5 Christmas Albums Worth Adding to your Collection

Christmas has always been the holiday with the most extensive songbook. No matter how hard poor Flag Day may try, it just can’t compete with centuries of classic carols and dozens of new songs being written every year.

Whether you want to attribute it to nostalgia, tradition, or something else, people love their Christmas music. And with thousands of holiday albums recorded and released over the last several decades, it would seem that musicians sure know how to capitalize on it.

It’s every crate-digger’s worst nightmare. Walking into a thrift store, resale shop or garage sale only to find stack after stack of obscure Christmas records. How many versions of “Jingle Bells” can one person take?

We at The Vinyl District don’t care to find out, and have taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of 5 Christmas albums (across 6 decades) that are worth picking up and adding to your collection.

1. Bing Crosby – Merry Christmas (1945)
Elvis’ Christmas Album (pictured above) almost made this list, but the number one selling Christmas album of all time hardly needs our mention. Instead we’ll recommend the second best. Selling over 15 million copies, Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas deserves to be in your collection if it’s not already.


Bing Crosby | White Christmas

Originally released through Decca Records in 1945 as ten songs across five 78 records, Merry Christmas has been in print longer than any other album besides the 1943 release of Oklahoma!

Released as an LP in 1955, Merry Christmas contains Crosby’s signature song, “White Christmas”.

2. Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
If you’ve got a heart, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a holiday must-see. Airing every year since its 1965 release, the special has been honored with both an Emmy and a Peabody Award.


Vince Guaraldi Trio | Christmas Time is Here (Vocal)

Just as famous as the special itself, is the incredible soundtrack. Composed by Italian-American jazz musician Vince Guaraldi, the album is known for iconic songs like “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time is Here”.

One of the most popular Christmas albums of all time, CBS Records released a 1977 book-and-record set featuring music, dialogue and stills from the special.

3. John Denver & the Muppets – A Christmas Together (1979)
It’s no secret that I am a huge Muppets fan. Known for bringing smiles to people’s faces, often through music, the Muppets and Christmas are a natural pair. As a side note: If you’ve never seen The Muppet Christmas Carol, you’re doing yourself a disservice.


John Denver & the Muppets | We Wish You a Merry Christmas

In 1979, when the brilliant Jim Henson was still with us, the Muppets got together with singer-songwriter John Denver for a televised Christmas special. Never released on a home video format, the soundtrack has become much more famous that the special that created it.

Released on RCA Records, the album features thirteen tracks of traditional Christmas carols and original songs with John Denver and the entire Muppet cast.

4. Various Artists – A Very Special Christmas (1987)
Various Artist compilations are always a mixed bag – especially when talking about cover songs. A Very Special Christmas is a very special exception. Released in 1987 on A&M Records, it is the first in a series of Christmas compilation albums produced to benefit the Special Olympics.


Madonna | Santa Baby

Having raised millions of dollars, and certified Quadruple Platinum, it features songs performed by artists from a variety of genres such as The Pointer Sisters, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Run D.M.C., Madonna and Stevie Nicks.

With cover art designed by Keith Haring, and featuring some of the top-selling artists of the ‘80s, this record is a Christmas must-have. Plus, it supports a good cause – it’s a win win!

5. She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas (2011)
To round out this list, we needed something new and what better record to fill that spot than A Very She & Him Christmas. Released a little over a month ago through Merge Records, the album features Christmas covers done in She & Him’s well-known indie/folk style.


She & Him | Baby, It’s Cold Outside

For those who don’t know, the group consists of actress / musician Zooey Deschanel and musician M.Ward.

Available on red vinyl, A Very She & Him Christmas is the second album on our list to support a good cause. A portion of all proceeds are being donated to 826 National, a nonprofit network of writing and tutoring centers.

Well, there you have it, 5 Christmas albums that deserve to be in your vinyl collection. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments what would have made your list!

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  • MichaelRoeder

    I think that George Winston’s December works well during the season.

  • Mat

    She & Him should NOT be on the list.

  • Matt Beeson

    Tony Bennett’s “Snowfall” (1968), Johnny Mathis’ “Merry Christmas” (1958), to name some earlier classics. Also Chris Isaak’s “Christmas” from 2004. Reorganizing the albums a lil’ bit, that’s what led me here in the middle of April. 🙂

  • Cody J Miller

    #5 doesn’t belong on this list, especially with all the other great albums out there. I listed to this album in its entirety last night and it’s really not great.

  • zero

    Are we airbrushing Phil Spector out of pop history?

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