There’s something magical about listening to Christmas vinyl records next to the fire on a cold winter night. If you’re looking for the best Christmas records to enjoy with friends and family, House of Marley has you covered Though there are a lot of great holiday records out there, here are 11 of our favorite Christmas vinyl records to spin this holiday season.
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings — It’s a Holiday Soul Party
Can you really call it Christmas without a little touch of soul? We’re firm believers that every solid holiday playlist, or record collection, should be lit with plenty of soulful flavor. Rest assured, spinning It’s a Holiday Soul Party will light a different kind of fire in your home during the holidays.
This 21st century classic instantly became a timeless record. The album was released in 2015, roughly a full year before Sharon Jones’ untimely passing, and features covers of well-known holiday hits and originals. You’ll get a warm feeling of holiday nostalgia, even if it’s your first time listening to the record.
Vince Guaraldi Trio — A Charlie Brown Christmas
This childhood record “for kids one to 92” is one of the most recognizable Christmas classics. No matter what time of year it is, the first five notes of “Christmas Time is Here” will transport you to the holiday season.
A Charlie Brown Christmas remains a great album to have playing in the background while you’re enjoying holiday fun. Alongside a haunting-yet-lovely cast of child vocalists, The Vince Guaraldi Trio leads with colorful piano melodies and lively drum rhythms. “O Tannenbaum” is a popular jazzy treat, but we also love the mesmerizing cover of “Greensleeves.”
There are plenty of festive-colored vinyl copies of A Charlie Brown Christmas available. Spoiler alert—Lucy still gets the last laugh.
Various Artists — A Motown Christmas
With over 168 million plays on Spotify, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by The Jackson 5 is the leading track on A Motown Christmas. As a whole, the album features Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and other big Motown names.
A Motown Christmas is a fun compilation of merry tunes from some of the greatest R&B artists on the legendary Motown label. It’s almost impossible to get through the holiday season without hearing at least one of these songs, whether it’s intentional or not—holiday shopping at a department store just wouldn’t be the same.
Some of our favorite picks are “What Christmas Means to Me” by Stevie Wonder and “Silver Bells” by The Supremes. From front to back, A Motown Christmas is an excellent album to own on vinyl.
Low — Christmas
It might be the oddball of our list, but this indie Christmas gem is worth your time. Released in 1999, Christmas features eight lo-fi recordings, which stray far from the joyful Christmas songs we’re used to.
When you think of Christmas music, you probably don’t imagine hearing muffled acoustic guitars or somber vocals, but Low makes it work. The opening track, “Just Like Christmas,” is our favorite original song, but the album features covers of well-known classics too, like “Little Drummer Boy” and “Blue Christmas.”
Ella Fitzgerald — Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
Ella Fitzgerald’s “Sleigh Ride” opens with a horn section that brings back different memories for everyone—baking cookies, opening presents or the “fruit spray” scene from Elf. Either way, the song is one of the best tracks from Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, a record packed with good feels.
Where to begin? From “Jingle Bells” to Frosty the Snowman,” Ella Fitzgerald’s take on Christmas classics is iconic, and her tender singing style is the best medicine for a cold winter day.
Johnny Cash — The Christmas Spirit
Johnny Cash may not be who you normally think of when Christmas music comes to mind, but The Christmas Spirit is worth a listen. He released four different Christmas albums in his lifetime, but this one is our pick for country or folk fans.
Johnny Cash is more than just a songwriter—he’s a storyteller. His bold voice wraps a lasso around your ears and steals your attention. The Christmas Spirit gives you a homey fireside feeling with a warm holiday vibe. Take this one for a spin if you want something traditional.
Various Artists — Christmas in Soulsville
Celebrate the holidays with Booker T. and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Albert King and other hit artists from Stax Records. Christmas in Soulsville is full of vintage soul to enjoy this holiday season.
Waking up to ‘60s-era soul is an upbeat way to start Christmas morning—even before the coffee is done brewing. The compilation was released in 2007 and includes recordings from throughout the ‘60s. Overall Christmas in Soulsville gives you a little bit of everything, from Albert King’s often imitated, never replicated guitar licks to Isaac Hayes’ unmistakable vocals.
John Legend — A Legendary Christmas
John Legend could cover any song and make it sound heavenly. The EGOT winner leaves his velvet voice on several holiday classics featured on A Legendary Christmas, a modern record with a fun vibe.
Throughout the album, John Legend sparks every song with his own unique style while keeping the Christmas spirit alive. The album begins with “What Christmas Means to Me” and continues to flow with original songs and timeless hits.
Although it’s not a compilation record, A Legendary Christmas features artists such as Stevie Wonder, Meghan Trainor, Ray Evans, Jay Livingston and Ruth-Anne Cunningham, which keeps it lively and exciting as you listen through.
Darlene Love — Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Many artists, including Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, have covered “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” but Darlene Love’s version reigns supreme. The song originally appeared on A Christmas Gift for You in 1963 and lingers on Billboard’s charts around Christmas time thanks in no small part to her annual appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. It hit an all-time high of No. 17 during the week of December 11, 2021.
If you can’t find a vinyl copy of A Christmas Gift for You or a compilation album that includes Darlene Love’s famous tune, check out the 45 version instead.
Mariah Carey — Merry Christmas
In 1994 Mariah Carey accomplished the impossible when Merry Christmas was released—she wrote a modern day bonafide Christmas classic. Year after year, her single “All I Want for Christmas Is You” appears on the charts and dominates the airwaves and shopping centers. Currently, that one song has over one billion streams on Spotify alone.
Along with her hit Christmas single, Merry Christmas is a well-rounded album that has all the songs you want to hear during the holidays. It’s full of holiday anthems and refreshing pop covers of all the classics.
Frank Sinatra — A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra
It’s hard to celebrate Christmas without at least one song from Frank Sinatra. A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra is a great addition to any record collection.
The quality is in his name. Frank Sinatra’s familiar crooning voice never gets old, which is why his recordings have passed the test of time. A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra was released in 1957 and continues to serve as the quintessential Christmas album.
If you only add one Christmas album to your collection this year, you should definitely consider this one first!
Bonus: Bob Marley and the Wailers — “White Christmas”
We can’t list Christmas records without mentioning Bob Marley and the Wailers. A splash of Jamaican ska is a fun twist to enjoy while spending good times with friends and family. Keep your eyes peeled for a vinyl copy of this great holiday song performed by the godfather of reggae.
Ready to Spin Holiday Magic?
It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy listening to records, whether you want to dust off some oldies or listen to something new. House of Marley Turntables are quality players to have sitting in your living room or wrapped under the tree!