15 Best New Christmas Albums (2018): Essential Xmas Tunes

Every year it seems that there’s a slew of new Christmas albums vying for your holiday listening pleasure. Most are good and only a select few become amazing new classics.

Yet 2018 definitely has some of the best options we’ve seen when it comes to the latter. There have been a number of new releases from well-known names and even up-and-coming artists that you’ll surely be humming for years to come.

The fun part is picking your new favorite. There are more upbeat options perfect for adding to any holiday party soundtrack, and more subdued selections that work for festive background music. Each selection would also make an inexpensive gift for a friend, family member, or even white elephant party.

Yet don’t take our word for it, check out our picks for the best new Christmas albums of 2018 for your holly jolly listening pleasure.

Price: $ – $
15 Listed Items
  • John Legend – A Legendary Christmas

    Our Review

    Who doesn't love John Legend? The man can surely do it all and has a voice as rich and smooth as butter. 

    His new Christmas album is an awesome addition to anyone's holiday library and features intriguing arrangements to songs you've always loved, as well as more traditional renditions of other favorites. 

    There are also two exciting guests on"What Christmas Means To Me" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" respectively. That would be the geniuses Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding. 

    This is a great album through and through that is definitely top on every list of the best Christmas albums of 2018. 

     

  • Diana Ross – Wonderful Christmas Time

    Our Review

    While this album isn't exactly brand-new— it's a collection of holiday recordings Ross first issued in 1994— it does include all of those tunes newly sequenced by Miss Ross, new liner notes, and even new cover art that the songstress commissioned herself. 

    If you're a fan of Diana Ross, or a fan of good holiday music, you'll definitely want to pick this one up. It features covers of standards from "Sleigh Ride" to "White Christmas" to newer songs like Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime."

     

  • William Shatner – Shatner Clause

    Our Review

    This album surely wins the best Christmas album title of 2018. And it's insides are surprisingly impressive too. 

    William Shatner, better known forever as the original Captain Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, has assembled an impressive and diverse group of guest stars to deliver old standbys like "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night." From Henry Rollins to Brad Paisley, to Iggy Pop, Judy Collins and more, any listener will dig this uniquely arranged set of holiday songs. 

    The album also features a new original tune as well, "One For You, One For Me!" which might need to be your mantra when purchasing this Christmas. 

  • Eric Clapton – Happy Xmas

    Our Review

    It's a little surprising that legendary guitar icon Eric Clapton has never released a Christmas album in his multi-decade, storied career. 

    Yet here we are with his very first, and it is well worth the wait. It's his twenty-fourth studio album and his first since 2016's “I Still Do.” Featuring recognizable Christmas hits like "Away In A Manger" and "Silent Night" and lesser-known titles and an original new song, "For Love On Christmas Day," Clapton delivers a well-rounded, bluesy take on the holidays. 

    Plus, the cover art is an original Clapton illustration. 

    If your dad, grandpa, or even brother love Clapton or his style of bluesy rock, you'll definitely need to pass this one on for their Christmas gift this year. 

  • Gwen Stefani – You Make It Feel Like Christmas (Deluxe Edition)

    Our Review

    Gwen's unique spin on the Christmas album was first released in 2017, it's back this year in deluxe form with new tracks and fun additions. 

    On top of the twelve original songs, you'll now also get covers of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Winter Wonderland," and "Feliz Navidad." Plus, there are also two new tracks, "Cheer For The Elves" and "Secret Santa." 

    While Stefani started her music career off with more rockabilly sensibilities, she's shifted in recent years to a deliberate pop-heavy aesthetic. It's something that works especially well when it comes to Christmas songs, as her album is delightful and an easy addition to anyone's holiday library.

    Grab it as an extra stocking stuffer for your mom or even sister. They'll surely love it and her.

  • Jessi J – This Christmas Day

    Our Review

    Jessi J isn't as well known a performer in the United States as other artists on our list, but her voice is impressive and her new Christmas album deserves your time and money. 

    Along with the standout pipes she brings to Christmas classics, she also performs two special duets. The first is a new rendition of "Winter Wonderland" with Boyz II Men, and the second is "The Christmas Song" with Babyface. 

    The overall album vibe is very upbeat and cheery, which makes it a great go-to when wrapping presents and hosting holiday get-togethers with friends and family. 

     

  • The Monkees – Christmas Party

    Our Review

    Following their successful reunion two years ago, The Monkees Christmas collection includes some new tunes as well as covers of other classic faves including Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" and "Merry Christmas, Baby."

    While original member and vocalist Davy Jones passed away in 2012, his unmistakable voice was added in from vintage recordings on two songs.  

