Best Christmas music, CD or album on your list ?

Ok, here's my little secret (call it a guilty pleasure) for my favorite Christmas music.

I of course like the classics by Bing and Nat...BUT...there is one album I listen year 'round, even in the heat of summer, because of the magnificent orchestration.

I am not a real fan of country music by the way (although I like everything Mary Chapin Carpenter makes as a singer-songwriter).

I have been listening to a glorious CD by Faith Hill ''JOY TO THE WORLD''. I first stumbled on the music special (Great Performances series) on PBS on a certain night when I woke up at 3am, turned on the TV and, WOW! I just couldn't believe the quality of the music. The best tv concert I ever experienced, Faith Hill is just glowing with incredible class.

I could not find a full DVD of this performance, I guess it is PBS property, so I'm obligated to live with this recording in HD (and the space it takes on my hard drive - on my recording machine.

There is a CD, and it is stunning. And sells for cheap on Amazon. For headphone enthusiasts, there are so many things to like here.

My close second is "Come Darkness Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas" by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

How often do you hear ORIGINAL Christmas songs? Carpenter co-authored 6 songs on this collection, and they sound like classics already. Beautiful guitar styling, heart-warming stories, and well you get the idea.

Both albums are the best bargains on Amazon.

How about YOUR preferred holiday-season music?
I have always enjoyed Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas Symphony and Christmas In The Aire...

The David Foster Christmas Album... IMHO Michael Crawford's "Oh Holy Night" is by far the most powerful and moving rendition ever! YMMV

Nat King Cole's Album "A Christmas Song" is a classic that will forever be played in my home!

To all have a safe and blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I 'm a sucker for The McGarrigle Christmas Hour! Also love Sugarland singing the title song Gold and Green. And every version of O Come O Come Emmanuel .
I really like the "A Very Special Christmas" series of albums. I think I have them all.

I just received and listened to the new Kelly Clarkson "Wrapped In Red" Christmas album which I like a lot too.
Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas music and of course, Bing Crosby's as well. To be honest, I am not a big fan of Christmas music. I play it mostly for my wife around the Holidays and when we are both trimming the tree.
Jesse Norman's Christmas CD is just amazing. Great arrangements, great sonics, and well, it's just the best IMO. She captures the "magic" of Christmas like few others I have heard.
Bah freakin' humbug, I hate xmas music. Well, the Chimpmunks are pretty special.
I LOVE Christmas albums. I tend to play a lot of Christmas music between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Along with the standards from Bing, Nat, Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, Johnny Mathis, Elvis, Burl Ives, et al, that I have to hear each year for Christmas to be complete (though you tend to hear these everywhere at Christmas), I tend to play these albums a lot at Christmastime:

Leon Redbone - Christmas Island - Whole album is good, a different sound to stir in to the classics
A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
Andy Williams - The Andy Williams Christmas Album - My very favorite as a little kid. Don't know why.
Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked for the Holidays - fun arrangements of the classics
Odetta - Christmas Sprirituals - I love Odetta, she's a commanding soul
Carolyn Wonderland - Fireside Songs for the Soul - Fun album
The Irish Tenors - We Three Kings - Love all their Christmas albums
Danny Wright - An Intimate Christmas - Interesting piano arrangements I like to mix in
Pink Martini - Joy to the World - Interesting and international
Jewel - Joy: A Holiday Collection - Jewel being Jewel
Martina McBride - White Christmas - I was surprised by how much I like to play this whole album. Simply done well.
Willie Nelson - Pretty Paper - Pretty Paper is one of my favorite Christmas songs
Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas - crazy, but Dee's thunderous vocals make O Come All Ye Faithful sound like a Christian call to arms. An absolute blast to crank this.
The Messiah - London Philharmonic - Hallelujah is too triumphant to not rise to
Whitney Houston - Do You Hear What I Hear - She set a new standard on this song for me

I'll have fun checking out everyone else's list too!
I have this Faith Hill CD and will have to listen to it again. I don't remember being that impressed, but it is in with my stack of Christmas that is out year around. I enjoy The Priests, The Canadian Tenors, and even Celtic Thunder for Christmas albums.
Elvis. Carpenters. Beach Boys. Linda Ronstadt. Selected tracks from various other LPs/CDs.

Sorry but as someone who works in New York City, should we limit this discussion to "holiday" music, please?


Just kidding.

We prefer Christmas music a bit earlier (say, Thanksgiving) through New Years Eve. Here are a few new ones from this year's iTunes:

The Christmas Song - James Taylor
The Christmas Song - Pentatonix
Peace - Norah Jones
Let it Snow - Sam Jones

You can also go to Pandora and type "Jazz Holidays" from some great interpretations of the classics...

...and I never tire of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas music.
Charles Brown Cool Christmas Blues.
Hello SonicBeauty,
i saw this posting and i also saw Faith perform a few christmas songs on TV. the back-up singers, the orchestra, the arrangements, were sheer perfection, and i am not a fan of hers per se. But she sang with such conviction and her voice was absolutely lovely. It really took me totally by surprise.
the "other" christmasy music i love is mainly classical which gets me in the mood more than anything else. a good choral arrangement also makes my ears perk up. any mention of "chestnuts" however makes me clap my hands over my ears...
The McGarrigle's were something special

thanks for the recommendation I just bought it this morning
An Austin Rhythm And Blues Christmas

A New Possibility - John Fahey's Christmas Album

The only two I listen to.
James Brown- Funky Christmas
Glad you enjoyed the McGarrigles Philjolet!
For me, hands down, it's Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. I stumbled on a copy in a cut-out bin in 1976 and it's been my favorite ever since. I've since found an original 6-Eye and now I'm even happier. Nobody who hear's it doesn't fall in love with it.
"Mas! A Caribbean Christmas Party"
Bing Crosby. White Christmas. The definitive Christmas album.
No contest.
Glen Campbell "That Christmas Feeling" and of course, the Carpenters double disc set.
Sufjan Stevens 5 disc "Songs For Christmas" -- made especially for those who are tired of the same old thing. Sufjan has created an interesting, intimately recorded blend of classic Christmas songs.