• Top 10 Best Christmas Albums in 2020 (Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Christmas Albums in 2020 (Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Christmas Albums in 2020 (Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Christmas Albums in 2020 (Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Christmas Albums in 2020 (Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Christmas Albums in 2020 (Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and More)

Christmas music has a special magic. Whether you're cozying up by a crackling fire or hosting a holiday gathering, putting on a Christmas album adds instant cheer. You probably even have favorite albums you return to year after year, but maybe you're looking for fresh tunes for a holiday party or just want to see what else is out there. The world of Christmas music is wide and wonderful, and it's never a bad time to expand your collection. 


Our number one pick is the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Full of jazzy Christmas standards and original songs, this album is warm, energetic, and comforting. It can take you on a wintry adventure or easily meld into the background to create a festive ambiance. See our other picks below for some more classic (and not-so-classic) picks. And if you're having trouble choosing an album, check out our buying guide for tips!

  • Last updated: 10-26-2020
  • 274 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Christmas Albums

Our top ten list of Christmas albums includes picks from multiple genres, artists, and eras. Whether you like classic holiday carols, sweeping symphonies, or modern takes on timeless tunes, we hope you find a new album to cherish for years to come!

1

Vince Guaraldi TrioA Charlie Brown Christmas

Remastered & Expanded Edition

$9.49

GenreJazz
Song typeStandards, originals
Release date2012
Tracks14
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD
2

Nat King ColeThe Christmas Song (Expanded Edition)

$9.99

GenreEasy listening
Song typeStandards
Release date2018
Tracks19
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl, cassette
3
GenreMotown
Song typeStandards
Release date1973
Tracks25
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl, cassette
4
GenrePop, R&B
Song typeStandards, originals
Release date1994
Tracks10
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl, cassette
5
GenreClassical
Song typeStandards
Release date1987
Tracks17
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, cassette
6
GenreSoft rock
Song typeStandards
Release date1984
Tracks31
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD
7
GenreR&B, neo-soul
Song typeStandards, originals
Release date2019
Tracks18
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl
8
GenreA cappella
Song typeStandards, originals
Release date2017
Tracks16
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl
9
GenreSurf rock
Song typeStandards
Release date1965
Tracks12
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl
10
GenrePop
Song typeStandards, orignals
Release date1998
Tracks14
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CD

Compare the Best Christmas Albums

Image
1
Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas  1

Vince Guaraldi Trio

2
Nat King Cole The Christmas Song (Expanded Edition) 1

Nat King Cole

3
Various Artists A Motown Christmas 1

Various Artists

4
Mariah Carey Merry Christmas 1

Mariah Carey

5
Arthur Fiedler A Christmas Festival 1

Arthur Fiedler

6
The Carpenters Christmas Collection 1

The Carpenters

7
John Legend A Legendary Christmas 1

John Legend

8
Pentatonix A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe 1

Pentatonix

9
The Ventures The Ventures' Christmas Album 1

The Ventures

10
*NSYNC Home For Christmas 1

*NSYNC

Name

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Christmas Song (Expanded Edition)

A Motown Christmas

Merry Christmas

A Christmas Festival

Christmas Collection

A Legendary Christmas

A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe

The Ventures' Christmas Album

Home For Christmas

Features

A Jazzy Christmas Classic for Cozy Winter Nights

Smooth Holiday Standards for All Activities

Upbeat Motown Renditions of Christmas Favorites

A Modern Classic With Pop and Gospel Influences

A Festive Collection of Standards and Classical Compositions

A Bundle of Songs to Bring the Christmas Cheer

An Album of Updated Classics and New Sounds

Holiday Favorites Done A Cappella

A Soundtrack for Christmas at the Beach

A Catchy Christmas Album for Pop Music Lovers

Price$9.49$9.99$11.49$9.99$9.99$18.99$10.99$9.99$7.99$9.99
GenreJazzEasy listeningMotownPop, R&BClassicalSoft rockR&B, neo-soulA cappellaSurf rockPop
Song typeStandards, originalsStandardsStandardsStandards, originalsStandardsStandardsStandards, originalsStandards, originalsStandardsStandards, orignals
Release date2012201819731994198719842019201719651998
Tracks14192510173118161214
Available formatsStreaming, MP3, audio CDStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl, cassetteStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl, cassetteStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinyl, cassetteStreaming, MP3, audio CD, cassetteStreaming, MP3, audio CDStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinylStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinylStreaming, MP3, audio CD, vinylStreaming, MP3, audio CD
Link

How to Choose a Christmas Album - Buying Guide

There's a huge range of Christmas music, from classical songs to modern pop tunes. While the music you choose is ultimately up to personal preference, deciding what type of music you want to hear can help narrow down the playing field. Here are some things to consider when choosing a Christmas album.

Think About What Type of Song You Want to Hear

Do you like the nostalgia of traditional Christmas tunes, or are you craving something new and different? Or maybe you want a mix of both!

Christmas Standards are Familiar and Nostalgic

Christmas Standards are Familiar and Nostalgic

When we think of Christmas music, our mind often goes to classic tunes like “White Christmas” or “Little Drummer Boy.” If you like the nostalgic feeling of familiar songs, look for an album that contains traditional Christmas music. 


