BY: JESSICA BEUKER

Christmas shopping can be stressful. Especially when you’ve got a list that includes everyone from your 13-year-old sister to your grandpa, and every age in between. Unless you are an expert gift-giver or Santa Claus, figuring out what to give each person on your list is like decoding a secret message that doesn’t have one right answer.

Usually the quick fix to the problem is the Gift Card. It quick, it’s easy, it requires little to no thought, and it can be any price you decide on. But unless a person specifically asks for a gift card, it’s also lazy, impersonal, and boring.

Unfortunately, as you get older the gift card becomes commonplace, and the Christmas magic that once existed in your heart slowly fades into nothingness. It’s the same Christmas magic that makes waking up at 6 a.m. bearable, and your legs hurt from tripping down the stairs as you run to the Christmas tree to shake and examine all the boxes that appeared overnight. But what if you could get that Christmas magic back?

I can vividly remember the feeling of opening up that CD I so desperately wanted as a child on Christmas morning. The little square presents that lay under the tree, and the excitement that spread across my face as I tore the colourful paper to reveal Shania Twain’s face underneath. Two minutes later that disc was out of its packaging and placed in the CD Player, the tracks playing one by one while you flipped through the lyric booklet, until it came to a stop, which meant that it was time to press the play button and start the album over again.

You can revive those good ol’ days and bring that warm, fuzzy feeling back to your gift-giving this year by giving your friends and family an awesome country album.

If there’s one thing that everybody loves – it’s music. And although a lot of people have traded in their CD players for a Spotify subscription, there still remains a large number of the population that buys and listens to CDs. After all, there really is no better feeling than holding something tangible in your hands.

Of course, now begins the problem of which country album to choose, as there are is an endless amount of amazing talent floating around in the country universe. To narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of 11 essential Canadian country albums for the country music lover on your list.

From solo artists to groups. Record-breaking country legends that have stood the test of time to rising country superstars. Classic country albums to brand new breakouts.  This list has everything you need to make the people in your life squeal with excitement as they open their gifts with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning.

Dean Brody – Beautiful Freakshow

Dean Brody Beautiful Freakshow country album

Buy the album here.

Dallas Smith – Side Effects

country albums

Buy the album here.

Tim Hicks – Shake These Walls

country albums

Buy the album here.

Jess Moskaluke – Past The Past

country albums

Buy the album here.

High Valley – Dear Life

country albums

Buy the album here.

Madeline Merlo – Free Soul

country albums

Buy the album here.

Hunter Brothers – Getaway

country albums

Buy the album here.

James Barker Band – Game On

James Barker Band - Game On

Buy the album here.

Lindsay Ell – The Project

country albums

Buy the album here.

The Road Hammers – The Squeeze

country albums

Buy the album here.

Doc Walker – Weathervane

country albums

Buy the album here.

River Town Saints – Self-titled

country albums

Buy the album here.