    This Christmas album is pure fun, much like any Monkees fan would expect. It's an upbeat addition to any collection and makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who still loves to bop along to Sixties pop. 

     

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  • Engelbert Humperdink – Warmest Wishes

    Our Review

    For those not familiar with Engelbert Humperdink, he's an English pop-crooner that's most well-known for ballads such as "Release Me" and "After The Loving." 

    He's been in the game for decades and his last Christmas album came out in 1980. This long-waited follow-up includes the usual holiday classics, newer favorite "Please Come Home For Christmas" by the Eagles, and two new songs.

    Now 82 years-young, Humperdink's voice still delivers, with a warm and powerful range. Even if you aren't familiar with him as an artist, his Christmas album is still worth bringing home for the holidays. It's as comforting and smooth as a hot chocolate on a blustery winter day. 

  • Pentatonix – Christmas Is Here!

    Our Review

    Their follow-up to 2016's impressive, "A Pentatonix Christmas," this new album from American a cappella group Pentatonix is just as joyful and fun as you'd expect. 

    It includes twelve classic tracks, as well as a feature from Kelly Clarkson on "Grown-Up Christmas List." Maren Morris also provides her own striking vocals on "When You Believe." Where the group really shines though is on "Greensleeves", where the rich harmonies will blow you away. 

    This is an excellent Christmas album for holiday lovers of all ages and definitely one of the best of 2018. 

  • Lauren Daigle – Behold, A Christmas Collection

    Our Review

    Lauren Daigle may be the least-known artist on our list, but she is a fast-rising star on the music scene. 

    The contemporary Christian artist released her first album in 2015 and went on to achieve Platinum Record status, and she has since been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards. 

    It's only appropriate then, that she would come out with a lovely and soulful Christmas album this year. With "vocals that are rich and distinctive but still somehow laid-back in their feel," Daigle delivers worship-favorites such as "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "What Child Is This?" alongside more festive holiday fare including "Jingle Bells," "Merry Little Christmas," and more.  

  • NOW That’s What I Call Merry Christmas 2018

    Our Review

    If you love old-school Christmas tunes as well as more modern takes on them, this is the best Christmas album of 2018 for you. 

    It includes 20 Christmas tracks with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Nat King Cole to Bruce Springsteen and Stan Smith. Along with Kelly Clarkson, the latter are this year's updates to its previous 2016 and 2017 versions, so you'll definitely want to update even if you have the older album.  

    This diverse and fun compilation is as if NOW went into your brain and picked out all your holiday favorites and put them on one amazing yule-time playlist. 

     

  • Lindsey Stirling – Warmer In Winter Deluxe Edition

    Our Review

    Violinist Stirling's "Warmer In Winter" was one of the top-selling holiday albums of 2017. This year it's back and better than before with three new original songs and five additional bonus tracks. It also includes talented guest artists such as Becky G, Sabrina Carpenter, and Trombone Shorty. 

    This is a great choice for those who love classical takes on Christmas songs. Stirling does fantastically musical versions of "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch," "Carol Of The Bells, and more. But superstar song here is surely "We Three Gentlemen" which is a mashup of the tunes "We Three Kings" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

     

     

     

     

  • The Mavericks – Hey! Merry Christmas!

    Our Review

    Looking for a fresh take on the same-ol' carols you're accustomed to? Then you have to bring home this new 2018 Christmas album from genre-bending The Mavericks. 

    The group wrote eight original songs for this pick, all of which distinctly feature their unique blend of rockabilly Latino, folk, swing, blues, jazz, and more. Stand-by classic that you know are still here as well including ''Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)'' and "Happy Holiday''.

    Score this one now and watch yourself become a superfan just in time for the band's ' thirtieth-anniversary tour in 2019.

     

  • Dr. Suess’ The Grinch 2018 Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Our Review

    If you or a little one you know loved this season's new The Grinch movie, then the soundtrack is a must.

    Featuring an extremely diverse line-up that includes The Supremes, Run DMC, Nat King Cole, Pentatonix, Tyler The Creator and many more, the fun mixes and beloved songs will delight the entire family. 

    There is a bit of edginess to a few of the songs, so just a heads up if your target listener is on the younger side. 

  • August Burns Red – Winter Wilderness

    Our Review

    Where are all the metalcore fans at? You've probably heard of August Burns Red, the Pennsylvania bangers best-known for their Grammy-nominated songs, "Identity" and "Invisible Enemy."

    The band delivers a killer six-track holiday album, delivering heavy riffs and melodic mash-ups on "The Home Alone Theme," "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year," and "What Child Is This (Greensleeves)."

    While you can only bring this gem on vinyl, you can also stream it for $5.99.