This type of music can remind us of all of the Christmases past and make us feel safe, peaceful, and joyful. And classic Christmas music doesn’t have to be limiting! Within the realm of traditional Christmas songs, there are many different genres, including jazz, pop, and country. 

Original Christmas Songs Embody the Holiday Spirit in New Ways

Original Christmas Songs Embody the Holiday Spirit in New Ways

If you want some tunes to set the Christmas mood but are tired of hearing the same songs over and over, consider checking out some original Christmas music. Plenty of artists are writing new songs that embody the spirit of the holidays. 


New Christmas songs can spice up your holiday gatherings and even serve as a conversation starter. If you’re curious about hearing some original Christmas music but don’t want to fully commit, many artists have Christmas albums that include a mix of standards and original songs.

Set the Holiday Vibe With the Right Genre

Think about the mood you want to set with your Christmas album. Are you decorating the tree? Curling up by the fire? Baking batch upon batch of gingerbread cookies? 

Jazz and Classical for Relaxing Instrumentals

Jazz and Classical for Relaxing Instrumentals

The fire is crackling, the Christmas lights are twinkling, and snow is falling outside your window. On chilly winter nights, the soothing sounds of jazz and classical can turn your home into a cozy den. For peaceful tunes, less is more. Think slow melodies, lush instrumentals, and understated arrangements. 


If you like jazz, look for albums featuring soft sounds like piano or saxophone. For classical Christmas music, you could go orchestral with suites like Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Or you could opt for a more minimal feel with piano or string renditions of popular Christmas songs. 


Jazz and classical music can include singers too. If you like vocals with your instruments, look for albums that include a jazz singer or a classical choir. Often, jazz and classical albums will feature a specific orchestra or group and may include songs from just one composer or multiple composers. 

Easy Listening and R&B for Smooth Singers

Easy Listening and R&B for Smooth Singers

If you prefer vocal-focused music but still want a relaxed vibe, easy listening and soul music feature slow tempos and smooth-as-honey vocals. Travel back in time with Christmas classics by crooners like Frank Sinatra or go for more recent singers like Michael Bublé. 


If you prefer your Christmas tunes to be a tad funkier, albums by soul music greats like Aretha Franklin or Sam Cooke can be laid back but still catchy. You can also find many modern R&B Christmas albums, which typically feature more rhythmic beats than their old soul relatives.


Easy listening and soul albums usually focus on a single vocalist, who may perform standards as well as their own original holiday songs. 

Pop and Rock for an Upbeat Festive Mood

Pop and Rock for an Upbeat Festive Mood

Sometimes you just want to rock around the Christmas tree. Whether you’re throwing a holiday party or want a boost of yuletide joy, rock or pop Christmas music can create an energetic and cheerful mood. Well-known pop singers will often create their own Christmas albums so you can hear their take on the holiday’s hottest hits. 


Pop Christmas albums typically focus heavily on the vocals and include a mix of traditional and original songs. If you prefer rock music, look for a Christmas album by one of your favorite bands. These albums will usually feature electric guitars and heavier drums and may take more creative liberties with classic songs.

Niche Christmas Albums for Eclectic Tastes

Niche Christmas Albums for Eclectic Tastes

If a genre exists, there’s very likely a Christmas album for it! Aside from the more traditional options, you can find Christmas albums for kids, comedy Christmas albums, and albums made by artists who you would never expect to make a Christmas album (like Snoop Dogg and MxPx).


These can be a fun option for parties or just to shake things up. These types of albums are often made with a sense of humor and can be a great conversation starter. If you want to check them out, look for an album made by an artist you’re familiar with or in a genre you already like.

Choose Between a Single Artist or a Compilation

Choose Between a Single Artist or a Compilation

You can find Christmas albums made by a single artist or albums that are a compilation of Christmas songs by different artists. Both are excellent options!


If you’re looking for an album made by a single artist, it helps to have a specific singer or musician in mind. You can then search to see if they’ve put out a Christmas album. If you’re a fan of the artist, it can be fun to hear their take on Christmas standards. Some artists also include their own original songs.


If you have a specific genre or theme in mind, a compilation album will let you explore music by multiple singers and musicians. Compilations are often organized based on genre or record label; some are curated by a well-known figure. Compilations are perfect for parties since there's no need to put together a playlist!

Deck the Halls (and Your Home) With More Christmas Must-Haves

Deck the Halls (and Your Home) With More Christmas Must-Haves

Don't forget the cookies and the Christmas lights! Get holiday-ready and check out some of our other favorite Christmas products.

Summary

There's nothing like some Christmas music to create a festive atmosphere this holiday season. Whether you're decorating the tree, relaxing by the fire, or gathering with friends and family, the right Christmas album can lift spirits and make the season bright. 


When choosing a Christmas album, think about the mood you want to create. Calm and cozy? Upbeat? Also, consider different genres. Since most holiday music consists of standards and covers, this can be a great time to explore some new sounds. But most of all, choose an album that feels like Christmas to you!


Author: Melissa Jong


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