40 Essential Christmas Albums

Classics and new entries worthy of your holiday bonus


Hanson, 'Snowed In'

Courtesy Mercury

Released in 1997, the same year that the classic "Mmmbop" topped the charts, this quickie album is a tasty pop-rock candy cane. Taylor Hanson hadn't hit puberty yet, and his voice sounds as clear as a Christmas bell. Best track: their version of "Run Rudolph Run," popularized but not written by Chuck Berry. Playing their own instruments, the teenage trio hurtle through the song, going as fast as they can without driver's licenses.

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