The 8 Best Christmas Albums to Download in 2017

Get in the spirit with these festive holiday tunes

To get in the Christmas spirit you need decorations, family, and, of course, music. With so many interpretations of our beloved songs it can be tempting to rely on the radio or grab any old album. But not all Christmas music is created equal, which is why we’ve assembled a list of some of the all-time greats. Whether you want a contemporary Christmas take, a festive Motown rendition or want to go all the way back to the turn of the 20th century, we’ve got you covered. So break out the eggnog and warm up the fire and get ready to listen to your Christmas favorites.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is now as much a part of the holiday as Santa Claus and his reindeer. Part of what makes the animated special so great is the atmospheric music and charming smooth jazz that puts a smile on your face as you settle down by the fireplace for the holidays. Led by Vince Guaraldi’s three piece jazz band, you can now fill your home with the same cozy warm tunes that played from our TV for years. The album contains full versions of all the Charlie Brown classics, including “Christmas Time Is Here,” “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” and "Fur Elise."

Old Blue Eyes crooned his way into millions of hearts with his deep sonorous voice and infectious energy. Of Frank Sinatra’s many enduring hits are his rendition of Christmas classics like “Jingle Bells” and holiday originals like “Mistletoe and Holly.” Sinatra produced this album with longtime collaborator Gordon Jenkins and the duo pack energetic jazz into every track on the album, which was originally released in 1957. This Sinatra album is a sure bet to class up any event, from weekends leading up to the holiday to Christmas Eve dinner. Put on the record and enjoy the Old World vibes.

If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, then you can’t go wrong with easy-listening legend Michael Bublé’s 2011 album Christmas. Whether you are an ardent fan of the multi-Grammy winner or you just want to hear the classics with some modern pop sensibility, this album will hit the spot. Bublé brings his soft and soulful voice to tackle 15 songs, ranging from “Feliz Navidad” to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.” Guest features by Shania Twain and the Puppini Sisters add a bit of extra fun to the mix, making this an enjoyable and soothing Christmas album that will be enjoyed by all.

For most people, an old time Christmas album means Sinatra, Elvis, or Bing Crosby. But if you’re looking to evoke the Christmas spirit of a time before the Rat Pack and rock n’ roll, go with this festive collection from award-winning TV show Downton Abbey. Full of Baroque devotionals and religious classics performed by the likes of the Choir of King's College Cambridge and The Budapest City Orchestra, this extensive collection will whisk you to the time of Dickens. Old World classics like “Silent Night,” “Good King Wenceslas” and “Joy to the World” shine in the theatrical style of yesteryear. All-in-all the record comes with 45 tracks, enough to carry you through a full holiday party.

Motown’s royal family released their take on fun and upbeat Christmas hits in 1970, and many of their renditions would go on to become the definitive version of holiday favorites. A young Michael Jackson and his siblings brought a R&B and funk-inspired twist to the Christmas genre, with stand out performances of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Expect positive vibes and good fun from this best-selling Christmas album, making it a great choice to get you in the mood for holiday shopping or car rides to the ice skating rink.

Take a tour of the Christmas classics with The Essential Now That’s What I Call Christmas. The long-running hit music compilation series turns its attention the the holiday hits with this fun and diverse collection of the all time greats. With tracks by artists including John Lennon, Chuck Berry and Carrie Underwood, you are sure to find something for everyone. The collection spans time and genres, giving a perspective on the diverse meanings Christmas music has for different people.

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes has made a career out of his melancholic and tender ballads, and this time he turns his talents to Christmas classics. The album features gentle, somber takes on religious classics like “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night.” This isn’t the album for the raucous office Christmas party, but it works great for college students stranded on campus and away from loved ones during the holiday season, or for anyone who tends to be a little down during the holidays. 

Every family with a soft spot for The King should have the legendary singer’s Christmas album, a chart-topping holiday staple that will fill the house with joy. Elvis’ Christmas Album was Presley’s fourth studio album, released in October 1957 at the height of his fame, topping the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart for four weeks straight upon its release. With a 30-minute runtime, you will hear Elvis cover the classics like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night,” as well as deliver his own original rock and roll hits like “Santa Claus Is Back in Town.” This is a lively record that will fare well at Christmas cocktail parties and festive get togethers. Relive the rock n’ roll Christmases of years past with a wonderful pressed Vinyl, or stream via Amazon. 

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