Some Relaxing Christmas Music to Ease the Seasonal Stress

A Listmania! list by Steven H Propp (Sacramento, CA USA)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The list author says: "Christmas is a unique and wonderful time of year, but it can also be a very hectic and stressful season. One excellent way to help yourself slow down and enjoy the holidays is with the right music---and I DON'T mean "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," or any of those other pop monstrosities they play endlessly at the shopping malls to stimulate us to buy, buy, buy...!

No, I mean some nice, peaceful, mostly instrumental music (at least, with no Luciano Pavarottis or Mariah Careys "belting out" the songs) that can maybe help us relax and get into the "Christmas Spirit" of things.

Most of this music is characterized by record companies as "New Age," but rest assured that there are no chakras and crystals---much less sandals and candles, or Patchouli oil---mentioned anywhere on these albums. Enjoy the holidays!

(I've also done a "MORE Relaxing Christmas Music to Ease the Seasonal Stress" list, and a "Windham Hill Christmas/Seasonal CDs" list.)"
Narada: The Christmas Collection
1.  Narada: The Christmas Collection by Narada Christmas Collection (Series)
The list author says:
  "For background music with mostly traditional carols, and beautiful instrumentation, you can't beat Narada's three "Christmas Collection" albums (see my description below of their "Best of Narada Christmas" compilation); there's also a (vocal) "Narada Presents: The Best of Celtic Christmas" album, as well as a "Narada Nutcracker" album."
Used & New from: $0.27
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Best of Narada Christmas
2.  Best of Narada Christmas by Narada Christmas Collection (Series)
The list author says:
  "This 2-CD set has most of the best of the three single Narada Christmas albums.  A GREAT collection!"
$11.98   Used & New from: $4.47
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

The Carols of Christmas - A Windham Hill Collection
3.  The Carols of Christmas - A Windham Hill Collection by The Carols Of Christmas: A Windham Hill Collection (Series)
The list author says:
  "Windham Hill produced two of these albums, and then many overlapping compilation albums ("Pure Holiday," "A Windham Hill Christmas," "A Windham Hill Christmas II," "Holiday Guitar Collection," "I’ll Be Home for Christmas," "The Night Before Christmas," “Tis the Season,” Sounds of the Season,” “Winter’s Songs,” etc.) with versions of mostly traditional Christmas songs in the famous "WH style.”"
$73.98   Used & New from: $8.80
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Essential Winter's Solstice
4.  Essential Winter's Solstice by Best Winter's Sols
The list author says:
  "There were six original albums, and then a "Reunion" album, a (somewhat strange) "On Ice" album, and the Silver Anniversary edition (see below).  "Essential" is an excellent compilation of previous WH tracks, emphasizing the "Christmas carol" songs rather than the purely "seasonal" pieces."
$13.99   Used & New from: $5.15
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

A Winter's Solstice: Silver Anniversary Edition
5.  A Winter's Solstice: Silver Anniversary Edition by Winter's Solstice
The list author says:
  "Original compositions; nearly all of the "seasonal" variety (i.e., appropriate to a winter's night), rather than "Christmas carols.""
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Candlelight Christmas
6.  Candlelight Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller
The list author says:
  "Refreshingly "peaceful" pieces (rather than the more "uptempo" ones that Mannheim Steamroller is known for; see review later in this list)."
$4.99   Used & New from: $0.50
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

Solstice
7.  Solstice by Michael Jones
The list author says:
  "My favorite solo piano album, with four pieces by David Lanz and Michael Jones.  The only complaint is that it's too SHORT!  See David Lanz's other Christmas album, later in this list."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Enchantment: A Magical Christmas
8.  Enchantment: A Magical Christmas by David Arkenstone
The list author says:
  "Arkenstone's arrangements and instrumentation are softer and more subtle than on most of his solo projects.  Also see his "Christmas Spirit" and "Christmas Pan Pipes" albums."
Used & New from: $10.34
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Christmas Lounge
9.  Christmas Lounge by David Arkenstone
The list author says:
  "Less "traditional" than his other Christmas albums, this really IS excellent, downtempo music (I cringe in avoiding the term "smooth jazz") that would be an appropriate "holiday" background in a relaxed lounge atmosphere."
$10.44   Used & New from: $5.90
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

