Another year gone and still no Christmas album from Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, although Clarkson did record and release "I'll Be Home For Christmas" for the season. Still, 2011 will end without a single "American Idol" alum releasing an album of holiday songs, unless one counts the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's latest album, Glad Christmas Tidings, which was released in September. Season 8's runner-up, David Archuleta, was featured on six of the album's 13 tracks. Season 10 finalists Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams released "Baby, It's Cold Outside," a rendition of the 1936 pop standard, but that single, along with Clarkson's, is one of very few Christmas songs being offered by artists from "Idol" this year.
So, with that in mind, we'll have to resort to a few Christmas pasts to find "American Idol" Christmas albums.
Starting with 2010, Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee finished the year by releasing Christmas Is The Time... To Say I Love You. And former oil roughneck Michael Sarver (Season 8, tenth place) offered an album of seasonal tunes via iTunes simply entitled Christmas.
In 2009, Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta released what has become the second best-selling holiday album in "American Idol" history, Christmas From The Heart.
In 2008, award-winning contemporary Christian singer Mandisa, who finished ninth in Season 5, offered up an 11-track holiday album, It's Christmas, for her second full-length studio collection of tunes. And Mandisa wasn't the only one in the holiday mood that year.
Season 2's Kimberley Locke (third-place) released Christmas.
Season 5's Paris Bennett (fifth place) presented A Royal Christmas.
Also from Season 5, Elliott Yamin (third place) dropped My Kind of Holiday.
In 2004, Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken released a collection of Christmas songs. To date his album has sold more than three times all other "American Idol" alumni holiday albums combined. Merry Christmas With Love has sold over 1.416 million copies, more than five times the number of albums of his closest "Idol" colleague, David Archuleta (who has sold 246,000 albums to date).
On the lighter side of the holidays, William Hung (the now infamous Season 3 auditioner), who unforgettably performed Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" and became an "American Idol" icon and viral video star, put out a collection of seasonal songs entitled Hung For Christmas.
There are several older alum holiday singles out there, like Kellie Pickler's hit "Santa Baby." They're not difficult to find. There are even quite a few Carrie Underwood Christmas songs on several compilation CDs -- enough to more than likely compose an entire album. And there are several "American Idol" holiday song compilation albums as well. But if you're on the hunt for solo studio albums filled with seasonal music by Pickler, Underwood, Clarkson, or any other of the former contestants, you'll have to wait at least another year.
For those looking for a list of "American Idol" alumni albums released in 2011, you can find albums from the more successful artists -- like Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson -- at "Your 'American Idol' 2011 Albums Christmas Shopping List." Albums released in 2011 from "Idol" alumni that you might have missed can be found at "More 'American Idol' Albums From 2011: Christmas Stocking Stuffers."
(photo credit: kok4clay, Creative Commons)