15 Christmas albums you must have heard

De beste Kerst albums (apoplife.nl)


To get through Christmas in the right atmosphere, with a slight twist, I give you a list of 15 Christmas albums, the most beautiful and nicest I have heard. For your listening pleasure, the (Spotify) playlist containing the best songs can be found at the bottom of this article.


Elvis Presley - Elvis' Christmas Album (rollingstone.com)

Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Christmas Album


Almost perfect Christmas and Elvis Presley album. Presley growls and combines it with his love for gospel (and faith). Also see the article Elvis’ Christmas Album.

Playlist song: Santa Claus Is Back In Town


A Christmas Gift For You (funkmysoul.gr)

A Christmas Gift To You


The album that was released on one of the most traumatic days in modern American history; the day of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The album wasn’t successful at all, but has since grown in stature. Nowadays, it is regarded as one of the best Christmas albums of all-time. Also see the article A Christmas Gift For You.

Playlist song: Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)


Beach Boys - The Beach Boys' Christmas Album (amazon.nl)

Beach Boys – The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album


Brian Wilson, huge Phil Spector fan, wanted to play piano on Phil Spector’s Christmas album, but was rejected. One year later he released his answer to A Christmas Gift For You. Another classic in the genre.

Playlist song: Little Saint Nick


A Motown Christmas (spotify.com)

A Motown Christmas


A collection of Motown Christmas songs and singles of the preceding decade. The Jackson 5 provide the majority of the songs, but don’t own the album. Marvin Gaye steals the show, and I do mean steal.

Playlist song: Marvin Gaye – I Want To Come Home For Christmas


Jacob Miller - Natty Christmas (youtube.com)

Jacob Miller – Natty Christmas


The very first reggae Christmas album. Ganja and Christmas turn out to be a perfect combination.

Playlist song: All I Want For Ismas


Emmylou Harris - Light Of The Stable (suffragetterecords.com.au)

Emmylou Harris – Light of the Stable


Emmylou Harris sings like an angel. And, the backing vocal group is no picknick either: Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Neil Young.

Playlist song: Little Drummer Boy


A Christmas Record (spotify.com)

A Christmas Record


A Christmas album with alternative music. Even though the musicians don’t seem very enthusiastic for the Christmas concept, the album nonetheless contains some great songs.

Playlist song: The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping


A Very Special Christmas (spotify.com)

A Very Special Christmas


Charity compilation album as a tribute to the Special Olympics. The album has gained eternal value due to Run-DMC’s Christmas In Hollis.

Playlist song: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Merry Christmas Baby


Punk Rock Xmas (discogs.com)

Punk Rock Xmas


Compilation of Christmas songs performed by punk (pop) bands like The Dickies, Fear, The Damned and Stiff Little Fingers, both new compositions and covers of the classics.

Playlist song: Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)


New Wave Xmas: Just Can't Get Enough (discogs.com)

New Wave Xmas: Just Can’t Get Enough


The title is somewhat misleading, as the music isn’t that new-wave-ey. The album does contain a number of all-time classics, including Fairytale Of New York (The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl), 2000 Miles (The Pretenders) and the legendary Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (David Bowie & Bing Crosby).

Playlist song: Timbuk3 – All I Want For Christmas (Is World Peace)


Christmas On Death Row (nytimes.com)

Christmas On Death Row


“On the first day of Christmas, my homeboy gave to me / A sack of the crazy glue and told me to smoke it slowly”. And still it’s an album that sincerely reaches for that Christmas spirit.

Playlist song: Snoop Dogg – Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto


Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics (spotify.com)

Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics


Soundtrack to episode 15 of season 3 of the animation series South Park, in which the lead character, Mr. Hankey the Christmas poo, takes the viewers on a hilarious ride of songs, including the xenophobe Merry Fucking Christmas and Adolf Hitler’s rendition of O Tannenbaum. Christmas Time In Hell is sung by Satan, with celebrities like Jeffrey Dahmer, John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr., Diana Princess of Wales, Mao Zedong and Genghis Khan.

Playlist song: Chef (Isaac Hayes) – What The Hell Child Is This?


Sufjan Stevens - Songs For Christmas (sufjan.com)

Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas


Sufjan Stevens is sincerely obsessed by Christmas. This first collection contains 5 discs of Christmas (inspired) songs and delivers, as can be expected from Stevens, beautiful and moving songs, next to interpretations of Christmas classics.

Playlist song: That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!


Christmas In Soulsville (spotify.com)

Christmas in Soulsville


Collection of Stax Christmas songs, funky and bluesy. Double entendres and uptempo songs bring this collection to life.

Playlist song: Rufus Thomas – I’ll Be Your Santa Baby


James Brown - The Complete James Brown Christmas (spotify.com)

James Brown – The Complete James Brown Christmas


Compilation album of all Christmas songs recorded by James Brown. A superior collection of soul/funk Christmas songs. Also see the article James Brown: A Funky Christmas!.

Playlist song: Soulful Christmas

In closing

What’s your take on the choices? Do you miss any albums, and if so, which ones? Let me know!



    • Freek Claassen on 12/25/2023 at 12:40 AM
    • Reply

    Mark Lanegan – Dark Mark Does Christmas

    1. Great one!

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