The Gift
10.  The Gift by Liz Story
The list author says:
  "Story's gentle yet emotional touch with the piano really shines on this solo piano album."
$11.98   Used & New from: $0.48
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Peace on Earth: The Best of Tingstad and Rumbel Christmas
11.  Peace on Earth: The Best of Tingstad and Rumbel Christmas by Eric Tingstad
The list author says:
  "The best from the acoustic duo's two Christmas albums, "The Gift" and "Star Of Wonder.""
$11.98   Used & New from: $3.25
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

The Best of Wind Machine: Christmas
12.  The Best of Wind Machine: Christmas by Wind Machine
The list author says:
  "Wind Machine has recorded three great Christmas albums ("A Wind Machine Christmas," "Sketches of Christmas, and "A Portrait of Christmas")."
Used & New from: $4.37
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Choral Christmas
13.  Choral Christmas by Cusco
The list author says:
  "Tired of huge, bombastic choruses like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?  Try this gentle vocal treatment of mostly "classical" pieces."
Used & New from: $19.99
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Peace On Earth
14.  Peace On Earth by Kitaro
The list author says:
  "The Japanese keyboardist Kitaro adds an international children's chorus to his usual keyboard wizardry."
$29.00   Used & New from: $0.99
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Christmas Treasures
15.  Christmas Treasures by Mehdi
The list author says:
  "A bit more "frisky" than most of the other selections on this list, but Mehdi's treatments are always well-done and tasteful. There is a "Christmas Treasures II" album, as well."
$14.98   Used & New from: $2.84
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Charlie Brown Christmas
16.  Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi
The list author says:
  "A timeless classic; this is "real" jazz from a master and his combo, not the commercially-palatable "smooth jazz" that cheesy radio stations play."
$9.99   Used & New from: $1.13
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (868 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Christmas Eve
17.  Christmas Eve by David Lanz
The list author says:
  "Not as soothing as "Solstice," David's treatments of traditional carols and some originals are always welcome.  There is also a "David Lanz: The Christmas Album" available, with pieces (not all "Christmas" music, however) from several of his albums."
$12.34   Used & New from: $1.99
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

The Gift
18.  The Gift by Jim Brickman
The list author says:
  "Jim Brickman usually includes several songs with a pop vocalist on all of his Christmas/holiday albums (see also "Peace," "Homecoming," "Joy," "Christmas Romance," "Hymns & Carols of Christmas"), but his solo piano stylings are usually excellent."
$9.44   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Christmas
19.  Christmas by Philip Aaberg
The list author says:
  "Aaberg is perhaps best known from the heyday of Windham Hill; this combines original compositions with his interpretations of some traditional pieces."
Used & New from: $5.74
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Joy to the World
20.  Joy to the World by Dean Evenson
The list author says:
  "A lovely album with 8 traditional carols from co-founder of the "Soundings of the Planet" label."
Used & New from: $0.24

