So it’s almost Christmas. Super almost. Like it’s Christmas Eve! You’re putting the final touches on your Christmas Day celebrations, making sure all the food is prepped, presents are wrapped, decor is up. Wow, midday on Christmas Eve and everything is done. Proud of you.
Suddenly you scream “I DON’T HAVE A CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST” as if you’re Kevin McCallister’s mother realising you’ve left him behind for the second year in a row, but this time he’s out there in the great unknown. Well you’ve got something Mrs McCallister never had: MILKY! We’ve got you sorted with our countdown of the best Christmas albums of all time that you can play on repeat all day long.
20. ROD STEWART - MERRY CHRISTMAS, BABY
I mean Rod Stewart should be on every countdown right? Merry Christmas, Baby features all your favourite Christmas songs, duets with Ella Fitzgerald and Mary J. Blige. All set to a soul and jazz infused soundscape. Stewart even wrote an original song for the record, Red-Suited Super Man featuring Trombone Shorty.
19. DELTA GOODREM - ONLY SANTA KNOWS
Australia’s songbird, Delta Goodrem decided to spread Christmas cheer this year and release her first full-length Christmas album, Only Santa Knows. With two original songs intertwined within eleven Christmas classics, one of which is the musicians collaboration with fellow Aussie royalty, Olivia Newtown-John. Goodrem’s vocals shine on the record, as they always do. I mean she’s Delta Goodrem, have her insane vocals ever not shone?
18. HARRY CONNICK JR. - WHEN MY HEART FINDS CHRISTMAS
I feel like Harry Connick Jr. was the Michael Bublé of the 90’s. The pin-up boy for jazzy blues and the king of Christmas. Widely regarded as one of the best Christmas albums since its release in 1993, When My Heart Finds Christmas features four compositions from the man himself, When My Heart Finds Christmas, (It Must've Been Ol') Santa Claus, The Blessed Dawn Of Christmas Day and I Pray On Christmas. Combine these tracks with 10 Christmas classics and you’ve got a winner!
17. ALY & AJ - ACOUSTIC HEARTS OF WINTER
Everything Aly & AJ do is cool. Their Christmas record is no exception to that rule. Acoustic Hearts of Winter is a pop-rock collection of songs that ranges from carols to contemporary classics and two original tracks penned by the sister duo. The guitar driven record features the song Greatest Time of Year, which became the official song for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. The duo worked with Antonia Armato and Tim James to adapt and rearrange the classic tracks featured on the record to incorporate more heavy instrumentation.
16. KINGSWOOD - A KINGSWOOD CHRISTMAS
Did you ever expect Aussie rock band Kingswood to drop a record full of crooning Christmas classics? Me neither. Yet here we are and it feels so right! Covering holiday favourites from Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole, the band are paying tribute to the music that has soundtracked the festive season for decades. Across twelve tracks, Kingswood supply the Christmas spirit, putting their own twist on classic songs such as O Holy Night, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Silent Night. As if spreading Christmas cheer wasn’t enough, profits from the sales of the record will go directly to Beyond Blue, an organisation that holds special significance for the band.
15. CELINE DION - THESE ARE SPECIAL TIMES
It would be remiss of me not to include one of the greatest voices of all time, the one and only Celine Dion. The beautifully classic and timeless record features Dion’s soaring vocals on a number of holiday classics as well as some original material. There’s impeccable production work from David Foster, Ric Wake and Bryan Adams. Her rendition of the modern classic Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is truly magnificent.
14. THE CARPENTERS - CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Originally released in 1978 under the title Christmas Portrait, the 1996 re-issue features both of The Carpenters Christmas records in the one hit! Warm and heartfelt, Karen Carpenter’s hit you in the Christmas feels. The record features an extensive list of Christmas tunes, with a trackless sitting at a whopping twenty one songs.
13. KELLY CLARKSON - WRAPPED IN RED
One of the best Christmas releases of the 2010’s is Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped In Red. Since the beginning of her career, Clarkson has defied genre, and her Christmas record shows a new side to the singer and a new way to showcase her phenomenal vocals. The record reinterprets songs within the realm of pop, jazz, country and soul, threaded together by the theme of the colour red as a representation of the varying emotions that come with the holiday season. Clarkson even received her own Christmas special to accompany the release of the record. The musician even wrote a handful of songs for the album.
12. BARBRA STREISAND - A CHRISTMAS ALBUM
With her Christmas record, A Christmas Album, Barbra Streisand created one of the best selling Christmas albums of all times whilst simultaneously making the record one of her own highest selling records. The record is full of Christmas classics that stay true to the originals which is what in part makes A Christmas Album such a timeless Christmas release. That and Streisand’s smooth and enchanting vocals on each track.
11. DOLLY PARTON - A HOLLY DOLLY CHRISTMAS
Country music icon Dolly Parton rode in on a reindeer to save Christmas for 2020. After a long and trying year for everyone, Parton released her third Christmas record, aptly dubbed A Holly Dolly Christmas. Predominantly made up of original tunes, the musician enlists some great singing partners, featuring her goddaughter and pop star turned rock star Miley Cyrus on Christmas Is, the king of Christmas Michael Bublé on Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas, with more appearances from Jimmy Fallon, Billy Ray Cyrus, her brother Randy Parton and music icon Williw Nelson.
10. THE WIGGLES - WIGGLY, WIGGLY CHRISTMAS
Ok so The Wiggles dropped their first Christmas Album Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas the year I was born, followed by a video cassette tape the following year that I honestly think we watched so many times the tape wore out. Featuring twenty six songs, including Wiggles themed Christmas tracks, Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas is the perfect Christmas record for families with young children. It’s fun and nostalgic and will have listeners of all ages singing and dancing along. Honestly, whenever I hear Feliz Navidad, I instantly think of The Wiggles’ version.
