The twelve tracks on this discount-priced compilation are from the two previous Christmas albums released by Reba (who gave up using her last name on her records in 1998), 1987's multi-million-selling Merry Christmas to You and 1999's Secret of Giving -- A Christmas Celebration. Each of those albums contained ten tracks, so eight selections have been eliminated. For the most part, the omitted songs are ones that were newly written, and they are not much missed. The exception is the standard "Away in a Manger," which should have been retained. But the compilation does include the tracks "I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus," "The Secret of Giving," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," all of which made the country singles charts. Reba's versions of "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night" are appropriately reverent (the former sporting a spoken introduction); "Up on the Housetop" is given a terrific rockabilly arrangement penned by the singer; and while there may be nothing new that can be done with "White Christmas," she does fine by it. Of the non-standards that were kept, "This Is My Prayer for You," co-written by Gary Scruggs, is the most memorable.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann