The only complaint about "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" is that Burl Ives sings only a dozen songs on it and you can find CD collections that will offer more tracks culled from his various Christmas albums. His first, "Christmas Day in the Morning," came out in 1952, followed by "Christmas Eve" in 1956. "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" came out in 1965, with the soundtrack to the classic holiday television special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the following year. The title song of this album was written by for the special by Johnny Marks, who also wrote the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which Ives sings on this album, and the final track, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." That is a pretty good trio of Christmas songs, which would make Marks one of the best writers of Christmas songs ever.
How this album is different from the previous Burl Ives Christmas albums is that he has shifted to this point to more of a pop-oriented approach to singing Christmas songs that the traditional folk style that defined his earlier albums. There are still some folk songs on this album, with "Christmas is a Birthday," "Christmas Child (Loo, Loo, Loo)," "Christmas Can't Be Far Away," and "Snow for Johnny." But most of the songs are definitely more popular than secular, with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," and "Silver Bells." I tend to think of "The Little Drummer Boy" as being more religious than it really us, but that is more because the music is more hymn-like.
The net result is that you have Burl Ives singing eight recognizable Christmas songs and introducing you to four songs that you have probably not heard before that are perfectly suited to his strengths as a singer. Ives started out in the 1920s as an itinerate folk singers, moved to Broadway in the 1930s, appeared on the radio in the 1940s, and became a popular folk singer in the 1950s. But most people today probably remember him as the Snowman who narrates the story of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" that still airs each holiday season forty years later. Because of that connection it is entirely possible that a Burl Ives Christmas album will be warmly received in your home by those who do not know about the rest of his resume. He certainly produces the requisite warm seasonal feelings.