Five classic Christmas albums for the holiday season


Love it or hate it, Christmas music is on its way to your car radio and local shopping malls. Which albums are worth listening to? (Graphic by Maliah White)

Tegan Ruhl, Assisstant Lifestyle Editor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Get out your jingle bells and hot chocolate as you prepare to dust off your grandparents’ old Christmas records for the holiday season.

I’m always excited for Christmas because it means I’ll finally be able to listen to all my favorite Christmas tunes again. If you’re like me, you love classic Christmas albums, but I understand that not everyone in the 21st century knows who Bing Crosby is when the season comes around.

Let me introduce you to five classic Christmas albums that you should listen to this season.

Bing Crosby’s album “Merry Christmas” was released in 1945 and remains to be one of the most popular Christmas albums to date. (Photo courtesy of Bing Crosby)

“Merry Christmas” by Bing Crosby 

This is by far my favorite Christmas album to date. Crosby’s earliest Christmas compilation album defines classic Christmas music as we know it. The original album, “Merry Christmas,” was released in 1945. The digital album is also available under the name “White Christmas,” but it still has the same lineup of songs in a different order. It’s widely regarded as one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time, along with Crosby’s signature single, “White Christmas,” which has over 300 million streams on Spotify,

The compilation album is filled with jazzy tunes that never cease to put me in the holiday spirit. However, this type of music may feel slow to some listeners, especially with how Crosby draws out his voice in each song. If you can get past that, then the album feels enchanting in a way.

“Merry Christmas” features both hymns and classic selections. I love them all, but some notable ones include “Silent Night,” “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” “Christmas in Killarney” and “Mele Kalikimaka.”

“Merry Christmas” is an album I play on repeat all throughout November and December. I highly recommend listening to this album first if you’re not familiar with the classics.


Elvis Presley’s album “Elvis’ Christmas Album” was released in 1957. It is the best-selling Christmas album in the United States with 20 million copies sold worldwide. (Photo courtesy of Elvis Presley)

“Elvis’ Christmas Album” by Elvis Presley

This album pleasantly surprised me. Presley took Christmas music and added his own charm to it. “Elvis’ Christmas Album” was released in 1957 and remains today the best-selling Christmas album in the United States and around the world. With more than 20 million copies sold worldwide, Presley delivered a Christmas album that is uniquely his own.

The first half of the album consists of classic tunes and singles first recorded by Presley such as “Blue Christmas” and “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me).” The second half of the album is Christmas hymns, but all of the songs on the album have Presley’s signature sound on them.

Crosby’s success with “Merry Christmas” ruled the industry for years, but “Elvis’ Christmas Album” represented the changing dynamic from jazz to rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s. My favorites from this album include “Santa Claus Is Back In Town,” “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “I Believe” and “It Is No Secret (What God Can Do).” If you couldn’t stand the slow time signature of Crosby’s album, I recommend giving “Elvis’ Christmas Album” a try.


Frank Sinatra’s album “A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra” was released in 1957. It includes his two Christmas singles “Mistletoe and Holly” and “The Christmas Waltz.” (Photo courtesy of Frank Sinatra)

“A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra” by Frank Sinatra 

Maybe you weren’t a fan of “Merry Christmas,” but you still want jazz in the background this season. Let me point you in the direction of Sinatra’s Christmas album, “A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra.” While its 1957 release may have been overshadowed by “Elvis’ Christmas Album,” Sinatra’s first Christmas album is the perfect medium for all your holiday endeavors.

With new singles “Mistletoe And Holly” and “The Christmas Waltz,” Sinatra delivered a Christmas album that you can never go wrong with choosing. It perfectly sets the mood for any Christmas party or festive family time. Sinatra’s style is present in each song. My two favorites from this album include his rendition of “Jingle Bells” and his cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” my all-time favorite Christmas song.


Andy Williams’ album “The Andy Williams Christmas Album” was released in 1963. It includes the popular Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” with 540 million streams on Spotify. (Photo courtesy of Andy Williams)

“The Andy Williams Christmas Album” by Andy Williams

Andy Williams is almost like a combination of both Crosby and Sinatra. Released in 1963, “The Andy Williams Christmas Album” feels less like a jazz album and more like a theatrical production.

Every track on this album feels like you’re walking in a winter wonderland, but it’s a musical, and everyone is singing. I’m not one who normally likes musicals, but nevertheless, the album is still worth a listen as it reflects a more upbeat holiday mood. Additionally, the album includes Williams’ famous single, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” with nearly 540 million streams on Spotify.

My favorite song off this album would have to be “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” yet I was also surprised to enjoy some of the hymns on this album, including “Away in a Manger” and “The Little Drummer Boy.”


Michael Bublé’s album “Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)” was released in 2011. The album includes Bublé’s own rendition of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas,” with over 650 million streams on Spotify. (Photo courtesy of Michael Bublé)

“Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)” by Michael Bublé

The only album on the list released in the 21st century is Michael Bublé’s studio album “Christmas.” This album brings classic Christmas music into a modern setting. Released in 2011, “Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)” takes decades of Christmas songs and puts it all into one album. The album’s sound is a mix of the songs’ original jazz roots and modern-day pop.

Bublé starts off the album strong with songs such as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” but as the album progresses, it’s clear that Bublé does some songs better than others. However, the attempt to make a modern Christmas record while staying true to songs’ origins is still evident to any listener.

If all that old stuff I mentioned earlier isn’t your speed, then my hope is you’ll at least like some of this one. The first half of the album was definitely my favorite with “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Jingle Bells” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Some honorable mentions in the second half of the album include “Blue Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Whether you like the oldies or not, there are hundreds of Christmas songs out there for you to choose from. Whatever you end up listening to this holiday season, I hope it lightens your spirits this holiday season.

With finals week right around the corner, don’t be afraid to take a break and listen to some Christmas music. Remind yourself that break is closer than you think, and it’s beginning to look like Christmas more and more every day.