75 Best Christmas Albums to Fa-la-la-la Listen to This Year

Get into a holiday headspace thanks to these classic & modern Christmas albums.

Christmas music has the power to change things. When we listen as adults to albums our parents played around the house when we were younger, suddenly we are children again. The tree looms larger. Its lights shine brighter—and they seem to shine just for us.

The weather changes too, or at least we hope it will. We hear Bing Crosby's “White Christmas” for the umpteenth time, and we search the skies for snowflakes (even when it’s 70 degrees on Christmas Day like it was last year for some of us).

Each year, we hope the music will work its magic, and it does—even if it only makes us feel lighter in heart. But if your collection of holiday albums is feeling stale, let this list add a new thrill to your Christmas. Whether you’re a fan of country, indie rock, jazz, reggae, soul or synth-pop, there should be something here for you.

Buy these albums as early presents for yourself, or give them to loved ones the week of Thanksgiving so they can enjoy the music throughout the season. Listen and experience the power of Christmas music to change things.

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75 Best Christmas Albums

1. Christmas with the Chipmunks (1962) by Alvin & The Chipmunks

Revive your inner child with this inspired and playful cartoon-rodent romp through a set of Christmas standards. Best Song: “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” is endlessly endearing, effectively capturing the longing of a child for Christmas loot—in this case, a hula hoop.

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2. Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule (2022) by Louis Armstrong

Although Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong’s scattered Christmas songs have soundtracked the season decades, he never released a holiday album during his lifetime. This new collection from Verve Records lovingly assembles the bullfrog-voiced singer’s Christmas songs and closes with his unreleased, final recording—a recitation of “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore.

Related: Best Christmas Songs

3. Christmas with Chet Atkins (1961) by Chet Atkins

A Christmas classic from The Country Gentleman who helped create the Nashville Sound in the ‘60s. Guitar aficionados will salivate over his expressive, nimble playing on this largely instrumental treat of an album.

4. Sleddin’ Hill (2012) by August Burns Red

This is not your mom's Christmas album—well, unless your mom loves instrumental metalcore. Bonus Fun: Check out the band’s rendition of the Home Alone theme song on the new EP, All I Want for Christmas Is You.

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5. The Original: Gene Autry Sings Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1965) by Gene Autry

“America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy” famously co-wrote “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane),” and was the first artist to record songwriter Johnny Marks’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Both songs appear in this captivating collection of Christmas songs, with many featuring spoken introductions by Autry that add even more charm to this already winsome record.

6. Christmas Songs (2013) by Bad Religion

When Bad Religion rips through overtly religious Christmas carols with the band’s signature punk sound, it seems like a decidedly ironic move—and that is undoubtedly part of the fun here. But whatever the band’s intentions, believers and unbelievers alike will find much to enjoy in this collection.

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7. The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album (1964) by The Beach Boys

Conquer the cold this Christmas by putting this album on the turntable. With the Beach Boys’ radiating California warmth over the course of these 12 songs—including five original compositions—you’ll feel like you’re soaking up premium rays instead of shivering the season away.

Related: Make It a Happy Holiday With 75 Best Christmas Gift Ideas Under $50

8. To Wish You a Merry Christmas (1968) by Harry Belafonte

A gentle and reverent set of songs from the Jamaican American King of Calypso, which opens with the classic “Mary’s Boy Child.” Belafonte’s pure, emotive vocals offer joy one moment and haunt with quiet awe the next, inviting listeners into a heartfelt experience of Christmas.

9. Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (2010) by Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle

When Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the music that would become “The Nutcracker, Op. 71” in 1892, he had no idea we would still be writing about it in 2022. Now no Christmas is complete without it—and this performance by the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, is a thing of beauty.

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10. A Soulful Christmas (1968) by James Brown

The Godfather of Soul released four Christmas albums in his lifetime, delivering the funk to all the good girls and boys each record like a singing, strutting Santa Claus. On this album—the second of the four—the music in his bag of songs is funky, punctuated with horn hits, howls and Brown’s signature grunts, and bursting with Black pride.

11. Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (1966) by Kenny Burrell

Accomplished jazz guitar legend Kenny Burrell mesmerizes on this largely meditative collection of Christmas songs. Highlights: “The Little Drummer Boy” showcases Burrell’s skillful playing and demonstrates how he and his band work together to remain faithful to a song while simultaneously exploring new directions for it through improvisation.

