I had friends who owned this cd thruout the years, and i always thought it was overrated - that is, w/out ever giving it a thorough listening. But 2 years ago (in the Springtime, no less) I stumbled upon it on sale and decided to purchase it! Upon the first listening during the Christmas season, i was BLOWN AWAY. The intimacy of the recording - Barbra's mastering of tone, enunciation and every little inflection of her voice - draws the listener in closer, making you feel as if she's singing just to you. What i find to be the most brilliant aspect of this album is the SEQUENCING of the songs. Sometimes sequencing can push an album from "great" to "excellent", and in this case - as in other older recordings such as Carly Simon's "No Secrets" - it is very true. After the 1-2-3 punch of White Christmas, The Best Gift & My Favorite Things, you feel as if the momentum cannot be sustained - but oh, it is. A total thrill and a totally classic recording. I feel privileged to be able to hear this album every year.
My Mom had this album when I was growing up, and I listen to it every holiday season. She has a voice that is "like butta." Sure, you have heard all these songe before - but not like this. The best Christmas album you can buy.