15 Christmas Albums You Don’t Want to Miss

Ho, Ho, Ho!

With Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to start getting into the holiday spirit, if you haven’t already. So with that in mind, American Songwriter put together a list of 15 Christmas Albums, released this year, that will put you in the mood.

From Kelly Clarkson’s When Christmas Comes Around… and Rob Thomas’ Something About Christmas Time to Steve Perry’s The Season and Steve Holy’s A Christmas to Remember, you are sure to get some Christmas cheer sent your way.

Check out the 15 Christmas albums you don’t want to miss. And Merry Christmas!

1. Kelly Clarkson – When Christmas Comes Around…

Clarkson’s 15-track collection sees the “Stronger” singer reunite with long-time collaborators Jason Halbert, Jesse Shatkin, and more for a mix of new original songs and Christmas classics, including “Santa Baby,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

When Christmas Comes Around… captures how different the holidays can be for all of us during the varying stages of our lives, and I hope everyone can find something on the record they relate to,” says Clarkson. “Hopefully the happier songs, but if not, hey… you’re not alone!” 

When Christmas Comes Around…Track List

1. Merry Christmas Baby
2. It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas
3. Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You)
4. Merry Christmas (To The One I Used To Know)
5. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
6. Glow (feat. Chris Stapleton)
7. Santa Baby
8. Santa, Can’t You Hear Me (feat. Ariana Grande)
9. Last Christmas
10. Jingle Bell Rock
11. Blessed
12. Christmas Come Early

+ previously released bonus tracks:

13. Under The Mistletoe (feat. Brett Eldredge)
14. All I Want For Christmas Is You
15. Christmas Eve

2. Rob Thomas – Something About Christmas Time

This 10-track collection, produced by Gregg Wattenberg, features a mix of new originals, classic covers, and show-stopping duets with Ingrid Michaelson, Bebe Winans, Brad Paisley & Abby Anderson.  

Thomas also gives his long-beloved “A New York Christmas” a 2021 update for the project, nearly 20 years after the single’s original release.

something about christmas time track list:

1. save some Christmas
2. doesn’t feel like christmas (samy’s song)
3. christmas time (feat. Ingrid Michaelson)
4. that spirit of christmas (feat. Bebe Winans)
5. small town Christmas
6. new year’s day
7. santa don’t come here anymore (feat. Brad Paisley)
8. i believe in santa claus (feat. Abby Anderson)
9. a new york christmas ‘21
10. have yourself a merry little Christmas

3. Pistol Annies – Hell of a Holiday

The Pistol Annies are getting festive this Christmas season with their new album Hell of a Holiday, available now. Listen here. With 10 original tracks, including “Snow Globe” and the title track, the trio honors the holiday season with a touch of Pistol Annies humor.

“We couldn’t be happier we got to make a Christmas Album. Once we finally surrendered and let the Christmas songwriting spirit take over, we were so inspired and felt that magic on every single one of these songs,” said the trio’s Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. “We hope to be a part of so many people’s Christmas memories for years to come.”  

HELL OF A HOLIDAY Track List:


1. Hell of a Holiday (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
2. Snow Globe (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
3. Harlan County Coal (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
4. Come On Christmas Time (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
5. If We Make it Through December (Merle Haggard)
6. Make You Blue (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
7. Leanin’ on Jesus (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
8. The Only Thing I Wanted (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
9. Believing (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
10. Happy Birthday (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
11. Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson/Mitchell Parish)
12. Joy (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)
13. Auld Lang Syne (Public Domain/Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley)

4. Steve Holy – A Christmas to Remember

After nearly a decade, Steve Holy returns to the studio for the first time to release ‘A Christmas To Remember,

“Christmas is my favorite holiday,” Holy explains. “I couldn’t have imagined a better time – or better songs – to head back into the studio and record for the first time in so many years. My hope is that this new music makes everyone feel the holiday spirit and get excited for what’s to come – this is just the beginning!”

