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It's not Christmas until you play some Mariah y'all.

It’s not Christmas without a Christmas album.

Those musical masterpieces of pure kitsch and cheer are perfect for the road trip back to your parents’ house, spending six hours standing in front of a hot oven trying to figure out how to cook a turkey, or lying on the couch in a food coma after consuming that turkey. And half a gingerbread house. And your Aunty Lynne’s fruit cake. And… well, I think you get the point.

Whatever your Christmas looks like, there’s a Christmas album to provide an aural accompaniment. Here are a diversely selected twelve to get you started:

1. The classic album

Bing Crosby – Merry Christmas (1945)

Best to kick this list off with a classic, and it’s not Christmas without a little Bing. While ‘White Christmas’ is widely regarded as the album’s best track, I’m prepared to provide a dissenting voice and put my support behind his rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’. Pay particular attention around 1:55 for the best fake ending Christmas music has ever seen. (Or should that be heard?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSvPfZMuwV4

2. The Aussie album

Delta Goodrem – Christmas (2012)

I very, very nearly gave this one to John Farnham, but have decided that Delta is the best choice. I have a ridiculously large soft spot for her rendition of ‘Blue Christmas’. Maybe it’s because I spent last Christmas working as a Santa elf, and when this song used to come on, Santa and I would get up and line dance. Maybe:

3. The kids’ album

The Wiggles – Wiggly Wiggly Christmas (1996)

If you’re after a kids Christmas album, there really is no other option. From ‘Henry’s Christmas Dance’ to the sightly more traditional ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Silent Night’, this album is 33 minutes and 27 seconds of skivvy-ed Christmas cheer.  to If you can get your hands on it, the original accompanying VHS was rereleased on DVD a few years back. Which means that you can enjoy performances such as this one:

4. The ‘I like pretending that I’m in a department store at Christmastime ALL THE TIME’ album

Christmas – Michael Buble (2011)

Get a thrill out of feeling like you’re walking through DJs all the time? This is the Christmas album for you. Wikipedia reliably informs me that, upon release in Australia, the Bube’s Christmas album sold 35,000 copies and was certified Gold. It did not provide me with the percentage of those units that were sold to retailers, but I am guessing that it would be a lot.

Now I really feel like buying things.

5. The ‘best contribution by a Beatle post-Beatles’ album

Ringo Starr – I Wanna be Santa Claus (1999)

John Lennon did ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over) and, yeah, it was good. Then George Harrison did ‘Ding Dong, Ding Dong’ and, yeah, it wasn’t as good. Then George McCartney did ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ and, yeah, it was pretty good. But these were all Christmas singles, you see. If you want a full, meaty, festive album by a former Beatle, then Ringo is your man. His version of ‘White Christmas’ is especially excellent. Hold out for the part where he starts randomly naming colours that your Christmas could be. Oh, Ringo:

6. The cynics’ album

Weezer – A Weezer Christmas (2008)

’90s/’00s US rock band Weezer’s Christmas album is a surprisingly enjoyable record of traditional Christmas songs played in their alt rock style, which makes it the perfect Christmas album for people who are all like: “Ugh. Christmas is so mainstream.”

All of a sudden not going until you get some figgy pudding sounds like the ultimate protest against the man.

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7. The beachgoers’ album

The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album (1964)

If your Christmases are more ‘picnic on the sand’ than ‘Christmas ham at a white table setting’, you need a Christmas album that reflects this. The Beach Boys’ Christmas album is great music for long car rides to the coast, or chilling by the water. And it basically just sounds like ‘California Girls’ with a couple of festive references thrown in. Bliss:

8. The ‘I was born in 1993 and thus fall into the very small demographic bracket in which owning this album is somewhat socially acceptable’ album

Hilary Duff – Santa Claus Lane (2002)

When I first raised including this in our Christmas album countdown, there was unrest in the office. The phrases “I veto Hilary” and “MARY, NO!” were thrown about. But I, and my 10-year-old self (because while this masterpiece might have been released in 2002, it didn’t make it to Australian shores until the following year), stand by my choice, for reasons which this duet of ‘I heard Santa on the radio’ with Christina Milian (click here if you’ve forgotten who she was) will surely prove:

(Hey, it could have been worse; there’s also a duet with someone called ‘Lil Romeo’ that involves an updated version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Rapped.)

9. The musical cast recording album

Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

This was a tough one. Obviously The Grinch Who Stole Christmas should rate a mention. And A Christmas Story: the Musical. (Both of which are good if you like your albums to be exclusively Christmas-y.) And Mame. Oh, and that Christmas scene at the end of Annie is pretty cute… But, despite it being a strong field, Meet Me in St Louis has to take the cake. If only for Judy Garland, and this song:

(Skip to 1:40.)

10. The ‘editor’s choice’ album

Glee: The Christmas Album Vol. 1/2/3… 98?

It’s no secret that our editor, Jamila, is a bit of a Glee fan. (She asserts that she’s only really a fan of the first couple of seasons. Which I can totally relate to, as someone who has also been known to dabble in a bit of Glee, because all subsequent seasons have shown absolutely no regard for plot consistencies/plot full stop.)

Anyways, here is the cast of Glee singing ‘Mary’s Little Boy Child.’ This is apparently from Glee: The Christmas Album 4. (And, no. I didn’t know that there was more than one, either.)

Listen out for the alto autotune robot; she nails it.

11. The 2013 album

Miscellaneous ABC personalities – Christmas Number One (2013)

To be fair, it’s actually a single, but I’m flouting my own rules because (now that Andre Rieu’s decided to release an ‘ABBA’ album for the festive season) this is probably the best original offering out this Christmas. I especially like that Triple J has sold it as a combined effort of “Australia’s best musicians, singers and bananas”. (Because there are bananas. Boy, are there bananas.)

12. The DEFINITIVE album

Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas (1994)

As yet another year passes with Beyonce failing to release a Christmas album, Mariah is still in the top spot.

Anyways, enough with the exposition, let’s just get to the song that everyone clicked onto this post to listen to:

And, in case that wasn’t enough of a list, here are some more Christmas albums that are worth a festive mention:

Did your favourite make our list of the top Christmas albums? Let us know in the comments.

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