Every year around this time, I dig through my Tupperware treasure chest and retrieve a tried-and-true stack of holiday albums. In the spirit of the season, here's a list for you (and maybe Santa) of 10 women in country music who wish you a merry Christmas.
Suzy Bogguss, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
With the most playful album on this list, Bogguss delivers fun renditions of "Mr. Santa," "Sleigh Ride" and a perennial country favorite, "Two-Step 'Round the Christmas Tree."
Mary Chapin Carpenter, Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas
If you've been a fan of her smart songwriting over the years, you'll enjoy evocative originals such as "Christmas Time in the City" and "The Longest Night of the Year."
Emmylou Harris, Light of the Stable
The harmonies on the title track are heavenly, and "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" is an acoustic favorite. Guest vocalists abound, including Dolly Parton and Ricky Skaggs.
Faith Hill, Joy to the World
A majestic reading of the namesake hymn makes way for orchestral readings of chestnuts like "What Child Is This?" and a compelling newer song, "A Baby Changes Everything."
Patty Loveless, Bluegrass & White Snow
For a quiet Christmas Day, try sterling versions of "The First Noel," "Silent Night" and "Carol of the Bells." Kids eager for their gifts will like "Christmas Day at My House."
Martina McBride, White Christmas
For many country fans, her powerful "O Holy Night" is the definitive version. She also shows her perky side with a delightful take on "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow."
Reba McEntire, Merry Christmas to You
Her traditional country interpretation of "Away in a Manger" is reminiscent of a simpler time while "On This Day" is a reminder that she's one of Nashville's finest storytellers.
Pam Tillis, Just in Time for Christmas
Blending jazzy renditions of Christmas favorites with a few Nashville originals like "Beautiful Night," she captures the holiday's magic. Pucker up for "New Year's Eve."
Wynonna, A Classic Christmas
Gifted with lush production and a bold voice, she pays her respect to sacred traditions with potent readings of "Ave Maria" and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Amen, sister.
Trisha Yearwood, The Sweetest Gift
Her expressive voice underscores the drama in "Take a Walk Through Bethlehem" and "It Wasn't His Child" and effortlessly brings out the elegance in "The Christmas Song."