When it comes to playing the best Christmas jams, I consider myself an expert. I’m all in on nostalgic songs like “White Christmas,” but I also know a good new calol when I hear one, like Sia’s latest “Santa’s Coming for Us” (which I love). New or old, I think I have the best Christmas playlist around. Here are some of my favorite albums.
Christmas Party by She & Him
A DIY blogger who wishes she looked good with bangs is a She & Him fan? Shocking. The duo’s second Christmas album is an absolute must for the holidays (I could take or leave their first holiday effort) whether you watch New Girl or not. This LP is packed with fun and less common Christmas tracks. “Must Be Santa” is probably my favorite for it’s polka style, but “The Coldest Night of the Year” makes me want to curl up by the fire. Overall, it’s heartwarming and fun like the holiday itself.
It’s a Holiday Soul Party by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
I have a feeling that this album will one day be considered a classic. It’s filled with holiday soul as the name implies and I love the arrangements on some of the traditional Christmas tunes like “Funky Little Drummer Boy.” It’s just such a good, good album, though it saddens me that Jones isn’t around to spread a little more cheer and funky vibes.
A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector by The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love and more
Phil Spector aside, this is the best Christmas album you can get your hands on. The tracks are quintessential Christmas. I mean, who doesn’t love Darlene Love’s “Baby, Please Come Home?” I’m going to say it: “Baby, Please Come Home” is the best Christmas song. Yes, better than Mariah’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
The Beach Boys Christmas Album by The Beach Boys
My husband is likely the biggest Beach Boys fans around, so it stands to reason that this album gets it’s fair share of air time at our house. It’s filled with hits like “Little Saint Nick,” but also a few moody tracks like “Blue Christmas” and “We Three Kings.” I’m partial to the latter – it’s probably the spookiest Christmas song out there.
Honorable Mention: It’s My Favorite Time of Year by Phase II
Back in 1997, Boston Store (and it’s sister store Carson Pirie Scott) sold Christmas CDs at their registers. I know what you’re thinking: those generic store-branded albums are trash. And you’d be right, except for this one. My mom impulse bought this CD 20 years ago and it’s been on a regular holiday rotation since. I don’t know what it is about this CD, but it feels like home.
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If you have any Christmas music recommendations, I’d love to hear them! I love expanding this part of my music collection.