9. PENTATONIX - THAT’S CHRISTMAS TO ME
American a cappella group Pentatonix dropped their first Christmas themed record in 2014, That’s Christmas To Me. The bold arrangements and pinpoint precision of their harmonies work in perfect unison with the holiday content of the record, with the group even composing their own song, the records title track. The album mixes the traditional classics we all know and love mixed in with religious ballads taking on creative new arrangements.
8. JIMMY IOVINE - A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS
Producer extraordinaire and musical mastermind Jimmy Iovine oversaw the conception and release of the Christmas themed compilation album, A Very Special Christmas. The benefit album sought out to raise funds for the 1987 Special Olympics, raking in millions of dollars through sales. The record features musical icons such as Stevie Nicks, U2, Whitney Houson, Sting, The Pointer Sisters, Eurythmics, Madonna, Bon Jovi and so many more!
7. WHITNEY HOUSTON - ONE WISH: THE HOLIDAY ALBUM
For me, Whitney Houston and Hilary Duff go hand in hand at Christmas. Where my sisters and I would be grooving out to Duff’s Christmas record, Mum would getting into the Christmas spirit with Whitney (and Hilary because how could you not?). I remember Christmas of 2003 walking around Myer with Houston’s album playing over the speakers. One of the greatest voices of our generation lent her gift to a multitude of Christmas classics, creating an array of special moments. One of these standout moments was the singer and her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown performing Little Drummer Boy. Seventeen years later and this record still plays in our household at Christmas.
6. ELVIS PRESLEY - ELVIS’ CHRISTMAS ALBUM
The legendary Mr Elvis Presley released two Christmas themed records throughout his career, the first being Elvis’ Christmas Album in 1957. Featuring all your favourite classics, Presley’s recordeding Blue Christmas catapulted the song into the rock and roll holiday classic stratosphere. Presley also commissioned the creation of two new songs, Santa Bring My Baby Back (to Me) and the albums opener, Santa Claus Is Back in Town, a blues based rock and roll track. The singer arranged his own versions of Silent Night and O Little Town of Bethlehem.
5. TAYLOR SWIFT - THE TAYLOR SWIFT HOLIDAY COLLECTION
A lot of people seem to have no idea Taylor Swift released collection of holiday songs… weird. But she did, and in true Swift fashion, it’s amazing. Released in 2007, exactly one year after her debut album and eleven months before her breakout single Love Story, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection marks the first occasion the forayed into Christmas music, but not the last. Complete with country tinged renditions of Last Christmas, Santa Baby, Silent Night and White Christmas, the release also features two original songs: Christmases When You Were Mine and Christmas Must Be Something More. Showing off her chops not only as a performer but a Christmas lyrical mastermind, the collection of songs is a wholesome and feel good Christmas listen.
4. BING CROSBY - WHITE CHRISTMAS
One of the most iconic staple Christmas records has to be Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas. Crosby’s rendition of White Christmas remains unparralled to this day, becoming the worlds best-selling single, moving in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. The album grew and grew, with each reissue packing in more Christmas classics. Crosby puts his unique take on the songs, making them his own.
3. MARIAH CAREY - MERRY CHRISTMAS
Would it be Christmas without Mariah? I honestly think Santa’s sleigh wouldn’t be able to make it around the world in one night without timezones and Mariah’s high notes in All I Want for Christmas Is You. How did he manage prior to 1994? Among the covers of Christmas classics, Mariah created her own classic with All I Want for Christmas Is You, in which the singer wrote with Walter Afanasieff, showing off her skills at writing Christmas tunes. The pair also penned the songs Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) and Jesus Born on This Day.
2. MICHAEL BUBLÉ - CHRISTMAS
Michael Bublé is the king of Christmas. The album peaked at number one on the ARIA Charts and continues to dominate the charts since its release in 2011. The record has spawned a handful of televised Christmas specials and features collaborations with the likes of Shania Twain, The Puppini Sisters, Thalía and Naturally 7. Full of Christmas classics, there’s just something about the crooners vocals that scream Christmas. Like a warm hug or hot chocolate on a snowy day (not that we have those in Australia, but hey we can daydream), Christmas deserves to be number one year after year. I honestly think I only know the Bublé version of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).
1. HILARY DUFF - SANTA CLAUS LANE
Hilary Duff released the best Christmas album of all time and there’s nothing you can do to change my mind about it. Complete with six original songs, Santa Claus Lane is Duff’s debut album and features collaborations with Lil’ Romeo, Christina Millian and her sister, Haylie Duff. The title track Santa Claus Lane? Iconic. The track being the official song for The Santa Claus 2 starring Tim Allen? Iconic. The way Hilary whispers “chi ca kah” in her cover of Wham!’s hit Last Christmas? Iconic. What Christmas Should Be appearing in the end credits of Cheaper By The Dozen which is in fact not a Christmas themed film? Iconic. Am I bias because this has been my Christmas soundtrack since I was six years old? Maybe. But Santa Claus Lane is a sweet and wholesome Christmas sleigh ride that is a nostalgic time capsule of holiday classics, fused with the flair of early-2000’s pop music. Hilary is the queen of Christmas in my eyes.
Honourable mentions go to Ariana Grande, Bob Dylan, Destiny’s Child, Gwen Stefani, Human Nature, Idina Menzel, Kenny Rodgers, The Killers, Kylie Minogue, Lady A, N*Sync and Willie Nelson.