1994, nothing says Christmas has arrived quite like the iconic opening bells of Mariah Carey’s worldwide hit “All I Want For Christmas is You”.
Whether you’re at an office holiday party or a family get-together, chances are “All I Want for Christmas” is blasting in the background. It’s one of the songs that just gets better over time. It always gets you singing along, gets you off your seat and definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit. And it’s no surprise it’s still one of the best-selling Christmas songs of all time.