A Christmas To Remember’ Track List:

1. A Christmas To Remember
2. Let It Snow
3. Here Comes Santa Claus
4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
5. A Holly Jolly Christmas
6. Jingle Bell Rock
7. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
8. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
9. Bringing In A Brand New Year
10. If Every Day Was Like Christmas

5. Josh Turner – King Size Manger

With his first-ever Christmas album, King Size Manger, Josh Turner shares fresh interpretations of beloved classics and introduces four originals Christmas songs, three of which were written or co-written by Turner. Turner enlisted the help of his family, wife Jennifer, and his four sons, who sing on the holiday classic “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” 

King Size Manger Track Listing:

1.  Angels We Have Heard On High 
2.  What He’s Given Me (Featuring Pat McLaughlin)*
3.  King Size Manger*
4.  Joy To The World (Featuring Rhonda Vincent) 
5.  Soldier’s Gift*
6.  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Featuring The Turner Family) 
7.  Go Tell It On The Mountain 
8.  Mele Kalikimaka My ‘Ohana (Featuring Jake Shimabukuro and Ho’okena)* 
9.  The First Nowell 
10. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town 
11. Silent Night, Holy Night 

6. Lori McKenna – Christmas Is Right Here

Lori McKenna marks the season with her debut holiday EP, Christmas Is Right Here, a six-song release that features five new original holiday songs as well as a version of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.”

 “It was such a joy making this holiday music with my Nashville family of co-writers, musicians, and friends,” McKenna says. “I feel like we hit on some of the emotions that come with the holidays—the easy feelings and the harder ones. It seems impossible for me to talk or sing about the holidays without going back in time and I feel so blessed to have the music to come back with me.”

CHRISTMAS IS RIGHT HERE TRACK LIST:

1. Wonderful Christmastime (written by Paul McCartney)
2. Christmas Without Crying (written by Lori McKenna, Luke Laird, Barry Dean)
3. North Pole (written by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose)
4. Still Christmas In Nashville (written by Lori McKenna, Dustin Christensen,
Jordyn Shellhart)
5. Hail Mary (written by Lori McKenna, Luke Laird, Barry Dean)
6. Grateful (written by Lori McKenna

7. Leona Lewis – Christmas, With Love Always

Leona Lewis has repackaged this standout Christmas album, Christmas, With Love Always from her 2013 release. The album includes the original festive track listing as well as some highly-anticipated new additions, including the original song ‘Kiss Me It’s Christmas,‘ a duet featuring Ne-Yo, and a cover of the Bee Gees disco classic ‘If I Can’t Have You.’ 

Christmas, With Love Always Track List:

One More Sleep
Winter Wonderland
White Christmas
Your Hallelujah
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Mr. Right
O Holy Night
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Ave Maria
Silent Night
Kiss Me It’s Christmas (feat. Ne-Yo)
If I Can’t Have You

8. Steve Perry – The Season

Rock legend Steve Perry has released his first holiday record, The Season. “I hope when people hear this record, they’re teleported in the same way I was when I recorded all these songs—I hope it brings them back to those golden moments with their loved ones and gives them that feeling of joy and connection and comfort that we all need so much.”

The Season Track Listing:

“The Christmas Song”
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
“Auld Lang Syne”
“Winter Wonderland”
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”
“Santa Claus is Coming To Town”
“Silver Bells”
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

9. Steve Wariner – Feels Like Christmas Time

The first full-length album from Wariner since All Over The Map in 2016 and his first Christmas album release in 18 years, Feels LIke Christmas Time features newly imagined arrangements of Christmas classics, including “Silent Night,” “The First Noel” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” as well as six original holiday tunes, all written by Wariner. 

Feels Like Christmas Time Track Listing:

Feels Like Christmas Time
Silent Night
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Christmas in Your Arms
Medley: Away in a Manger/O Little Town of Bethlehem/We Wish You a Merry Christmas
On Christmas Morning
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The First Noel
Our Savior is Born
Tennessee Snowfall
It Won’t Be Christmas

10. Zach Williams – I Don’t Want Christmas to End

Recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, I Don’t Want Christmas To End, Zach Williams’ first-ever holiday album, was influenced by the spirit of FAME and those who have recorded there in years past (Etta James, Rolling Stones, Gregg Allman). Williams, who co-wrote the title track shares his country/southern rock influences and incorporates a unique twist to songs we all know and love 

I Don’t Want Christmas to End Track Listing:

  1. Christmas Time Is Here
  2. Merry Christmas Baby
  3. Mary Did You Know
  4. White Christmas
  5. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  6. The Spirit Of Christmas
  7. Silent Night
  8. This Christmas
  9. Run, Run, Rudolph
  10. I Don’t Want Christmas To End

11. Amanda Shires – For Christmas

On her first-ever Christmas album, the free-spirited For Christmas, Amanda Shires performs all original tunes she worked on with bassist Jimbo Hart (her bandmate in Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit), pianist Peter Levin (a jazz musician she met while touring with The Gregg Allman Band), guitarist Pat Buchanan (Dolly Parton, The Chicks), and drummer Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams), including the offbeat single “Gone For Christmas.”

