If you could have only one Christmas album/CD, which one?

Me, the Nat King Cole Christmas one with the Mel Torme classic, "The Christmas Song" , there are several others that are my families tradition to listen to, but the one I mention I would not to be without.
I do have just one . . . The Chipmunks. No kidding!
I really like the "A Very Special Christmas" series of albums, (I have them all). So, probably the first one.
Nat King Cole's Christmas album.
Way too difficult a task to choose between Louis Armstrong,  Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Ella, Nat Cole and others' Xmas recordings.  But, if I had to absolutely choose one that most puts me in the mood and makes me smell nutmeg and pine it would have to be Vince Guaraldi Trio "A Charlie Brown Xmas".  

Diana Krall's Christmas Songs, must for any jazz aficionados. 
It's a tie between A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Christmas Gift To You From Phil Spector. Doesn't everybody wish for a wall of sound in their stocking? Cheers,

Mine is John Prine's Christmas record.
J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion
"Mas! A Caribbean Christmas Party" - best ever Christmas CD!
Anything by Johnny Mathis,and Nat Cole.The song, 'Silent Night', by the Temptations

Messiah(highlights)- John Alldis Choir, London Phil Orch / Karl Richter
Songs of Angels, Christmas Hymns & carols - Robert Shaw Chamber Singers

A Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert - Battle, von Stade, Marsalis, Previn

Good for this Christmas and Christmases to come.

Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas hands down. 
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Christmas Spirituals by Odetta
Carpenters.   I know its 60's but hey, great music knows no season.
Bdp24, any particular version you recommend?  I only have Angel/Gonnenwein LP set. 
Another vote for 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'.
Ella Fitzgerald: "Ella WIshes You a Swingin' Christmas."
Give me the Time-Life 4-CD Box of original Classic Christmas songs, I know, I know, not very hip, but it is a good mix with:

Judy Garland: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Ella Fitzgerald: Jingle Bells
Mel Torme: The Christmas Song
Dean Martin: Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Placido Domingo: Ave Maria
Gene Autry: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 
Bing Crosby: White Christmas
Elvis: Blue Chistmas
Harry Belafonte: Mary's Boy Child

Well, you get the idea, and many by artists such as Perry Como, Andy Williams, The Robert Shaw Chorale, Eddie Fisher, Luciano Pavarotti, Julie Andrews, Boston Pops, and much, much, more...
Best, Rob

Hmmm...just one CD in this day of playlists?
Still would be Vince Guaraldi for me.
My "Christmas Playlist" on the good 'ol iPod runs just over 13 hours!
But I will accept the forum's subject and dispense with the entire other 12.5 hours and listen to Vince on infinite repeat!
Best to all!
Sheffield Labs Christmas Collection
Elvis Blue Xmas. Mandatory
Of course everyone realizes that I'm buying some of the stuff mentioned here that I don't already have....

Bing Crosby
Johnny Mathis
All Christmas music is awful.
I have to cast a vote for what is,  IMHO,  one of the best holiday tunes to come out in recent years - Paul Simon's "Waiting For Christmas Day".  It's the failure of what's remaining of current FM radio that this hasn't become a modern "standard."  When I first heard it a couple of years ago (I think) my mind raced back to "Cecilia".  For those of you who have not heard it,  give it a listen.  No mawkish sentimentality,  no hitting you over the head with yuletide sappiness,  a really sweet song with a KILLER ending lyric...

"...if I could tell my mom and dad that the things we never had didn't matter we were always okay..."
Easy, Mel Torme Christmas Songs on Telarc, jazzy , classy and varied , a true treasure by perhaps the most underated singer ever.!

See who Kurt Eliing went to school on .
One Christmas CD?  Its gotta be "Christmas with Dino"  by Dean Martin. Just the kind of music to have a martini.

Another vote for Vince Guaraldi Trio " A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Try  "Christmas Island" by Leon Redbone for fun.
***All Christmas music is awful***- infection

Explains the moniker.
If you’re a hard-core St. Matthew Passion type the greatest Christmas Record ever is "Christmas Music" by Orphei Danger on BIS .
Orphei Danger is the Great Swedish Male Choir , by far the best in Sweden which means the best in the world . 23 tracks of the usual suspects plus works by such as Sibelius and Nielsen .
BIS CD -533 This recording has the greatest dynamic range I have ever
heard ,even if you don’t like the music you can use it to see if your amp is clipping .

tostadosunidos, I have four "Period Instrument/Historically Informed" versions (Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Leonhardt) of St. Matthew Passion on CD, Gardiner or Herreweghe being my first choice. Yes, I like the "no vibrato" movement! On LP I have Klemperer and Richter, which I haven't listened to in years. Herbert von Karajan's version has it's admirers.

My thanks to you both for that excellent and useful info--will check out these recordings.
Except the Bach passions are for Easter not Christmas .
Two sides of the same coin, Schubert ;-)!
For Pop, it's "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector", an album of Spector's Phillies Records singers (Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans) doing classic Christmas songs plus a newly written (by the legendary team Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry) one, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", sung magnificently by Darlene. 
bdp24, nails it. Perfect holiday party music to get everyone smiling.
As a followup, watch Darlene Love sing this:

Happy holidays,
I just wanted to say Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for the great list of Christmas music!!  I'm enjoying it right now, Christmas morning in Snowy Colorado!
Singers Unlimited.  My wife's CD, in fact.  I've played it so often now that what once seemed a fresh take on old songs isn't as fresh anymore.  But their harmonies and voices are fantastic-sounding to my ears.