Diana West

Nat King Cole also made Christmas carol history recording "The Christmas Song." Cole, of course, was not only a star singer, but also a phenomenal piano player. "Penthouse Serenade" is a marvelous showcase. Highlights: "Penthouse Serenade," "Once in a Blue Moon," "Polka Dots and Moonbeams."

Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer ("Baby, It's Cold Outside") team up again in "Hit the Road to Dreamland," a track on "An Evening with Johnny Mercer." Other highlights include: "Out of This World," "And the Angels Sing," and "I'm an Old Cowhand."

In 1961, Judy Garland recorded "Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall," a live album that has been described as "the greatest night in show business history." Garland sings many signature standards, including: "Who Cares?" "Puttin' on the Ritz," "The Man That Got Away" "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" -- but no "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Just like the rest of these albums, of course, this one would make a wonderful gift.

Merry Christmas!

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).