12. Merry Christmas (1994) by Mariah Carey

The Songbird Supreme with the five-octave range struck gold—or rather, earned a diamond certification from the RIAA—with the hit holiday single, “All I Want for Christmas,” making it the lone holiday song to sell more than 10 million physical copies. On the strength of this song, Merry Christmas has sold over 15 million copies worldwide to date.

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13. Christmas Portrait (1978) by The Carpenters

From the Norman Rockwell-esque cover art to the ambitious arrangements, The Carpenters’ Christmas Portrait is an accomplished and extravagant holiday album that captures the Christmas spirit and hangs onto it convincingly for all 49 minutes of its runtime.

14. The Spirit of Christmas (1985) by Ray Charles

On the lone Christmas record from the legendary Ray Charles, he masterfully melds soul, R&B and jazz elements for his own purposes. It's fun to hear the affecting ballad, “The Spirit of Christmas,” outside of the soundtrack to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and in the context of this album.

Related: 50 Cool Christmas Crafts for Kids (Jingle Bell Slime FTW!)—From Toddlers to Middle Schoolers

15. The Christmas Song (1962) by Nat King Cole

A rich and resonant collection of songs from a master vocalist who delivers Christmas songs as deftly as Santa delivers presents. Here he offers the definitive version of Robert Wells and Mel Tormé’s celebrated standard, “The Christmas Song,” with its opening lyric about chestnuts roasting over an open fire—a perfect record for firelight, egg nog and Christmas reverie.

16. White Christmas (1955) by Bing Crosby

This compilation of Christmas songs by singer and actor Bing Crosby, which began as a collection of previously issued Christmas singles titled Merry Christmas, was eventually renamed White Christmas—and for good reason. Crosby’s version of Irving Berlin’s song is the best-selling single of all time, with the Guinness Book of World Records estimating sales of over 100 million copies in a variety of forms.

17. Rocky Mountain Christmas (1975) by John Denver

When the commercialism of Christmas makes the season seem shallow, a record like John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas has the potential to restore sincerity to the heart of the holiday. The opener, “Aspenglow,” is as magical as “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” is sad, and “Christmas for Cowboys” is as full of gratitude as “A Baby Just Like You” is of warmth and wonder.

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18. A Christmas Together (1979) by John Denver and the Muppets

This inspired collaboration, which first appeared as a televised 1979 Christmas special, remains with us in album form. There’s something strangely affecting about the way Denver and the Muppets of yesteryear deliver the goods here—a record to put a smile on your face and Christmas cheer in your heart.

19. Christmas in the Heart (2009) by Bob Dylan

If crooners of Christmas classics like Bing Crosby or Andy Williams sing a little too smoothly for your sensibilities, consider listening to the holiday music of Bob Dylan, who sounds like he has been gargling road salt here. His singular voice and the devil-may-care approach he and his bandmates take to songs like “Must Be Santa” combine for a strangely unforgettable listening experience.

20. The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album (1968) by John Fahey

Keep Christmas simple this year with help from this celebrated collection of solo instrumental versions of holiday standards from fingerstyle guitarist John Fahey. Be sure to secure a copy of this book of guitar transcriptions for this album as a present for the axe player in your life.

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21. Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (1960) by Ella Fitzgerald

Swing your way through the holidays with help from this vibrant, killer collection of largely secular vocal-jazz corkers from the First Lady of Song. Guaranteed to class up any Christmas party, add extra bubbles to your champagne and make listeners swoon.

22. The Light Came Down (2016) by Josh Garrels

Enrich your Christmas album collection with this meditative, expansive singer-songwriter record from Josh Garrels. At times orchestrated, at other times stripped down and more restrained, this is a luminous and rewarding collection of folk-driven songs that celebrate the birth of Christ—recommended for fans of Sufjan Stevens and Jeff Buckley.

Related: 75 Christmas Activities to Intentionally Make the Season Oh-So-Bright

23. The Animals’ Christmas (1986) by Art Garfunkel and Amy Grant

The pairing of Garfunkel and Grant somehow seems wrong at first glance—like, maybe Garfunkel sang with someone else once upon a time? Simon says listen to this unusual holiday record if you enjoy the compositions of Jimmy Webb, the honeyed vocal stylings of Mr. Garfunkel, or you need to complete your Amy Grant collection.

24. A Christmas Album (1983) by Amy Grant

This record scored Christmases for countless Christians in the ‘80s before Amy Grant became a household name with 1991’s quintuple-platinum-selling Heart in Motion. Before the success of “Baby, Baby,” she sang of a baby born in Bethlehem, her girl-next-door image giving the Gospel story a down-to-Earth spin that echoed scripture’s celebration of God coming down to Earth Himself.

