Whether you're wrapping gifts, baking cookies or hiding from relatives and trying to decompress as we round the holiday home stretch this week, there's music for every mood and for every kind of country music fan. And while there's a sleighful of classic Christmas songs to choose from, The Boot is happy to suggest a few new festive tunes just waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed.

Jon Paul Bruno

Julie Roberts, 'Who Needs Mistletoe'

The suggestive title track notwithstanding, Julie wrings a chill or a tear out of every note. Rather than belting the tunes (which she could easily do), she allows their deeper meaning to come shining through, rendering many previous versions obsolete. That said, we still think 'Who Needs Mistletoe' is one sexy stocking stuffer.


Lindi Ortega, 'Tennessee Christmas' EP

In June, this fiery Canadian released one of our favorite alt-country collections of 2011, 'Little Red Boots.' So we were excited to have more from her to help put us in a countrified Christmas state of mind. From sweet ('Christmas Eve With You') to giddy ('All I Want for Christmas Is a Cowboy') to dreamy ( the bluegrass-y 'Blue Christmas'), this one's way too short but oh so sweet -- just like the season itself.

Listen to 'Tennessee Christmas' for Free!


Sherrié Austin and Shane Stevens, 'Naughty or Nice'

At the end of the year, everybody (including The Boot) seems to be making lists. This track, from Sherrié's album, 'Circus Girl' -- which made our Best Country Albums of 2011 list -- proves these two best friends have it down to the ultimate either/or scenario. They seem to have figured out that it's OK no matter which list you find yourself on ultimately. There's always next year to change your ways, after all.


Joey + Rory, 'A Farmhouse Christmas'

The aural equivalent of a one-stop superstore, this could be your best bet at a CD that's sure to please everyone. Whether in the mood to overindulge or just hoping to recall the reason for the season, this down-home collection has a song -- and sentiment -- just for you.


Little Big Town, 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'

Need a reminder that the holidays are a time for harmony? Listen no further than Little Big Town and their stirring take on this classic that is equal parts mournful and hopeful, just like the best renditions of this oft-recorded tune. A meditation for faithful friends no matter how close or how far away.

Also ringing our jingle bells this year:

Craig Campbell's 2011 version of 'I'll Be Home for Christmas'; pop singer Michael Bublé's 'Christmas,' which features Shania Twain on 'White Christmas' (and is also available in an exclusive edition from Target featuring additional tracks) and a foot-stompin' 'Blue Christmas' from Big & Rich.

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