Country music is steeped in tradition, making it a natural fit as the genre of choice for classic Christmas songs. Many iconic Christmas standards come from the world of country music, meaning that even those who are not usually fans of the genre can find something to love in these classic pieces of Americana. These are the 25 best classic country Christmas songs that belong on your holiday playlist.
“A Christmas Letter” by Keith Whitley
Keith Whitley’s stunning performance of this song is rather haunting in retrospect but the emotional tug that it provides is second to none.
“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives
Burl Ives’ influence on Christmas music cannot be understated and this is one of the most iconic songs from his brilliant canon of Christmas songs.
“An Old Christmas Card” by Jim Reeves
It may seem corny to some to keep old Christmas cards, but one listen of this beautiful ’60s classic will make even the least romantic among us start saving those cards.
“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley
Many artists have recorded versions of this classic Christmas song, but Elvis’ iconic command of the mic makes his country-tinged version the choice selection for Christmas playlists.
“Christmas in Dixie” by Alabama
This is one of the most country of the songs on this list of classic country Christmas tracks, but Alabama’s trademark delivery makes this a memorable classic that belongs on every country music fan’s Christmas playlist.
“Christmas in my Hometown” by Charley Pride
This is an often overlooked country Christmas classic that stands the test of time. Charley Pride’s rich voice is perfectly suited for this cheerful track.
“Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton penned this classic in 1971, creating one of the most poignant Christmas songs of all-time. The moral of this story is as important as ever in a post-2008 world.
“Country Christmas” by Loretta Lynn
Leave it to a coal miner’s daughter to paint one of the most descriptive pictures of a down home Christmas that you’ve ever heard.
“Frosty the Snowman” by Gene Autry
The Gene Autry original has become a standard that has transcended all genres and the original remains the classic iteration that is best suited for classic country Christmas playlists.
“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy
This novelty Christmas classic is one that the kids and kids at heart love for its light-hearted chorus and humorous tone.
“Hard Candy Christmas” by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton’s brilliant vocals seem perfectly suited to Christmas songs and her delivery on this song created one of the most enduring songs of the season.
“If We Make it Through December” by Merle Haggard
While a majority of the songs on this list overtly display Christmas cheer, this iconic Merle Haggard song is darker in tone as it depicts the pains that many of us feel during this time of year. You can either identify with the heart-tugging lyrics or you can, at least, empathize with them.
“Jingle Bell Rock” by Brenda Lee
Countless artists have covered this Christmas standard, but Brenda Lee’s version is considered by many to be the standard by which all others are judged.
“Merry Christmas from the Family” by Robert Earl Keen
Texas country music legend Robert Earl Keen provides a comedic take on Christmas get-togethers with this cheerful song that has become a fan favorite over the years.
“Old Toy Trains” by Roger Miller
This 1967 classic captures the magic of being a child on Christmas and is perfect for the kids and for adults feeling sentimental for Christmases of years gone by.
“Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson can pen tales of traditional Americana better than just about anyone and this iconic Christmas song belongs on everyone’s Christmas playlist.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
Brenda Lee’s energetic Christmas song appeals to lovers of all music genres and not just country music fans.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry
Gene Autry’s voice provides the most classic and soothing tones for this holiday staple. Many Christmas day memories have been made with this song providing the soundtrack.
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Burl Ives
Many generations of American families have bonded over this classic Christmas song, but the Burl Ives rendition is widely considered one of the best versions ever recorded.
“Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy” by Buck Owens
The Buck Owens original has recently been covered by Brad Paisley, but the Bakersfield sound is best performed by the original purveyor of the sub-genre in this classic country Christmas song from 1965.
“Silent Night” by Jim Reeves
“Silent Night” has its roots in the early-1800s, but the Jim Reeves version from 1963 has become the standard-bearer for country music audiences due to his brooding vocals.
“The Christmas Guest” by Grandpa Jones
Reba McEntire and Johnny Cash have given country music fans brilliant versions of this spoken-word Christmas song, but the Grandpa Jones version is widely held as the premier performance of this legendary Christmas tale.
“The Little Drummer Boy” by Johnny Cash
This song has been a Christmastime favorite since the early-’40s, but when Johnny Cash covered it, he made it his own. His deep voice and the lyrical content of the song were perfectly suited for the Man in Black.
“When It’s Christmas Time in Texas” by George Strait
George Strait brings a touch of western swing to your classic country Christmas playlist with this catchy song.
“White Christmas” by Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette’s vocal style is perfectly suited to this Christmas standard, making the song a safe choice for anyone’s Christmas playlist, regardless of their feelings on country music.
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