“’Gone for Christmas’ is a truth. You’re going to ask for things for Christmas, so what do you really want? I liked the idea of the outlandish mixed with how you actually feel,” Shires says of the tune.”We actually feel like, ‘Oh my, I’m so tired of all this shit, and I want a different scene.’ But maybe you don’t want really that, but you just want to say extreme things. I was thinking of the ultimate Christmas list, and then at the end, I was thinking about how most of the items on it were impossible.”

For Christmas Track Listing:

  1. Magic Ooooooh (feat. The McCrary Sisters)
  2. A Real Tree This Year
  3. Let’s Get Away (feat. The McCrary Sisters)
  4. Home to Me
  5. Blame It on the Mistletoe
  6. Slow Falling Snow
  7. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  8. Silent Night
  9. Gone for Christmas (feat. The McCrary Sisters)
  10. Wish for You
  11. Always Christmas Around Here (feat. Lawrence Rothman)

12. Lucas Hoge – 12.25

Lucas Hoge has released his first full-length Christmas album 12.25 on November 16. The album is produced by Grammy-nominated Kent Wells (Dolly Parton, Carly Pearce) and features re-imagined classics as well as four original songs from Hoge. The album also includes a duet with platinum-selling Jamie O’Neaand a collaboration with acclaimed songwriter Skip Ewing.

12.25 Track Listing:
 
1.) Christmas Carnival
2.) I’ll Be Home For Christmas
3.) Let It Snow (featuring Jamie O’Neal)
4.) Mrs. Santa Claus (featuring Skip Ewing)
5.) O Holy Night 
6.) Sleigh Ride
7.) Winter Wonderland
8.) December In A Small Town 
9.) Hey Christmas
10.) Wonderful Christmastime
11.) Christmas Without You
12.) Let It Snow

13. Brian Fallon – Night Divine

Brian Fallon is celebrating the upcoming Yuletide season with the release of his all-new holiday album, Night Divine, an intimate collection of classic hymns and carols, such as “O Holy Night,” “The First Noel,” and “Silent Night,” alongside deeply personal takes on the timeless hymns and spirituals that form his earliest musical memories.

In some ways, I’ve been working on this record in my head since I was a kid,” says Fallon. “These songs are some of my most cherished musical memories, and I hope that people are able to turn to them not just in the coming weeks, but any time they’re in need of a little peace or comfort.”

Night Divine Track Listing:

Virgin Mary Had One Son
Amazing Grace
O Holy Night
Nearer, My God, To Thee
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
The First Noel
Sweet Hour Of Prayer
Angels We Have Heard On High
Silent Night
The Blessing

14. Josh Abbott – Christmas Was

Josh Abbott Band released their first holiday EP, Christmas Was, produced by legendary producer Marshall Altman. The holiday extravaganza features the band’s renditions of holiday classics and originals such as “Silent Night.” “Marshmallow World,” “The New Kid in Town,” “Christmas Was,” and “Santa Better Knock.”  

“I’ve thought about recording a Christmas project for years but never found the inspiration. Christmas 2020 was that inspiration,” said Josh Abbott. “Reflecting on a wild year, grateful for my wife & kids & family, I was motivated to record some songs that would be special to them. So this one is for them and I hope all of you enjoy it too.”

Christmas Was Track Listing:

  1. Silent Night

2. Marshmallow World

3. The New Kid in Town

4. Christmas Was

5. Santa Better Knock

15. CAIN – Wonderful

The sibling trio, CAIN, has released their first-ever holiday project Wonderful, a six-song EP which features renditions of “(Christmas) Baby Please Come Home,” “Grown-Up Christmas List,” “Celebrate Me Home,” and their own arrangement of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Also included is “Christmas Is Coming” featuring Mac Powell, who co-wrote the song with CAIN, and the title track with Steven Curtis Chapman, who also penned the song with the trio.

“Before ‘Rise Up’ or ‘Yes He Can’ ever came to mind, we had this Christmas project on our hearts,” the members of CAIN share collectively. “Our entire childhood was marked by Christmas traditions and family get-togethers that lasted the entire month of December. Our parents taught us three things: love Jesus, love each other, and love Christmas. It was more than a holiday to us. 

Wonderful Track Listing:

  1. “(Christmas) Baby Please Come Home”
  2. “Celebrate Me Home
  3. “Wonderul” (feat. Steven Curtis Chapman
  4. “Grown-Up Christms List
  5. “Christmas Is Coming” (feat. Mac Powell)
  6. “O Come All Ye Faithful”

Photos: Rob Thomas courtesy Atlantic Records, Leona Lewis by Mike Rosenthal / Sony Music; Kelly Clarkson courtesy Atlantic Records

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