If listening to music helps put you in the holiday spirit, here's good news: Options for listening to holiday tunes abound with tech.
No longer do you have to depend on hearing your favorite holiday CD repeatedly. You can enjoy free holiday music from a wide variety of sources.
Pandora is an Internet radio service that plays holiday tunes on a personal station, based on your individual preferences, or a group station, based on your favorite music style. To start creating your personal holiday tunes station, go to Pandora and search for "holiday."
Pandora will suggest artists so you can build your station. Give a thumbs up or down to tunes to help Pandora understand your musical tastes and refine your station to your liking.
You can also enjoy shared stations on Pandora. These are stations compiled by others who have created a station and shared it. In the holiday genre, check out A Classical Christmas, Peaceful Holidays, Rockin' Holidays, Country Christmas and Jazz Holidays. You can turn these into your own stations by giving them a thumbs up or down, or leave them as shared stations.
On the Pandora app on your iPhone or Android phone, you can choose from Holiday Radio or Classical Christmas, which are both shared stations, or create your personal station.
Pandora is free, but you can upgrade to commercial-free listening for $36. Gift subscriptions are available.
Spotify Internet radio also gives you free holiday music options. Spotify has compiled holiday playlists from eight different recording artists, including Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5, for your listening pleasure. Check out their holiday playlists through their Facebook page. You don't have to "Like" their Facebook page or authorize them to post on your Facebook account to access their playlists.
Spotify is free, but a premium subscription, which gives you enhanced features such as listening off-line and via an iPhone or Android app, is $10/month. Spotify gift cards are not yet available in the US.
To listen to the Top 100 Holiday Songs, check out the nuTsie website. The songs are shuffled, so you don't listen to the songs in the same order each time you visit the site. No need to have an account or log in with nuTsie. Just go to the site and start enjoying the music. You can pause or fast-forward the songs but you cannot rewind them. Any song you listen to can be purchased through iTunes with the click of a button.
Local radio stations B101 and WJBR are playing all holiday music all the time. B101 is 101.1 FM and WJBR can be found at 99.5 FM and on TuneIn Radio.
If you are a Sirius XM subscriber, check out the holiday schedule with channels such as Holiday Pops, Holiday Soul (beginning Dec. 16), Radio Hanukkah (beginning Dec. 20), Country Christmas, Navidad, and Holly. Find out more here.
If you are looking for an iPhone app, check out the app named Christmas in the iTunes App Store. This app gives you streaming Christmas music from radio stations as well as a Christmas countdown, ringtones, emoticons and wallpaper.
After you have listened to holiday music to your heart's content, test your knowledge by downloading the Christmas Trivia Android app. This app quizzes you on classic and contemporary holiday music performances. You can choose from 10 to an unlimited number of questions in each game. When you're done, you can compare your scores to others on the Leader Board. The app is free in the Android market.