Halloween is over. Break out the Christmas music (unless you’re one of those purists who prefers to wait until after Thanksgiving. In that case, bookmark this page and we’ll see you again in four weeks.)
If you haven’t heard of Freegal, it’s one of our digital services. It lets you stream or even download DRM-free mp3s of your favorite songs. Moreover, once you download a song, you can keep the mp3 forever. Put it on your phone, your computer, your iPod–wherever you want. It’s yours.
If you have a Mentor Public Library card, you can download five songs for free every week, and there’s no limit to how many songs you can stream.
Here are 30 of our favorite Christmas and holiday albums that you can start streaming now:
Enjoy a Christmas house party with Legend as your amiable host. Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding make for excellent guests.
Merry Kirk-mas! Our third favorite Star Trek captain* guides your through standards like “Winter Wonderland” and “Run Rudolph Run.”
Mandatory holiday listening, if only for “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
The country chanteuse gives a little twang to “Santa Baby,” “Christmas in Cabo,” and “The Christmas Song.”
The Piano Guys have a knack for creating music that’s catchy and innovative while still recognizable as classical.
Andrew Ridgely. You were just trying to remember the other guy’s name. It’s Andrew Ridgely.
McLachlan already has the voice of an angel, so it feels natural to hear her sing “Silent Night,” “What Child Is This?” and other seasonal standards.
The rare compilation that’s not exaggerating when it claims to contain superstars. Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, Cyndi Lauper, Placido Domingo, Michael Bolton, Gloria Estefan and Barbra Streisand are all on this eclectic guest list.
10. Polka Christmas
What’s a Cleveland Christmas party without a little polka?
11. Christmas Rap
With all due respect to Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is the most important hip-hop holiday song ever.
Because it’s not Christmas until Zooey Deschanel sings “A Marshmallow World.”
Yes, they remake “September” into “December.”
Yes, it’s John Denver, so there’s some schmaltz, but he also sings, “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk this Christmas.”)
With all due respect to Shatner, Clarkson has the voice to make a new cover of Run, Run Rudolph worthwhile.
Belafonte could sing about muddy slush and it would still sound great with his voice.
As a general rule, we love Dolly. This is doubly true during the holidays.
This album’s for all the people who loved Israel Kamakawiwo`ole’s version of Over the Rainbow. And, no, these standards aren’t performed by IZ, but they have that same combination of earnestness and sweetness.
If you need some gospel music this time of year, Kirk Franklin and the Family have you covered. Standards like Go Tell It on the Mountainand O Come All Ye Faithful sound sweeter than ever.
Connick has a lot of Christmas albums in his discography. This one’s our favorite but they are all available on Freegal. Personal favorite: I Pray on Christmas.
If you bought the CD or even *gasp* the cassette when you were in middle school, here’s a chance to update your medium for free.
In case your taste in boy bands is a little older…
If you don’t like Glee…
Freegal has the Elvis version of Blue Christmastoo.
Only Lynn could pull off a tune called “To Heck with Ole Santa Claus.”
Any of the kids who enjoyed the Pentatonix album atop this list owe it to themselves to check out The Manhattan Transfer, who were (in many ways) the progenitor of Pentatonix’s style.
We love Johnny Cash, because he still scowls on the cover of his Christmas album.
Not to be confused with Christmas Rap.
A short fun compilation with Meghan Trainor, Sara Bareilles, Fiona Apple, Fifth Harmony and A Great Big World giving their spin to holiday classics.
We were going to put Wilson Phillips on this list no matter what. They just happened to also have a Christmas album.
Other Freegal playlists:
- 25 masterpiece classical albums
- 25 phenomenal jazz albums
- 25 awesome rock albums
- 25 classic soul albums
- 25 classic country albums
- 25 best hip-hop albums
*after Picard and Sisko.