I expect most of us have favourite collections of festive music, cherished discs dutifully dusted off at Christmastide to provide a backing track for decorating the tree, cooking the turkey or just something to sit down and listen to as we reflect on the message of the season. But despite these staples, from A Ceremony of Carolsto Michael Bublé, every year the record labels offer up a plethora of newbies to tempt our jaded ears.

So, which deserve a listen and which are best left on the shelf. And do any deserve elevating to the top table? Here is a roundup of a dozen recent releases for the 12 Days of Christmas ranked in reverse order 12 to 1 to help you decide where to spend your dollars and cents.

12. Meine Schönsten Weihnachtslieder

Daniel Behle t, Oliver Schnyder Trio
Sony 19075853662

First up is a disc of traditional German favourites, cunningly arranged by German tenor Daniel Behle. The Oliver Schnyder Trio comprise Andreas Berger on percussion, guitarist Takeo Sato and Alexander Kuralionok on...

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