Holiday music can get old fast. It’s the same set of songs, over and over again. Luckily your favorite Album Nerds are here with a couple holiday album recommendations that feature some excellent original songs to help you celebrate your Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Festivus Day in style.

Our first pick was released in 1973 by country legend Merle Haggard. The economy was in a recession and many families didn’t have extra money to spend on the holiday. Merle taps right into the hearts of these families on the A-side, especially on the opening cut, “If We Make it Through December”. On the B-side, Merle’s voice shines through a series of Christmas standards. It’s an excellent choice for relaxing in the glow of the Christmas tree.

Our second pick has a 70s sound, but was released just two years ago by soul and funk group Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. It features toe-tapping original songs, like “8 Days of Hanukkah” and “Ain’t no Chimneys in the Projects”. The tracklist is nicely sprinkled with funky takes on holiday standards such as “Silent Night” and “Funky Little Drummer Boy”. Let Sharon’s joyous vocals and the Dap King’s super-tight accompaniment help get your holiday party going.

Happy Holidays!