Holiday Tunes on the WebJillian Capewell
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Let's face it: Christmas music isn't all that hard to come by. Once Thanksgiving hits, a handful of radio stations play holiday jingles all the time. If you combine that with the same 40 seasonal tunes you'll hear wafting through store speakers as you're doing your Christmas shopping, you may be more tempted to block — rather than bookmark — the following free music sites. But before you get all Scrooge-y on us, consider these great picks for a little seasonal — and free! — background music while you're cooking, gift-wrapping, hot cocoa-sipping, or just hanging out. Enjoy!
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Wed be remiss to not mention Pandora, one of the most popular free Internet radio websites out there. The program queues up songs based on artists that you input into a search bar, along with previously played songs that youve thumbsed up or thumbsed down. Want to start up a seasonal mix of songs old and new? Type in a favorite Christmas song (Last Christmas by Wham, anyone?) or try searching for Christmas or Holiday to see what stations pop up — we found Folk Holiday, Latin Holiday, Classic Christmas, and more.
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Last.fm is a social networking site for music lovers that tracks the songs you listen to on iTunes in order to find others of similar sound. The site also offers free radio stations, including an Xmas one thats perfect if you cant stand the saccharine hits clogging the airwaves and store sound systems from Thanksgiving onward. Here, youre more likely to hear holiday tunes from Elvis Costello, the Waitresses, and Queen, among other alternative favorites.
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This site is great if youre just looking for some seasonal jams to have on shuffle while you entertain or bake up some cozy treats with the family. It offers a playlist of about 75 songs, from classics to contemporary artists, and automatically plays them at random — but if youre partial to one track or artist, (My Grown-Up Christmas List? Clay Aiken? Yep, theyre here) you can easily find and play it at will. And play it again. And again
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This free radio site allows you to choose from a variety of song categories that span ages and tastes. Kids songs? Check. Holiday pop songs? Yup. Reggae Christmas? Theyve got it. And if youre one of those listen-to-anything types, you can put their whole holiday library on shuffle, where you can hear anything from O Holy Night to the parody Walking Round in Womens Underwear. Dont say we didnt warn you.
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Live365 has Internet radio offerings for nearly every taste, and its seasonal and holiday stations do not disappoint. Their wide selection may be a little overwhelming, but just search under Genres A-Z for either Christmas, Hanukkah, or simply Seasonal/Holiday to see the available stations, which play everything from vintage holiday hits to the newer stuff.
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Even if you havent used AOL since dial-up, their radio channels are sleek, well-organized, and worth a listen. Though you can expect to run into an advertisement while listening now and then, AOL Radio has some great mixes to get you in the candy canes-and-hot cocoa spirit, from World Christmas to Alternative Holiday, plus Jazz and R&B playlists.
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This Christmas radio that streams through your computers music player is a limited time-only deal: holiday lovers can tune in starting November 1st and jam out right until New Years. So you cant rock out to I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus in July if you wanted, but if youre concerned about holiday music overload, this might be a good choice.
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