The 2021 Country Music Christmas Playlist

Scroll down to see the full playlist.

There is just something that makes the elements of country music exceptionally complimentary to Christmas carols and Holiday music. The sense of comfort and home that is conferred by country music is similar to the one many feel listening to Christmas songs. They’re both very hearth-like, and when combined together, they can result in some real magic.

The release of Holiday music has also become a good way for up-and-coming artists to garner attention, making it a critical period in the music calendar. You see that reflected in Saving Country Music’s Holiday playlist for 2021. Independent artists such as Drake Milligan, Mary Sarah, and Mikayla Lane who turns in an excellent steel-guitar drenched version of “O Holy Night” are examples of how this is a great way to discover some of the names you might be hearing much more from in the future.

The same goes for more mainstream names, with Lainey Wilson turning in a version of “Christmas Cookies” everyone is raving about, Morgan Wade and William Michael Morgan chiming in with their own selections, and Cody Johnson releasing an entire album of Christmas music. Even when it comes to more pop country-style performers, when they take a crack at Christmas standards, they country it up, like JD Shelburne’s version of “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy.”

Below you can find Saving Country Music’s aggressively curated playlist of Christmas music specifically for 2021. All of these songs were just released this year. Some of them are originals, many of them are excellent takes on old standards.

Searching for that one album that may become a Christmas classic for years to come similar to JD McPherson’s Socks from a few years ago, I’m not sure we’ll be blessed with a similar title this year. The Pistol Annies released a Christmas album called Hell of a Holiday, but it’s a little unfocused and light on actual Christmas themes. But there is a really good song from it called “Joy” that makes the playlist.

Josh Turner’s new Christmas album King Size Manger is a much more valiant effort, even if it’s heavy on the religious side, just like an EP Allison Moorer released called Five Holiday Favorites. In fact most of the Christmas music released in 2021 comes from the more religious side, as opposed to the secular, silly, or kitschy angles like in previous years.

For my money, the guy who released the must-have country music Christmas album of 2021 is Eric Strickland. Christmas Time Again landed three selections in the playlist. Below the playlist, you can also see a rundown of (most) all of the country Christmas album releases.

The playlist is available on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music, via the embedded players below. Or, you can find a master list of all the songs below.

  • Lainey Wilson – “Christmas Cookies”
  • Randall King – “I Only Want You For Christmas”
  • Drake Milligan – “Cowgirl for Christmas”
  • Mary Sarah – “Take Me Home, Country Roads (Christmas)”
  • David Adam Byrnes – “Honky Tonk Christmas”
  • Mikayla Lane – “O Holy Night”
  • Josh Turner w/ Rhonda Vincent – “Joy To The World”
  • Morgan Wade – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
  • Skip Ewing – “Christmas Carol”
  • Eric Strickland – “Christmas Time Again”
  • Cody Johnson – “Hat Made of Mistletoe”
  • Tammy Rogers (of The SteelDrivers) and Thomm Jutz – “Dancing in the Snow”
  • Holly Tucker w/ Darryl Worley – “With Bells On”
  • Reba McEntire – “I Needed Christmas”
  • Steve Warnier – “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
  • William Michael Morgan – “Home At Christmas”
  • Eric Strickland – “The Christmas Song”
  • Jordan Robert Kirk – “Go Tell It On The Mountain”
  • We Banjo 3 – “Driving Home for Christmas”
  • Nashvillains – “Christmas in a Bottle”
  • Curtis Grimes w/ Doug Stone – “Pretty Paper”
  • Pistol Annies – “Joy”
  • India Ramey – “Cocktail for Christmas”
  • Randy Travis – “There’s A New Kid In Town”
  • Cody Webb – “It’s Christmas”
  • Tami Neilson – “River” (Joni Mitchell cover)
  • Joe Newberry, April Verch – “Breaking Up Christmas”
  • Erin Enderlin w/ Chris Canterbury – “Christmas Whiskey”
  • JD Shelburne – “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy”
  • Nefesh Mountain – “Hanukkah’s Flame”
  • Lori McKenna – “Still Christmas in Nashville”
  • Jay Bragg – “Drama Free Christmas”
  • Makenzie Phipps – “Christmas Snow”
  • Cowboy Mouth – “Jingle Bells”
  • Eric Strickland – “Too Bad for Me”
  • Jamie O’Neal – “Christmas You”
  • Brian Callihan, Jenee Fleenor – “There’s A New Kid In Town”

Albums

  • Josh Turner – King Size Manger
  • Randy Travis – Old Time Christmas (Deluxe Edition)
  • Eric Strickland – Christmas Time Again
  • Steve Wariner – Feels Like Christmas Time
  • Cody Johnson – A Cody Johnson Christmas
  • Allison Moorer – Five Holiday Favorites
  • We Banjo 3 – A Winter Wonderful
  • Skip Ewing – Christmas
  • Joe Newberry, April Verch – On This Christmas Day
  • Pistol Annies – Hell of a Holiday
  • Hiss Golden Messenger – O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Amanda Shires – For Christmas
  • Brian Fallon – Night Divine
  • Paul Kelly – Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train
  • Nefesh Mountain – Live From Levon Helm Studios: A Hanukkah Holiday Concert
  • Jeremiah Lockwood – The Great Miracle: Guitar Soli Chanukah Record
  • Tim O’Connell – Silent Nights (original songs)
  • Lucas Hoge – 12.25
  • Brett Young – Brett Young and Friends Sing the Christmas Classics
  • Brett Eldredge – Mr. Christmas
  • Timmy Brown – A Very Timmy Brown Christmas
  • A Honky Tonk Christmas EP (Various Artists)
  • Lori McKenna – Christmas Is Right Here EP
  • Jordan Robert Kirk – Yulegrass (Volume 1) EP
  • Jay Bragg – Wonderland with You EP
  • Tenille Townes – Songs For Christmas EP
  • American Standard Time Records Holiday Rambler 2021 (Bandcamp)
  • Crystal Gayle – A Crystal Christmas (Reissue)
  • Johnny Lee – Santa Claus is Lookin’ For Love (Reissue)

Some Additional Songs

  • Caylee Hammack – “Hard Candy Christmas” (Spotify Only)
  • Carly Pearce – “Mary, Did You Know?”
  • Drew Cooper, Cody Canada, Dierks Canada – “Please Come Home For Christmas”
  • The Braun Brothers with Jeff Crosby – “The Kids Are Coming Home”

This article has been updated.

© 2021 Saving Country Music
9+