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25. O Holy Night (2008) by Sara Groves

The first of two finely-crafted holiday records from this gifted singer-songwriter, whose hopeful perspective never feels saccharine—even when she is singing Christmas songs, which tend to be high in sugar. Playlist Song for Every Mom and Dad: “Toy Packaging,” a parental ode to the perils of pitting oneself against impossible toy packaging on Christmas morning.

26. Light of the Stable (1979) by Emmylou Harris

When Emmylou Harris sings “Away in a Manger” to the tune of William J. Kirkpatrick’s version of the song, the arrangement is spare and so affecting one can practically smell the straw in the stable and hear the cattle lowing nearby. There is a humility to her approach that adds weight to this largely religious record of Christmas country songs, which features backing vocals by Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Ricky Skaggs and Neil Young.

27. Christmas Album (1968) by Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass

Class up your Christmas with some brass! A holiday record from the man who cofounded A&M Records and famously dressed a woman in chiffon and shaving cream for the cover of his band’s Whipped Cream & Other Delights album.

28. Sweet Little Jesus Boy (1955) by Mahalia Jackson

The first of three Christmas records the Queen of Gospel recorded for Columbia Records, and solid from start to finish. Jackson popularized the title track—a Robert MacGimsey's composition from 1934—with her majestic contralto. 

29. Christmas Album (1970) by The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 sprinkle their Motown magic all over this spirited collection of Christmas songs—vocals leapfrog over one another, basslines boogie, songs cook properly. A Song for Your Christmas Playlist: Play “Up on the Housetop” to resuscitate a dead Christmas party in a pinch.

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30. It’s a Holiday Soul Party (2015) by Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings

Kill the Christmas blues and bring joy to your world by spinning this aptly titled holiday soul-music party from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. A blast from beginning to end.

31. Llego Navidad (2019) by Los Lobos

An album of Christmas songs recorded largely in Spanish by the Latin rockers who scored a number-one hit in 1987 with a cover of “La Bamba.” After listening to “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” be sure to listen to the original version of the song, which was sung and popularized by 12-year-old Augie Rios in 1958.

Related: Ho Ho Holiday Knowledge: How Old Is Santa? Where Does Santa Live? All the Santa Facts You Ever Needed to Know

32. Christmas (1999) by Low

While seasonal shopping, office parties, caroling, baking, present-wrapping, and traveling have a way of catapulting adults through December at a breakneck pace, slowcore indie-rock lifers Low offer an antidote to all that needless speed with this hushed holiday record. Highlight: The band’s droning, hypnotic “Little Drummer Boy,” which seems to be a lot more about reverb and space than . . . well, drums.

33. With a Christmas Vibe (1964) by Arthur Lyman

If inflation has made it impossible for you to take your family to Hawaii for the holidays this year, bring the sounds of the islands home with this Christmas exotica album from the King of Lounge Music, Arthur Lyman. Let the sounds of vibraphone, marimba, and ukulele transport you and your loved ones to sunnier shores while you open presents.

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34. One More Drifter in the Snow (2006) by Aimee Mann

Inspired in part by Charlie Brown’s aversion to the commercialism of Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas, this comforting collection of songs finds singer-songwriter Aimee Mann contending with ghosts of Christmases past and present in holiday classics and covers of Jimmy Webb’s “Whatever Happened to Christmas?” and husband Michael Penn’s “Christmastime,” among others. A woozy and wondrous balm for the down-and-out during the holidays—pairs well with Low’s Christmas.

35. Christmas 1984 (1984) by Mannheim Steamroller

A curious Christmas classic that somehow straddles the distant past and the ‘80s, with music that could soundtrack a Renaissance fair on one hand, and decidedly dated keyboard-driven songs that probably seemed cutting edge at the time on the other. It somehow works against all odds.

36. Bells Merrily (2022) by Ronnie Martin

A musical stocking stuffer (set to release in early December) for the synth-pop lover in your home that features eight original holiday songs from the inimitable Ronnie Martin, who made imaginative electropop for almost two decades under the moniker Joy Electric. Be sure to check out his brand new bookThe God Who Is with Us: 25-Day Devotional for Advent too.

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37. Merry Christmas (1958) by Johnny Mathis

One of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time from the third-best-selling artist of the 20th century, with only Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra moving more units. 

