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Listen to the Best Texas Holiday Music

Roy Orbison, Kacey Musgraves, Willie—deck your halls with Lone Star tunes this year.

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No offense to Mariah Carey or Bing Crosby or Brenda Lee, but by this point in the season their Christmas classics have been pretty well covered. Even for the cheeriest among us, the magic of these songs has worn thin by the time December 25 rolls around, and another turn of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is nothing more than seasonal background noise.

But the editorial staff of Texas Monthly combatted that Grinchiness by putting our heads together for a different kind of Christmas playlist—a very Texan one.

We faced some tough calls when we were putting this together. Do we include Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Paper” or Willie Nelson’s?  Is Barbara Lynn’s version of “Merry Christmas Baby” better than Charles Brown’s? Those questions, we decided, weren’t for us to settle. We put it all on there. You’re welcome.

These are the songs that we grew up decorating trees with, the ones that give us a warm feeling as we think of someone who isn’t here anymore, the ones we heard as we created our own traditions. So put this 50-song playlist on while you’re preparing dinner, opening presents, or driving around looking at Christmas lights. More importantly, find someone to singalong with. Merry  Christmas from the Texas Monthly family.

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  • DeeDee

    Great list but wish you guys would’ve included any of the songs from A Tejano Country Christmas. Hope you get a chance to listen to Rick Orozco’s version of “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas” or “Frosty the Snowman” by Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez. All of the songs are great. My favorite is “Mama’s Boy” by Joel Nava. Merry Christmas to you all!

  • Betty Cleere Peacock

    Mark Lowry is about as Texan as they come, and he wrote “Mary, Did You Know?”.

  • Melissa White

    Every time I try to play this, I get an error message from Spotify and am told to “try again later.” But since it’s the thought that counts, thanks for the “gift.”

  • DeeDee Wolf Honea

    Bing Crosby’s 2nd wife was from West Columbia, Texas