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Navidad
21.  Navidad by Lara & Reyes
The list author says:
  "If you like acoustic guitar, you'll like this album from the Higher Octave label."
Used & New from: $0.11
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Poets & Angels: Music 4 the Holidays
22.  Poets & Angels: Music 4 the Holidays by Ottmar Liebert
The list author says:
  "The "Nouveau Flamenco" guitarist performs holiday music in his own style."
$12.07   Used & New from: $2.34
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Holiday
23.  Holiday by Craig Chaquico
The list author says:
  "Okay, maybe he just did this as a "contractual obligation"; but Chaquico's guitar work is always worth listening to."
Used & New from: $4.50
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Peace Album
24.  Peace Album by Paul Horn
The list author says:
  "By the renowned jazz flutist."
Used & New from: $0.14
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Celtic Christmas: A Windham Hill Sampler
25.  Celtic Christmas: A Windham Hill Sampler by Celtic Christmas
The list author says:
  "Don't look for familiar carols in this Windham Hill series, but there's a lot of beautiful Celtic-inspired music (e.g., "Cornphíopa Ciorcalach" by Maire Breatnach on the "Very Best of Celtic Christmas" and "Silver Anniversary" albums) in this series (which includes a II, III, IV, and "Peace on Earth" album, before they start the "recyclings" (e.g., "Celtic Christmas: A Windham Hill Collection”)."
$6.99   Used & New from: $0.24
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Winter Celebration
26.  Winter Celebration by Eugene Friesen
The list author says:
  "Compilation album of Silver Wave artists like Peter Kater (who has three solo Christmas albums on his own) and Joanne Shenandoah."
$14.99   Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Upon a Midnight Clear
27.  Upon a Midnight Clear by Jonn Serrie
The list author says:
  "A "spacemusic" treatment."
Used & New from: $5.44
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Cheery
28.  Cheery by Various Artists
The list author says:
  "Quite "electronic," but enjoyable."
$16.96   Used & New from: $0.27
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Modern Old Christmas Songs
29.  Modern Old Christmas Songs by Various artists
The list author says:
  "Downloadable album."
$6.99

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Tidings Of Joy: An Eversound Holiday Celebration
30.  Tidings Of Joy: An Eversound Holiday Celebration by Various Artists
The list author says:
  "Not many "big name" artists, but a good collection."
$14.99   Used & New from: $1.17
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Christmas Spirit
31.  Christmas Spirit by Vox Mundi
The list author says:
  "From Earthtone Records; soft choral arrangements."
Used & New from: $6.96
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Winter Classics
32.  Winter Classics by Georgia Kelly
The list author says:
  "Beautiful harp---both solo, and with accompaniment."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Wrapped in White: Visions of Christmas Past
33.  Wrapped in White: Visions of Christmas Past by John Doan
The list author says:
  "Doan plays traditional carols on a variety of 19th century instruments."
$13.99   Used & New from: $4.00
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Festival of the Heart
34.  Festival of the Heart by John Boswell
The list author says:
  "From Hearts of Space; a surprisingly "traditional" rendition of 14 traditional songs, along with two original compositions."
$12.99   Used & New from: $0.29
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Christmas Morn'
35.  Christmas Morn' by Lemonheads
The list author says:
  "Arrangements for dulcimer and other instruments."
$14.64   Used & New from: $0.80
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Christmas Healing, Volume 1
36.  Christmas Healing, Volume 1 by Diane Arkenstone
The list author says:
  "There are also "Christmas Healing Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3" albums."
$6.64   Used & New from: $1.30
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Christmas
37.  Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller
The list author says:
  "You can't expect family/friends to just listen to "soft" music when they visit, right?  Mannheim Steamroller did some of the best pop/rock Christmas carols.  (See "A Fresh Aire Christmas," "Christmas In the Aire," "Christmas Extraordinaire," "Christmas Live," "Christmas Angel," "Christmas Song," and the "Christmas Celebration," "25th Anniversary," and "A Candle Light Christmas" compilations.)"
$11.19   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

Christmas Album
38.  Christmas Album by Herb Alpert
The list author says:
  "Herb Alpert and the TJB are nearly forgotten these days, but this alternately beautiful, moving, fun, and stirring album was recorded in their prime."
Used & New from: $28.00
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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A Multicultural Christmas: A Novel About Broadening One's Horizons
39.  A Multicultural Christmas: A Novel About Broadening One's Horizons by Steven H. Propp
The list author says:
  "A novel about celebrating the holidays, learning about others who aren't like you, and finding the "true meaning" of the holidays."
$15.26   Used & New from: $12.81
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Steven H Propp (Sacramento, CA USA)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Qualifications: Christmas music lover and author
Last updated: 12/21/11
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