It’s that time of year when everyone just wants to enjoy the holiday season by gathering around a fire, drinking some hot chocolate, and listening to their favorite holiday songs or albums.
The holidays mean something different to everyone, and I know every person has their own favorite holiday music (or lack of it), but, I’m definitely in the group of people I described in the first paragraph. So, I thought this is the perfect opportunity to make a list of MY top favorite Christmas songs and albums.
3. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee.
This tune is just a timeless classic. It was first released in 1958 and is STILL going strong. It was written by Johnny Marks and even though a ton of artists have recorded their own version of the song, Lee’s recording is still the most popular, enjoying the milestone of being the 4th most dowloaded digital Christmas single. It doesn’t feel like Christmas for me until I hear Brenda rockin’ the airwaves.
2. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Vince Vance & The Valiants.
Most people will think of Mariah Carey’s hit holiday single when they hear this title, but 5 years before Mariah released her “All I Want For Christmas”, which she wrote along with Walter Afanasieff, there was another song released by novelty act, Vince Vance and the Valiants, with the same name. Chances are you’ve heard this song played during the holidays, but you’ve never heard of Vince Vance… that’s probably because this song is the track that ever charted for them. The lead singer’s raspy voice gives it a unique, edgy feel over a timeless, 1950’s style music arrangement. In 2008, Texas TV station KWTX included the song in their “Most-Played Christmas Songs On Country Radio” list.
1. Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton is and always have been a favorite of mine, country or no country, Dolly is Dolly. She could sing the phone book and you’d still want to hear it. Hard Candy Christmas has just always been a song I can relate to… it’s about perseverance and keeping your head up, even if life throws you a few curves during the holidays. As far as I can remember, it’s the first Christmas song I put on repeat through the Christmas season. Written in 1978 by composer-lyricist Carol Hall for the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in which Parton starred for the film version, Dolly released her version as a single in 1982, and it’s been going strong ever since.
Top 3 Christmas Albums.
3. My Kind Of Christmas by Reba McEntire.
Over the years Reba has created so many albums and songs, it’s kind of hard to believe she’s just now putting out her first Christmas CD. This album is very much what you would think of Reba McEntire and Christmas Music put together, a tenderly voice singing sweet Christmas tunes. It includes all your favorites like Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Silent Night, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, and of course one of my favorites, Hard Candy Christmas. WARNING: You can only find and purchase this album at Cracker Barrel stores/restaurants and it’s extremely popular and hard to find. You may have better luck ordering it from Cracker Barrel online.
2. A Farmhouse Christmas by Joey + Rory.
When it came to this album and choosing my #1 choice, it was such a hard decision. I think of this album more as a tie for first place. I love this album, because it’s one of those rare Christmas CD’s that break the mold from your typical holiday fare. Joey + Rory’s unique voices and harmonies, solid song choices, and memorable arrangements immediately makes you feel at home and puts you in the Christmas spirit.
1. It Must Be Christmas by Chris Young.
For a long time now I have been a fan of Chris Young, and I thought (as did MANY of Young’s fans), that if he put out a Christmas album, it would do well. Well, that’s been proven more than correct. Ever since It Must Be Christmas was released this past October, it’s been a staple on the country radio and on holiday music stations all across the country. It has everything a Chris Young fan could hope for… a great song selection, like Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Holly Jolly Christmas, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, as well as songs written by Young, such as the title track, It Must Be Christmas. It also has great guest appearances by artists such as Boyz II Men, Alan Jackson, and Brad Paisley. And most of all, it has Chris Young’s voice… oh, that voice! It Must Be Christmas is a great addition to any country fan’s Christmas album collection.
Prior to publishing this article, we also asked some of our fans what their favorite Christmas Song or Album was! Here are some of their answers:
Do you have a favorite Country Christmas Song or Album? We would love to know, so tell us by leaving us a comment below or on social media! Merry Christmas!