The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album has been the staple Christmas music in my family since, I believe, its release. I remember being fascinated by the record cover when I was a kid. Originally released in 1978, the album is actually a really good amalgam of contemporary and traditional. The greater portion is song of Christmas sentiment; you know, cakes and holly and glowing faces and whatnot, like Country Christmas; but then these songs are punctuated and put in their place by solidly explicit songs, like Momma Mary:
Momma, Momma Mary, we wish you joy, we wish you joy; your little boy, your little boy, soon to be our saviour.
In Christmas Song there is quoting of traditional hymns:
God rest you merry gentlemen; let nothing you dismay, for Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day.
And it's easy folk type music, but very English type folk (Whittaker has a good stalwart voice), if that makes any sense. No hippy stuff. Though there is a very faint echo of the 70's.
After having to hear the utter screeching crap that was playing at a store I visited the other day, The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album is, in comparison, like pure incense in a gold decanter.