Top 15 Best Country Christmas Albums

Collections from Individual Artists

I've created this list of my 15 favorite country Christmas albums of all time. It was really hard to pick just 15 favorites. There are so many great holiday albums to choose from. Hopefully, my selections will help you choose what you might want to add to your holiday collection this year.

It's not Christmas without a little country humor, and Cledus T. Judd is one of the best, with his wacky country Christmas album, Cledus Navidad. The 10 tracks include a few "originals," a couple parodies and even adventurous remakes.

This is the first Christmas album from Faith Hill and it was two years in the making. With such intricate productions for the orchestra and everything that goes along with it, you wonder just how they got it done in what seems to be a long period of time. Along with 10 traditional songs, Faith has added a single new track entitled "A Baby Changes Everything."

Riders in the Sky sing beautiful harmonic cowboy-style country music. They also portray wacky characters in comedic bits. Put the two together, and add some lovely songs, and you have this album of different, but enjoyable, Christmas music.

I think the album title says it all. No jazzy music, no big bands, just a tasteful collection of traditional and some modern standard Christmas songs. The best Christmas albums are often the ones which cut out all the glitz and the glamour in favor of the traditional arrangements and vocal readings. Joe Nichols's A Traditional Christmas is a fine holiday album that may just become a classic.

Tracy Lawrence has released a very heartwarming holiday album. It was originally released in 2007 as a Wal-Mart exclusive, but has since been re-released where you can buy it anywhere now. It contains seven Christmas classics and three brand new songs. So, load it up on your CD player, grab your cup of cocoa, and get down to the preparations of decorating, baking and enjoying quality family time at home. 

When a country music artist chooses to record a Christmas album, typically they don't have to stay close to their traditional style that they've been known for. Much like Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood and even Garth Brooks have done previously, Lee Ann Womack has recorded an excellent collection of old classics, some with a full orchestra and some with a big jazz band.

There's something to be said about the familiar. And on Classic Christmas, George Strait takes songs that practically everyone has heard of and puts his own traditional spin on them. The result is a true classic, just like George himself.

This one is getting a little harder to find, but well worth it if you haven't got a copy of your own yet. Garth Brooks goes from sassy, with "The Old Man's Back in Town," to reflective, thinking of Christmases past in "Silent Night," to fun, with "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy." A wonderful collection of songs, by one of country music's most popular artists.

This album isn't for anyone that wants the tried and true traditional arrangements of Christmas songs. Some of the music is island-inspired, and some is inspired by Kenny Chesney's East Tennessee upbringing. That said, if you are a fan of Kenny's recent music, you will enjoy this Christmas collection.

This is a great country Christmas album. Emphasis on country. So many stars make Christmas albums in the traditional style. Brooks & Dunn have added a little honky tonk to their arrangements, and it's a pleasure to listen to. Along with old favorites like "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland," there are some new songs, such as the title cut, "Rockin' Little Christmas," and "Hangin' Around the Mistletoe." Put this one in your cd player and bring some country to your holiday.

Trisha Yearwood has one of the most powerful and beautiful voices in country music. She can sing any style of music and do it well. This Christmas release is very traditional in arrangement and style. There are gospel songs, traditional carols, new songs, a rockin' song written by Hank Snow ("Reindeer Boogie"), a bluesy piece ("Santa Claus Is Back In Town"), and Trisha covers Keith Whitley's "There's a New Kid In Town."

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Alan Jackson - 'Honky Tonk Christmas'

Alan Jackson - 'Honky Tonk Christmas'
Alan Jackson - 'Honky Tonk Christmas'. Arista Nashville

Alan Jackson has put together a smart mix of old and new songs, which includes a duet with Alison Krauss ("And The Angels Cried"), one with Keith Whitley, through the magic of a previously recorded track ("There's a New Kid in Town"), and even one with the cartoon Chipmunks in "Santa's Gonna Come in a Pickup Truck."

Brad Paisley has created one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums with traditional songs mixed in with some humor, as in the new song "Penguin, James Penguin," some with an added dash of nostalgia, with the duet Brad sings with his younger self on his original "Born on Christmas Day," in addition to adding a little instrumental "Jingle Bells," featuring Brad's awesome guitar work. Lastly, it wouldn't be a Brad Paisley album without the "Kung Pao Buckaroos" (George Jones, Bill Anderson & "Little" Jimmy Dickens) adding their humorous touch. Definitely one I recommend to all country fans.

While I love Martina's Christmas album because the arrangements are traditional, I love Patty Loveless's album because it's so different. All of the songs are done in a bluegrass style, which I totally love. Any fan of bluegrass music will love having this album in their collection. With a beautiful selection of traditional numbers, newer "classics," and her own new offerings, Patty gives us a lovely look at her own Christmas traditions and gives us her beloved musical memories to add to our own.

This album has been released three times now. The latest edition was released in 2007, and a few new songs were added. It remains at the top of my list every time I try to put together a list of recommended Christmas albums. Martina McBride has a timeless voice, and her take on holiday music is something everyone can enjoy. No strange arrangements or songs you've never heard of. Just great holiday music.