Personally, I would listen to Christmas Music all year, but unless I am alone in the house, I have agreed not to play it until after Thanksgiving. And it's after Thanksgiving! Wahoo!
Here are my faves:
Andy Williams- The Andy Williams Christmas Album (http://www.amazon.com/Andy-Williams-Christmas-Album/dp/B0002S94M0/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227985613&sr=8-1 )
This is one of the records my mom had, so this entire album (and the next one on the list) are major nostalgia triggers for me. I am old enough to remember the Andy Williams show, and in fact I treasured a tiny little crush on Andy (at about age 8, I had a rather unsettling dream about him, with me in just my slip... but we won't go there). This music is corny, but such a perfect representation of the early '60's.
Ray Conniff: We Wish You a Merry Christmas (http://www.amazon.com/Ray-Conniff-Merry-Christmas-Medley/dp/B0000024RK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227985909&sr=1-2 )
This is another Music of My Youth album- and I know and cherish every cheesy note.
Vince Guaraldi- A Charlie Brown Christmas (http://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Vince-Guaraldi/dp/B000ICLSMY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227986057&sr=1-2 )
This music also comes from my youth (though the older, high-school aged youth), but I didn't get the CD until a few years ago. What lovely music this is. Christmas time is here...
Mannheim Steamroller- Christmas (http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Mannheim-Steamroller/dp/B0000005MT/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227986247&sr=1-1)
The first two Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums blew me away to the extent that they became centerpieces in my first mystery novel (which was set in June, btw). Silent Night still makes me misty (meaning, as it does to me, a mom whose kids have grown up and are not coming home for the holidays)(that first time is hard, lemee tellya).
Mannheim Steamroller- A Fresh Aire Christmas (http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Aire-Christmas-Mannheim-Steamroller/dp/B0000005MV/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227986247&sr=1-20
This one doesn't pack quite the emotional wallop that the first one does for me, but I love it just the same. I cannot listen to Still, Still, Still without seeing Johnny Depp standing in the snow.
John Denver and The Muppets- A Christmas Together (http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Together-John-Denver-Muppets/dp/B000001VD4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227986655&sr=1-1)
I am still saddened by sudden and unexpected deaths of Jim Hensen and John Denver (and I can rant for a very long time about Miss Piggy shilling for Piza Hut), but the melding of voice and character on this CD will last forever. Who can listen to Beaker on The 12 Days of Christmas, or Rowlf on Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and not smile?
James Taylor - At Christmas (http://www.amazon.com/James-Taylor-at-Christmas/dp/B000I0QK74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227986861&sr=1-1)
I made a special trip to the Hallmark store and bought 3 cards that I never used, just to get this album. River is achingly beautiful. Go Tell it on the Mountain is wonderful, and Baby, It's Cold Outside outweighs my deep, irrational dislike 0f Natalie Cole.
Clay Aiken- Merry Christmas With Love (http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Christmas-Love-Clay-Aiken/dp/B00062ZV2E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1227987062&sr=1-1).
Love him or hate him (and we all know which side of the coin I'm on), the boy can hold a note.
And now I need to go put some music on...