38. The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (2005) by Kate and Anna McGarrigle

If you're away from your family this Christmas, consider joining sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle for the holidays. This festive, familial folk album features contributions from Kate’s children, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, as well as honorary family members Emmylou Harris, Teddy Thompson and Beth Orton.

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39. Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album (1980) by Meco

"What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?" is a question for the ages—and it's also the title of track 4 on this album. Discover the answer by listening to this Christmas novelty album—an absolute must for Star Wars obsessives.

40. Pretty Paper (1979) by Willie Nelson

Outlaw country legend Willie Nelson’s final album of the ‘70s trends in the opposite direction of so many classic Christmas albums, which tend to be outfitted with too many sleigh bells and whistles. Here the arrangements are spartan, with each song featuring the bare minimum of ingredients required to fulfill Nelson’s holiday vision.

Related: How to Adopt a Family for Christmas and Other Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

41. Star of the East (2017) by Northern Light Orchestra

A face-melting set from a Christmas rock supergroup comprised of a long list of players that includes members of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Dio, Guns ‘n’ Roses, KISS, Megadeth and Whitesnake, among others. Features solid songwriting, masterful musicianship, virtuosic guitar solos and pristine production—perfect for the hard-rock lover or metalhead in your family.

42. Christmas Spirituals (1960) by Odetta

A bare-bones record of Christmas spirituals from folk singer Odetta, and proof positive that sometimes less truly is more. The album opener, “Virgin Mary Had One Son,” establishes her minimalist approach, with Odetta’s haunting voice accompanied only by an acoustic guitar and the double bass of film director Spike Lee’s father, Bill—a surprisingly potent combination.

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43. Blood Oranges in the Snow (2008) by Over the Rhine

On Over the Rhine’s three Christmas albums—including this third one—husband-wife duo Karen Bergquist and Linford Detweiler steer clear of the bright, gleaming surfaces most artists seem content to skate upon during this season. They opt instead to delve deeper, writing what they call “reality Christmas” songs that mine the material of everyday life for inspiration, and rooting them in an earthy Americana sound that incorporates elements of blues, gospel, folk, jazz and rock.

44. Once Upon a Christmas (1984) by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

When Christmas goes sideways, a record like this one can set things right again, with Kenny and Dolly offering a collection of songs that is capable of cultivating hope, brightening moods, and lightening loads. Even “Christmas Without You,” which could be a downer in anyone else’s hands, plays as a spirited celebration of the way we need one another during the holidays.

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45. Merry Ole Soul (1969) by Duke Pearson

Duke Pearson worked as a producer for famed American jazz label Blue Note from 1963-1971. During his time there, the pianist created this first-rate foray into Christmas jazz for the label, with the reissue featuring an unreleased outtake titled “Old Fashioned Christmas”—pairs well with Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas.

46. Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays, Vol. 1 (2012) by The Polyphonic Spree

When the light of Christmas refracts through the Polyphonic Spree’s sonic prism, it’s bound to yield a strange rainbow of songs. Here the choral psych-pop outfit, whose members clothe themselves in brightly colored robes, bends a collection of holiday songs to its weird and wondrous will, with songs like John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Silver Bells,” and “Carol of the Drum (Little Drummer Boy)” standing out as many-hued highlights.

Related: Here's How To Listen to Christmas Music on the Radio 24/7 (Talk About Jingle Bell Rock!)

47. Cold Dark Nights (2019) by Sam Phillips

A resourceful singer-songwriter who always manages to do a lot with seemingly little on her albums, Sam Phillips is also known for penning and performing the music that carried each episode of Gilmore Girls along. Here, Phillips carries listeners through the holidays on a sleigh of spare and lovely songs that capture the strange mixture of hope and melancholy that coexist for so many at Christmas.

48. Joy to the World (2010) by Pink Martini

If you’re hosting a Christmas party, be sure to serve up this multicultural platter of musical hors d'oeuvres from Pink Martini, a band that loves Latin, lounge, jazz, pop and classical music too. From the Japanese version of “White Christmas” to a Ukrainian song set to the tune of “Carol of the Bells” to “Congratulations (A Happy New Year Song),” which is sung in Mandarin, this is an adventurous album that is destined to tantalize musical taste buds.

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49. Elvis’ Christmas Album (1957) by Elvis Presley

Santa couldn’t top the present that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll delivered to the world in 1957 without the aid of a chimney: an album that has gone on to sell 20 million copies, including 17 million in the United States alone. On the best-selling Christmas record of all time, Elvis made “Blue Christmas” a permanent fixture in the Yuletide songbook.

