Joe writes: I once flew to San Francisco on Christmas Day with a friend so he could meet up with a girl for only the second time. On arrival she presented him with A Charlie Brown Christmas Album by The Vince Guaraldi Trio - an American institution that is little known in the UK. Skip forward some years: they are married with a kid and O Tannenbaum from the album is featured on a TV advert for Playstation.
The album features jazz-lite versions of well known Christmas songs. It doesn't sound that promising on paper, but somehow it perfectly captures the spirit of the season with its nostalgia, playfulness, and just a hint of melancholia. It's the second best Christmas album of all-time.