Country artists have been as reliable as any in creating Christmas songs to make the holidays more magical. A few originals have been around for so long that they almost feel like the traditional classics that we love.
What would Christmas be without Alabama's "Christmas in Dixie" or Faith Hill's "Where Are You Christmas"? Still, neither of these songs topped our list of the 10 Best Original Christmas Songs in Country Music. That honor goes to a man whose voice just seems built to protect you from the cold outdoors on Christmas morning.
"Born on Christmas Day'"Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley wrote this Christmas song when he was just 13 years old, and mixed a recording from 1985 with his studio performance from 2006 to create this more than five-minute-long instant classic. It's a modern retelling of the story of Jesus that doesn't sound gimmicky or ultra hip. Paisley has always been the perfect candidate to mix tradition with present-day styles, and he shows his deftness in this area on this entry to our 10 Best Original Christmas Songs in Country Music list.
"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"Elmo and Patsy
Some will groan so loud at the sight of this Christmas classic on a list of Top 10 Original Christmas Songs in Country Music that the neighbors will come knocking. Yes, it's the butt of many jokes, but it's sort of like Aunt Peggy's Jell-O mold. It's awful, but Christmas just isn't the same without it. Husband and wife duo Elmo and Patsy Shropshire recorded this song together, and country music led the way in making it a hit.
"Christmas Cookies"George Strait
George Strait's easy and charming song about enjoying his wife's baked goods is so wholesome that it's shocking to hear what he does between batches. Don't worry, "Christmas Cookies" is still well within PG parameters, but there's little doubt he had many husbands buying cookie sheets for their wives prior to Christmas of 1999. This Christmas song actually charted and approached the Top 30 prior to the 2002 holiday season.
"Christmas in Dixie"Alabama
Much like George Strait, Alabama are another country act whose age and experience make them trustworthy candidates to write and record a memorable holiday tune. "Christmas in Dixie" is as cozy as a new pair of Isotoners. You can just slip it on the radio and feel warm all morning long. It's a can't miss addition to anyone's Christmas playlist and a no-doubter for this list of the 10 Best Original Christmas Songs in Country Music.
"Hard Candy Christmas"Dolly Parton
It's somewhat difficult to believe that an entry to this list of the best original Christmas songs would come from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, but perhaps it's appropriate. After all, Dolly Parton's rise to fame was just as unexpected. "Me I'll just be / Fine and dandy / Lord it's like a hard candy Christmas," Parton sings. This song is somewhat polarizing, or else it may have ranked higher here.
"Redneck 12 Days of Christmas"Jeff Foxworthy
OK, admit it: You laugh out loud every time this hit from Jeff Foxworthy comes on the radio. Much like "Grandma Got Run Over," his redneck Christmas anthem is a joke that went way too far. But only the snobbiest of snobs can keep from offering even the most muted guffaw at his description of a happy holiday.
"All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan"Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney didn't write the first beach-themed Christmas song, but he certainly made it a fashionable trend. The title track from his 2003 Christmas album helped sell over 500K copies. It was priceless Kenny Chesney at a time when his laid back, carefree style hadn't become overdone.
"If We Make It Through December"Merle Haggard
This was a big hit for Merle Haggard in 1973, and to this day continues to be one of the songs he's most closely associated with. What's interesting is how a song written in the early '70s feels as if it could have been penned this year. Haggard sings of being laid off before the holidays. He doesn't know if Santa will be able to bring gifts to his daughter. Depending on your Best Original Christmas Songs in Country Music.
"Where Are You Christmas"Faith Hill
Mariah Carey was supposed to sing this song, but due to a legal dispute it fell into Faith Hill's lap. Although we're sure Carey would have done a marvelous job with this emotional ballad, it does seem written for Hill's buttery tone. Few were hotter than Hill when this song was released, and "Where Are You Christmas" became an instant classic, as it was played not only on country radio stations, but also CHR and Hot AC stations.
"Let It Be Christmas"Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson's imagery in this song paints a universal picture of what Christmas should be. His warm voice and the soft acoustic picking are open arms that embrace even the meanest Grinch. He mixes in a story of hope and morality before being joined by a chorus of angels that bring this song to an exciting close. From the moment it was released in 2002, country listeners knew he'd written an instant classic Christmas song.