The album is essentially a reissue (with a new title and slightly altered track listing) of James Taylor: A Christmas Album, a limited edition title distributed by Hallmark Cards in 2004. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, originally issued on Taylor’s October Road in 2002, and “River” were not included on the original Hallmark release. Additionally, the original album featured a version of “Deck the Halls” which is not on the standard Columbia CD. (The Barnes & Noble chain, however, issued a version of the new title with “Deck the Halls” included as a bonus track.)
The album was reissued on the UMe label in 2012, with the addition of two tracks. One of them, “Mon Beau Sapin” (a French translation of “O Christmas Tree”), is a new recording and is only available on this album. The other track new to the collection is a version of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” by Taylor and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, which originally appeared on Ma’s 2008 holiday album Songs of Joy & Peace.
The album was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Album at the 50th Grammy Awards.