It’s always a little strange listening to music about snow and chestnuts when it’s 40 degrees outside, but there’s nothing quite like a quality Christmas album to set up the festive spirit. Here are five to help you have a merry, merry Christmas.

Ella Wishes You a Swinging ChristmasElla Fitzgerald: Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas

It might be 57 years old now, but it’s a perennial reminder of what a rare talent Ella Fitzgerald was. This is a wonderful combination: 18 well-worn Christmas standards are given renewed vitality here when married with Ella’s unique phrasing and the spirit and tone of jazz and swing. The perfect Christmas lunch accompaniment.
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Elvis Prestley Christmas albumElvis Presley: Christmas With Elvis And The RPO

What would Christmas be without Elvis? Following on from the success of the Elvis With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra albums, it was inevitable that a Christmas offering would follow. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, the 13 tracks here are selected from Elvis’ Christmas Album (1957) and Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas (1971).
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Bing Crosby Merry ChristmasBing Crosby: White Christmas

When you think of the soundtrack to Yuletide, Bing Crosby and his definitive version of White Christmas is the song you’re most likely to conjure. This is an essential festive album to own, as Crosby’s charming voice never fails to evoke nostalgic memories of that perfect childhood Christmas.
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Neil Diamond Acoustic ChristmasNeil Diamond: Acoustic Christmas

No stranger to the Christmas album, Diamond merges Christmas carols, traditional festive songs and some originals here over 12 tracks. The style is decidedly folk-infused but there’s no mistaking Diamond and his distinctive voice. For listeners looking for something less traditional, and dare we say less Christmassy, this is a good place to start.
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Johnny Cash: The Christmas Collection

Certainly another Christmas album to file under ‘alternative’, the moment Cash begins singing here (or indeed talking) there’s little doubting who you are listening to – and that’s not a bad thing at all. A plump offering of 20 Christmas classics, once you hear his version of Silent Night, you can’t go back.
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