The Best Country Christmas Songs

A man and woman dancing to Christmas music.
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Christmas is the most traditional of holidays and a perfect time to listen to country music. The songs below, both traditional and strictly country, add to the festive warmth of the holiday season. Included in the list are traditional artists like George Strait, country pop stars like SHeDAISY, and modern Western groups like Riders in the Sky.

Brad Paisley - "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy"

Brad Paisley - Christmas
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Brad Paisley covers the Buck Owens original with all the necessary twang and steel guitars. Owens would be proud. The song appears on Paisley's "Brad Paisley Christmas" album.

Alan Jackson & Alison Krauss - "The Angels Cried"

From Alan Jackson's first album "Honky Tonk Christmas," this song features two of the best voices in country music telling the story of the nativity.

Brooks & Dunn - "Winter Wonderland"

From Brooks & Dunn's "It Won't Be Christmas Without You," this honky-tonk arrangement of "Winter Wonderland" has a cute lyrical substitution: "All the little kiddies knock him down" becomes "All the buckaroos knock him down."

Elmo & Patsy - "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

It wouldn't be Christmas without this popular tune. Who could forget the line, "She had hoof prints on her forehead, and incriminating Claus marks on her back"? The song appears on Elmo & Patsy's album "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

Elvis Presley - "Blue Christmas"

Many people have performed this song, but nobody does it quite like Elvis Presley.

Faith Hill - "Silent Night"

Just about everyone knows this classic hymn. Faith Hill sings it perfectly; she doesn't try to go over the top but gives a beautiful, understated performance.

Joe Nichols - "I'll Be Home for Christmas"

Joe Nichols puts a true country spin on this holiday classic, which appears on his album "Traditional Christmas."

Johnny Cash - "The Christmas Guest"

This popular song, from Johnny Cash's "Classic Christmas" album, is done in recitation style, and it tells the story of Conrad and his dream of the Lord coming to his home to be his Christmas guest. Throughout the night, different people show up at his door, including a beggar, an old lady, and a frightened child. Each time, Conrad offers his hospitality but is disappointed. He prays to the Lord and asks him why he did not show up. The Lord answers by saying that he did come, three times, and was welcomed in and was happy to be Conrad's Christmas guest.

Kellie Pickler - "Santa Baby"

From the compilation album "Hear Something Country: Christmas 2007," Kellie Pickler gives her best sultry vocal performance on this contemporary Christmas song.

Kenny Chesney - "All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan"

From Kenny Chesney's album "All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan," this song has an island feel to it, which perfectly complements Kenny's style of music.

Kenny Rogers & Wynonna Judd - "Mary Did You Know"

Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd do a great job on this wonderful song. It's nice to hear it performed as a duet.

Lee Ann Womack - "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Lee Ann Womack and Harry Connick Jr. trade lines in this sultry classic tune. The song appears on Womack's "The Season for Romance."

Martina McBride - "Oh Holy Night"

This is probably one of the most difficult Christmas songs to sing, but Martina McBride is definitely up to the task. She just soars on the high notes and nails this song.

Merle Haggard - "If We Make It Through December"

There are probably a lot of people nowadays who can relate to the lyrics in this song. The singer gets laid off from the factory before Christmas and can't get his daughter any gifts. But he has plans to move, maybe to California, the next summer. The acoustic arrangement of this song makes it feel like Haggard is right there singing to you.

Oak Ridge Boys - "Christmas Cookies"

The Oak Ridge Boys give "Christmas Cookies" a Western swing feel. They sing about all the sweet cookies that their ladies make them that are shaped like bells and stars, with sprinkles on top. This song is from the Oak Ridge Boys' "Christmas Cookies" album.

Patty Loveless & Jon Randall - "Joy to the World"

This is from Patty Loveless' album "Bluegrass and White Snow," which features beautiful arrangements of holiday favorites. Jon Randall adds wonderful harmonies to this lovely traditional tune.

Riders in the Sky - "Corn, Water and Wood"

This song, from Riders in the Sky's "Christmas the Cowboy Way," tells the story of the three wise men who visit the baby Jesus. The Riders' harmonies are lovely.

SHeDAISY - "Deck the Halls"

This is a cool contemporary arrangement of this traditional Christmas classic. The Osborne sisters' harmonies make it even more special.

Suzy Bogguss - "Two Step 'Round the Christmas Tree"

When you hear this song, you'll want to get up and dance along with the music. The tune appears on Suzy Bogguss' album "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." 

Trisha Yearwood - "It Wasn't His Child"

The story in this song seems as though it could be about any child, but of course that isn't the case. Yearwood is singing about how Joseph loved Jesus even though he wasn't his child. It's a great story sung by a woman with one of the most beautiful voices in any genre of music.