If Simply Streisand
, which appeared earlier the same month as A Christmas Album
, indicated that Streisand
was overly reverent when it came to standards, reverence was no problem with seasonal fare. You don't necessarily look for unusual interpretations of your Christmas music; you just want those old favorites sung well, and for the most part, that's what you got from Streisand. She did lead off with "Jingle Bells?" into which she injected some of her trademark humor while performing at a breakneck pace. Marty Paich
arranged and conducted the secular songs like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "White Christmas," which occupied side one, while Ray Ellis handled the religious material on side two. But both were traditional in their charts, and Streisand gave her singing just enough personality without getting in the way of the familiar songs. They were trying to make a timeless classic, and that's what they achieved.