Whether the people on your holiday shopping list prefer downloading music to their iPods or the feeling of holding a CD in their hands, music makes a great — and cheap — stocking stuffer.

And if you’re in an especially festive mood come Christmas morn, you’ll want some appropriate tunes that will enhance the feeling — nothing against death metal, but it’s not exactly something that makes you feel all warm and toasty inside on Dec. 25. Here, then, are some suggestions for holiday albums:

“Elvis’ Christmas Album,” Elvis Presley (1957) — I have fond memories of listening to this as a kid, and still get a thrill out of E singing “I’ll-a have-a blue-blue-blue Christmas without you.” Recorded during Elvis’ prime in the ’50s with his killer backing band — Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana and Bill Black — this set the template for all pop holiday albums to come.

“The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album” (1964) — Another classic, another artist in his prime. Brian Wilson collaborated with arranger Dick Reynolds, who had previously worked with Wilson’s heroes, The Four Freshman. The result is a perfect mix of playful rockers (“Little Saint Nick”) and traditional holiday songs (“We Three Kings of Orient Are”) — all with the legendary Beach Boys harmony.

“A Christmas Cornucopia,” Annie Lennox (2010) — A brand-new disc from one-half of the Eurythmics and one of the most underrated female vocalists of the past quarter-century.

“A Motown Christmas,” various artists (1973) — Everyone from Motown’s superstar stable, from Smokey Robinson and The Supremes to Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5, interpreting holiday classics. If this won’t get you dancing, nothing will.

“Everything You Want For Christmas,” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (2004) — When you want a little swing with your eggnog.

“The Essential Now That’s What I Call Christmas!” various artists (2008) — Literally something for everyone, from Dean Martin and Burl Ives to Carrie Underwood and Ledisi.

“Wintersong,” Sarah McLachlan (2006) — I’ve been in love with Sarah’s voice since “Touch” in 1988, so it’s sheer nirvana hearing her put her stamp on standards such as “Silent Night” and contemporary classics such as John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over).”

“Merry Christmas,” Bing Crosby (1945) — It’s Bing singing “White Christmas.” What more do you need to know?

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

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