One of the best things about the holiday season is the music, but it can be hard to find the specific music you like.
Christmas music is a funny thing. Some people absolutely loathe it, but even they know almost all of the words to the songs. It can make you feel sad and nostalgic, but it also can be the soundtrack to the new memories you make along the way. Still, even if you love Christmas music, it can be difficult to listen to the stuff you like best. Thankfully, we live in a world of technological miracles. Years ago, unless you owned the record, cassette tape, or compact disc, you couldn’t just listen to specific songs whenever you wanted. Today, with one request to your home assistant, you can listen to almost any song at a moment’s notice. However, if you don’t want to spend hours curating the perfect playlist, you can find places to stream Christmas music you will love.
Why You Should Stream Christmas Music
As mentioned above, the radio stations that play Christmas music all day, every day during the holiday season are hit-or-miss. They might play something you love one moment, and then a terrible one later. They alternate from old-timey hits to symphonic instrumentals and then something more modern. Even if you don’t mind their selection, the roster of songs is never that deep. Finally, if you are going on a Christmas road trip or traveling long distances, you’ll have to constantly search for new stations.
Instead of dealing with all of that, take advantage of the great services out there that can put your favorite songs at your fingertips. If you hate the commercials, you can pay for a subscription for interruption-free listening. Even if you don’t subscribe, many services will let you stream their holiday music for free. You’ll have to put up with some commercials, but far fewer than you would on the radio. But the best reason to stream Christmas music is so you can have a modicum of control over what you hear while out on the road.
The Five Best Places to Stream Christmas Music
While there are plenty of digital music services to choose from, our list features the services that offer the best choices for holiday music. Yet, these stations also offer enough variety that you won’t go tired of hearing the same songs over and over again. Whether you subscribe or stream with ads, these are great way to keep the Christmas music bumping without worrying about when the station will start to go all staticky. Armed with a digital music device and a good data plan, you can take the feeling of the holidays with you wherever you go.
1. Spotify Holiday Playlists
Just a few years ago, Spotify was a weird service that seemed almost like the illegal file sharing services Napster or Limewire of years gone by. However, today they are one of the top services for artists looking to reach the digital music audience. All you need to do in order to enjoy thousands of user-curated holiday playlists is create an account. The free account offers far more control over your music than a radio, but not as much as you’d have if you subscribe. With occasional ads, you can listen to hundreds of songs from popular artists through the years. It’s a great way to enjoy Christmas music from specific artists or albums.
2. iHeart Radio Holiday Playlists
We covered why local radio stations might not cut it for a long holiday trip, but iHeart Radio isn’t just a single station. It’s one of the largest FM radio conglomerates in the United States. Their app allows you to stream specific radio stations from anywhere in the country. But, they also have playlists you can stream as well. Their holiday and Christmas playlists feature a nice variety of standards, Christmas pop classics, and the newest hits, like those from Pentatonix. The best part is, this app is completely free to use. It can also come in handy if you want to listen to hometown stations while away.
3. Sirius XM Holiday Music Channels
Almost all modern automobiles come equipped with a satellite-capable radio. Since XM and Sirius merged more than a decade ago, there is only one company left in this game. Still, satellite radio is a nice thing to have. Music quality is great, and there are a variety of stations to choose from. So, when the holiday season rolls around, they offer no less than 16 channels of music to choose from. They have entire channels devoted to Mannheim Steamroller, acoustic Christmas music, country, or jazz. They even offer Radio Hanukah, a station with music themed for that holiday, including plenty of fun songs for kids. If you already have Sirius, then you have all the holiday music you need. Yet, if you don’t, you’ll be better-served by one of the other options.
4. Amazon Music Holiday Stations
Like Sirius, Amazon Music is a subscription-only service. However, they offer far more variety about how to go about that. You can listen to the entire Amazon music library, including holiday stations, if you already have Amazon Prime. You can listen to any album or song, so if you just enjoy the Charlie Brown Christmas Special soundtrack by jazz legend Vince Guaraldi, you can stream that over and over again. Or you can listen to stations based on his style of music. They also have dozens of holiday-themed stations to pick from. If you like a lot of variety or only very specific songs, this is the best service for you.
5. Pandora Holiday Music Stations
Since it debuted over a decade ago as a kind of music streaming experiment, Pandora has become one of the biggest names in digital music. You can create your own personal stations based on specific artists or styles of music. If you only like instrumentals, then you can make a station for that. If you want instrumentals and a few holiday standards from the 1950s and 1960s, you can do that, too. You can further tailor your station by giving specific songs a “thumbs-up” if you want to hear more like it or a “thumbs-down” to never hear it again. You can subscribe to the service for more options and to avoid commercials. However, the free streaming option is perhaps the best of all these. The playlists make themselves, and the commercial interruptions are far fewer than you’d find on the radio or maybe even Spotify.
With all the options offered by the biggest music streaming services, you can stream Christmas music and hear the songs you like best.
In the old days, people would wear out tapes or CDs from listening to them so much. Today, we thrive on variety and the tech we carry with us allows to listen to whatever we want to. If you are hitting the road this holiday seasons, these services are great ways to bring the spirit of the season along for the ride. Whether you use just one or try them all, you will love the holiday music they offer and probably enjoy the countless other genres you can listen to, as well.
What do you think? Did we miss any of your favorite places to stream Christmas music? Share your thoughts, suggestions, and experiences in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media if you liked it, so your friends can get in on the conversation.
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