Mann has cited the influence of Johnny Mathis' album Merry Christmas (1958) on One More Drifter in the Snow, deciding to "go the Mel Tormé, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, lounge-y, sort of Julie London record" rather than make an album in the style of "the groovy modern Christmas records". Another inspiration for the album was the Vince Guaraldi Trio's soundtrack for the 1965 film A Charlie Brown Christmas (see A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack), which Mann said "has a lot of dark and mysterious undertones. First, Charlie Brown is depressed by the commercialism of Christmas and then there's Linus, who steps out to tell the story of the nativity, with this heartbreakingly moral stance. We wanted our take to be all that – mysterious, quiet, moody. And classy." According to Mann, "it didn't take any time to [get] into the Christmas vibe" when she began recording the album in May 2006. "Before it got really hot, it was just so nice to be in the mood, without the pressures of buying presents and stuff."