Dolly Parton’s Christmas music has been a part of my life since I was a young teenager. Not a Christmas goes by since that I have not listened to her many Christmas albums, starting with my favorite holiday album of all time, her 1984 project with Kenny Rogers, Once Upon A Christmas. I first bought that on vinyl with babysitting money. I saved up just for it. Since then, I have purchased the album as a cassette, then a CD, and then digitally through Apple Music. It has always been a part of Christmas for my family and me.
I have been so fortunate in my career to have interviewed Dolly many times. Often, we talked about Christmas and the holidays. In an interview from 2016, I believe she said it best about Christmastime and family. Dolly told me then, “I just want families to feel closer together because we’ve just kind of scattered so much as a family because of all the new age and new technology, which is wonderful to have all these great things available to us, but I think we lose a lot and have lost a lot about family.” She added, “So, more than anything, I just want people to feel the joy of Christmas and what Christmas is really about, which is Jesus and about just that love of family and just feeling happy.”
Without further ado, here are Dolly’s 20 best Christmas songs.