VARIOUS ARTISTS
Christmas Around the World (Putumayo World Music)

You know how you and yours celebrate the holidays, but how do they do it in other parts of the globe? This little disc from the jolly folks at Putumayo — which includes music from France, Haiti, Barbados, Puerto Rico, the U.S., and more — will give you an international and multicultural glimpse.

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA
Go Tell It on the Mountain (Real World Records)

For their debut holiday album, the Grammy-winning Boys have invited some friends to perform classic carols with them. The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde shows up, Aaron Neville lends his signature pipes to “Joy to the World,” and Shelby Lynne joins in on “The Christmas Song.” A portion of the royalties from purchase of the CD supports the American Diabetes Association.

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Christmas for Lovers (Verve)

Spending the holidays with the one you love can only be enhanced by spinning this smooth compilation in the background. Fifteen songs performed by jazz legends — Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, Dinah Washington, and others — bring home the warm, fuzzy feelings of Christmastime.
— James E. Mayfield