This list does not have Handel’s Messiah. Not because it’s not great. It is, of course, better than great. It’s THE classic Christmas album. I regret not including so many other records that I think are great, but that’s how it goes.
What is here is a good balance of Christmas albums, consisting of four compilations, three instrumental offerings, and four genres (country, jazz, rock, and soul). I hope these selections are useful and enjoyable.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas — Vince Guaraldi Trio
If it’s good enough for Charles Schulz, it’s good enough for me. Originally released in 1965 and since reissued on Fantasy Records in 1988, Guaraldi’s Christmas album has maintained its popularity and is still regarded as one of the best ever.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (full album)