If you’re trying to get into the holiday spirit, music might do just the trick! Growing up, I sang in choirs that did Christmas performances around town and it never quite felt like Christmas unless I heard these sounds of the season. Here is a compilation of some of the best holiday albums around to get you into the holiday spirit. (Note: If you follow the links, it will pull up the albums and songs in Spotify for your listening pleasure.)
Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas (1994). This CD really established Mariah Carery as a talented entertainer and featured gospel-flavored back-up vocals. (Bonus: Mariah Carey has a 2.0 Christmas CD called Merry Christmas II Youwhich you can find on Spotify.)
The Carpenters – Christmas Portrait (1984). Released in the 80s, this album just keeps on giving! You’ll find standard Christmas carols in classic arrangements that you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Michael Buble – Christmas (2011). After releasing a 5-song EP entitled Let it Snow in 2003, Buble went on to do a full-length Christmas album with fun arrangements of Christmas songs you know and love, and even a fresh new take on Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You“.
Sarah McLachlan – Wintersong (2006). Nominated for a Grammy, the children and youth choir from Sarah McLachlan’s Music Outreach school sang backup on “Happy XMas (War Is Over)”. She redid Joni Mitchell’s song “River” — and I prefer her take on it!
Justin Bieber – Under the Mistletoe (2011). The pop sensation Bieber collaborated with several notable artists for his Christmas album including Boyz II Men, Usher, and Mariah Carey. Most notable is his high energy take on “Drummer Boy” with Busta Rhymes.
Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). A mainstay during the holidays, anyone who has ever watched a Charlie Brown Christmas as a kid will know these songs. A favorite is “Christmastime is Here“. If you’re a fan of Arrested Development, this may conjure up images of the Bluth family…
Glee – The Music, The Christmas Album (2010). Several of the songs from the album were aired on the Christmas episode and even featured Canadian singer/songwriter k.d. Lang on “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch“. You can also check out Volume 2!
Josh Groban – Noel (2007). This Christmas album rocketed to the top of the Billboard 200 and even included cameos by Brian McKnight, Faith Hill, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on “O Come, All Ye Faithful“. This was another production of music producer David Foster.
She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas (2011). She & Him is an indie band that comprises of the well-loved actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward. This album is full of quirky renditions of Christmas songs, among which is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Diana Krall – Christmas Songs (2005). The jazz pianist and singer’s Christmas album was the first to include a big band, featuring the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and was voted one of the best jazz albums of the decade. Be sure to check out “Sleigh Ride“!
What music gets you in the holiday spirit?
Originally published on My Colleges and Careers.