50. Sound of Christmas (1961) by Ramsey Lewis Trio

This jazz record from pianist Ramsey Lewis, upright-bass player Eldee Young, and drummer Isaac “Red” Holt cooks with the best of them. Song for Your Playlist: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” which benefits from a stellar string arrangement by Riley Hampton and incorporates a few bars of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” on its meandering journey.

51. Christmas Hymns and Carols, Vol. (1958) by The Robert Shaw Chorale

For churchgoers, a choir singing Christmas carols in a spacious sanctuary may be the sound that best captures the essence of the season. With help from this recording by the Robert Shaw Chorale, you can go to church and let a choir of voices wash over you without ever leaving home.

52. Christmas Tree Island (2012) by The Rosebuds

A rare thing in the realm of recently released Christmas albums: a collection of all original songs instead of a rehash or retread. On songs like the infectious, “When It’s Cold” and “Melt Our Way Out,” these indie-rockers offer songs that feel fresh and fun in part because they are, in fact, new—fans of Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins take note.

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53. A Glimpse of Stocking (2010) by Saint Etienne

Listening to this collection of dancefloor confections from England’s longtime purveyors of indie pop is a little like discovering the delights inside one's fireplace stocking on Christmas morning. A 16-song compilation of songs from the band’s Christmas fan club releases from 1993-2006 plus seven new songs, consisting largely of original compositions and including covers of songs by The Doors, Margo Guryan and Randy Newman, among others.

54. A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra (1957) by Frank Sinatra

When working on this album, Frank Sinatra asked Hugh Martin, who wrote “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” to replace the line, “Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow,” with something jollier. With Sinatra singing the new line, “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,” on this record the song became a holiday hit.

55. The Dawn of Grace (2008) by Sixpence None the Richer

Sixpence None the Richer, who soared to the top of the charts on the wings of 1999’s “Kiss Me,” return here with a collection of Christmas songs that bear the band’s sonic signature—Leigh Nash’s enchanting vocals and Matt Slocum’s intricate, bell-toned guitar picking. Song for Your Playlist: Opener “Angels We Have Heard on High” elevates the classic carol to new, atmospheric heights, meriting repeated listens.

Related: Find Out the Special Meanings Behind 17 Traditional Christmas Symbols, Including Bells, Holly, Ornaments and More!

56. Christmas Cookin’ (1964) by Jimmy Smith

The man who popularized the use of the Hammond B-3 organ in jazz music heats up a tasty Christmas meal on this record, with his noodling substituting for vocals and veering off into exciting, unpredictable places. The album, which was originally titled “Christmas ’64,” was retitled in 1966 and reissued in 1992 with the two bonus tracks that appear here—Frank Loesser’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and the traditional song, “Greensleeves.”

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57. A Season for Miracles (1970) by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Motown’s soul supergroup triumphs on its second Christmas album, with Stevie Wonder’s superb “It’s Christmas Time” taking top honors here. Surprisingly, however, “Jingle Bells” is not far behind, with the Funk Brothers playing their hearts out on a song that other acts phone in for filler.

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58 & 59. Songs for Christmas (2006) by Sufjan Stevens and Silver and Gold (2012) by Sufjan Stevens

Get blissfully lost in a musical blizzard of whimsical, idiosyncratic folk and electronic music from Sufjan Stevens via these two delightful five-disc Christmas collections, which feature 100 songs between them. Give these gifts early in December so your loved ones can properly explore all five hours of music here.

60. Merry Christmas (1965) by The Supremes

Celebrate a Motown Christmas with this evergreen release from The Supremes, which features favorites like “Children’s Christmas Song,” “My Favorite Things,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and “Silver Bells.” This expanded version of the album includes mono and stereo versions of the album, along with a bounty of bonus material.

61. A Very Rosie Christmas (2012) by Rosie Thomas

A lovingly crafted and charming collection of Christmas songs by indie singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas, who wisely enlisted friends and family members as collaborators. While the buoyant bounce of “Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year?” is an early highlight, the real gem here is her ability to transform The Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late” into a heartstring-tugger capable of converting any Grinch into a teary-eyed believer.

62. Silent Night (2011) by Timbre

Let harpist and vocalist Timbre Cierpke put a spell on you this season with this gorgeous album of Christmas chamber music, which was recorded in the equally gorgeous Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville. Timbre’s siblings—Tenor, Treble, and Tetra, all of whom are named after musical terms—contribute to the album too, making this a family undertaking, and one capable of melting even the iciest heart in winter.

