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Top 10 George Strait Christmas Songs

George Strait
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
George Strait has released five Christmas albums in his 30 plus years as a recording artist. Beginning with 'Merry Christmas Strait to You' — his 1986 album of classics and traditionals — the King has consistently put a Texas stamp on the holidays. Many of the songs on this list of Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs have that easy Texas swing, but Strait also knows how to play it straight (or strait, if you'd rather) when sticking to the original is more appropriate.

Four of these 10 songs come from Mr. Strait's first holiday album, and four come from 1999's 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are.' The other two come from compilation albums he's released along the way. The No. 1 song has proven to be a favorite of 'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery's.


Classic Christmas
10

'Jingle Bells'

From 'Classic Christmas' (2008)

 
 

It's pretty tough to record a lousy version of 'Jingle Bells,' but it's even more difficult to record a memorable version of the song everyone with lips has memorized by the time he or she can eat solid foods. Strait's version stands out for the fancy guitar pickin' and fiddle pullin' late in the song, and because it just sounds like he's having way too much fun. It's a great song to begin this list of Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs.

 
Merry Christmas Wherever You Are
9

'All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)'

From 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are' (1999)

 
 

'All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)' was first recorded in 1948, and it's been a frequent cover ever since. Few in country music have ever given it a try however, and Strait's version -- while appropriately corny -- is charming and cute. While the singer's sense of humor doesn't often come through on non-holiday releases, a number of songs on the Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs list are bound to make one chuckle.

 
Merry Christmas Wherever You Are
8

'Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are)'

From 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are' (1999)

 
 

Other artists, like Tammy Wynette, have covered this song since Strait first recorded it for his 1999 album. While the legend has never been known as the most outwardly patriotic country singer, the one-time U.S. Army soldier sings these lyrics about missing the one you love during the holidays with a passion that every military spouse can relate to. It can also be interpreted as a tribute to anyone who's missing anyone during Christmas. 'Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are)' is quite a sad song, but an easy choice for the list of the Top 10 George Strait Christmas Songs.

 
Merry Christmas Strait to You
7

'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town'

From 'Merry Christmas Strait to You' (1986)

 
 

When people say "he could sing the phone book and I'd listen," this is what they mean. 'Santa Clause Is Coming to Town' is one of the most covered Christmas songs in history, but through Strait's lips it sounds like a lesson from above. It shouldn't be surprising that one of the few remaining country traditionalists would handle a classic like this with rare expertise. In fact, this ditty has charted twice in the past 15 years, and is a radio standard come Christmas time.

 
Merry Christmas Strait to You
6

'When It's Christmas Time in Texas'

From 'Merry Christmas Strait to You' (1986)

 
 

Spend an entertaining few minutes watching the music video for this song. This album has sold only a quarter as many copies as 'Merry Christmas Strait to You,' yet it features just as many hits on the Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs list. Part of the reason may be because it was released just before album sales started plummeting like Enron stock. One could also argue that while Strait was a more established act in 1999, he was hotter in 1986.

 
Merry Christmas Strait to You
5

'What a Merry Christmas This Could Be'

From 'Merry Christmas Strait to You' (1986)

 
 

Perhaps what makes George Strait such an effective Christmas crooner is that save a few words, his holiday tunes don't sound too much different from his regular hits. They have the same shuffle, same tone and same great vocals. It doesn't feel as if he's stretching way outside his comfort zone to record songs like 'What a Merry Christmas This Could Be.' Many of the songs on the Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs list feel written just for Strait. That's an indicator of how versatile he is, and how savvy he is at picking the perfect tunes.

 
Merry Christmas Wherever You Are
4

'Jingle Bell Rock'

From 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are' (1999)

 
 

The third highest charting Christmas song of George Strait's career adds a little Texas guitar to a hit that kids learn in the first grade. At times, he digs down low to sound like the King of rock n' roll, instead of the King of Country. Like many of the songs on 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are,' the production of this track is superb.

 
Merry Christmas Wherever You Are
3

'Old Time Christmas'

From 'Merry Christmas Wherever You Are' (1999)

 
 

Much like the title track from this album, 'Old Time Christmas' is a song of yearning. Strait is missing the toys and people from holidays past. He shares memories of snowmen and toys he found under the Christmas tree, describing the experience as living in a Christmas card. Of course, the singer grew up in Texas, but that detail is easily dismissed on this No. 3 song on the Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs. While the holidays are a time of joy, sad songs like this are needed to remind us to appreciate the present, and not just presents.

 
Merry Christmas Strait to You
2

'Merry Christmas Strait to You'

From 'Merry Christmas Strait to You' (1986)

 
 

This is the second highest charting Christmas song of Strait's career, but it didn't crack Billboard until 12 years after the album of the same name was released. While the title is a clever play on his name, the song isn't all about him. It's just a fun, laid-back Texas country tune that sounds good after a few glasses of eggnog on Christmas Eve. Turn it up to 10 to get grandma dancing out of her slippers.

 
Christmas Cookies
1

'Christmas Cookies'

'A Country Christmas' (1999)

 
 

Strait's hit from 1999 entered the country charts during Christmas season 2002 and went to No. 33 before the holidays ended. It's one of the most fun and most original Christmas songs of the last decade, and perhaps the most memorable of Strait's holiday tunes. Scotty McCreery recently began covering this song during his own live shows, but of course, the original song is still tops. It was hardly a debate, 'Christmas Cookies' is the No. 1 song on the Top 10 George Strait Christmas songs list.

 

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