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63. Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996) by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The triple-platinum-selling first installment in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas trilogy. This story-driven collection of songs popularized the band’s symphonic, prog-rock holiday music, with the song “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” charting as the third best-selling Christmas/holiday digital single of all time.

64. A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (1963) by Various Artists

When the Crystals sing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” you believe them because of the sheer force of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound production. His approach amplifies the brilliance of the other artists who perform on this maximalist Christmas classic too—an album that the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson calls his favorite of all time.

65. A Christmas Record (1981) by Various Artists

An underground synth-pop/post-punk Christmas delight from New York-based ZE records originally released in 1981 and reissued in expanded form here. Hailed as “the first alternative Christmas” album ever, this brilliant, twisted record features gems by Suicide, Suicide’s Alan Vega as a solo act, Cristina, Material (with Nona Hendryx), and The Waitresses, who turn in one of the greatest holiday tracks of all time—the irresistible earworm, “Christmas Wrapping.”

Related: Surprise! It's Not Just a Quirky Song—Here's the Real Meaning of the "12 Days of Christmas"

66. Christmas Greetings from Studio One (2007) by Various Artists

Fans of Jamaica’s Studio One record label, which has been referred to as the island’s own Motown, will find much to love about this compilation, which features reggae and ska artists like Bob Marley and the Wailers, Toots and the Maytals and the Godfather of Rocksteady himself, Alton Ellis.

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67. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Original TV Soundtrack) (1966) by Various Artists

Keep Grinch-mas in your heart all December by listening to the 1966 animated TV special’s soundtrack, complete with Boris Karloff’s narration, over and over.

68. Excelsis: A Dark Noel (1995) by Various Artists

Walk in the bleak winter wonderland that is this gothic Christmas album from Projekt Records. Highlights include a Cocteau Twins-inspired trip to Whoville via Love Spirals Downwards’ cover of “Welcome Christmas” (from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas), the blizzard of shoegazer fuzz on Lovesliescrushing’s “Jingle Bells (Snowblower),” and the icy, windswept ruins of Lycia and the Unquiet Void’s rendition of “We Three Kings.”

69. Rockin’ Little Christmas (1986) by Various Artists

While compilation albums can be mixed bags, with hits and misses sitting side by side for listeners to alternately savor and skip, the best line up one banger after another and never let up. Rockin’ Little Christmas is the consistently killer kind, featuring Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run,” The Moonglows’ “Hey Santa Claus” and Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” along with eight other indispensable holiday essentials.

70. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack (1993) by Various Artists

Add some menace to your Christmas—or some jolliness to your Halloween—with this soundtrack from composer Danny Elfman. The second disc features covers of the film’s songs by the likes of Fiona Apple, Fallout Boy and Panic! At the Disco, along with Elfman’s working demos for the film’s songs.

71. A Very Special Christmas (1987) by Various Artists

Celebrate the season with the sounds of the ‘80s with help from this benefit compilation that generated millions of dollars for the Special Olympics. Features songs by Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, U2, Madonna, Bon Jovi and more.

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72. We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! (2008) by Various Artists

Leave it to Alice Cooper to transform Santa Claus into a menacing figure on the appropriately titled “Santa Claws Is Coming to Town”! Recommended for fans of the other artists who contribute to the chaos here, including Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, King’s X’s “dUg” Pinnick, Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate and Ronnie James Dio, to name a few.

73. A Ventures Christmas Album (1965) by The Ventures

On this inventive instrumental rock ‘n’ roll Christmas record, The Ventures interpolate hits of the day with Yuletide classics, with elements of The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” guiding “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on his merry way, for example. Listen and see if you can figure out what the Ventures are up to here—consider it a musical Easter egg hunt at Christmastime!

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74. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Everyone shows up for “Christmas Time is Here,” but for those who linger longer, “Skating” becomes a glistening treasure—the musical equivalent of what it feels like to glide across the ice. A must-have for every Peanuts fan, every jazz piano devotee, and everyone who chooses the lowliest tree on the lot every December.

75. The Andy Williams Christmas Album (1963) by Andy Williams

When Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for the 1962 Christmas episode of The Andy Williams Show, they created an effervescent and enduring holiday classic that would bring joy to people everywhere. The rest of this album sparkles with the same magic, with “Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season,” “Kay Thompson’s Jingle Bells” and “O Holy Night” establishing this album as an essential seasonal listen.

Still looking for more Christmas music? Check out the 25 Most Magical Dolly Parton Christmas Songs next