Feels Like Christmas

As usual, there are plenty of celebrity Christmas albums you can purchase as a CD or through the various music services. However, I was curious what holiday musical tidbits might be residing on the web that there were outside the mainstream.

The first thing I came across was feelslikechristmas.com. Primarily populated by Indie artists (no surprise there), FLC offers free downloads from a variety of musicians, some who have enjoyed mild commercial success in the past such as Jars of Clay and Sixpense None the Richer. I recognized a couple of other names but no one that ever burned up the charts.

There is a variety of both traditional and contemporary (New Age stylings) instrumental and vocal tracks available for previewing and downloading from this fairly simplistic website. The files are only 128kbps MP3s, however, that's good enough for some low level background music as you sit by the fire and wrap presents on Xmas Eve. If cheesy Xmas tunes are your thing, there are a few good candidates here including the homegrown Bluegrass Jingle Bells from Carl Vasta.

Speaking of cheesy, there are a lot of those infamous and silly Xmas tunes to be found at EZ-Tracks.com. You know the one's I mean–Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer and The 12 Days of Redneck Christmas. Be careful because they give you links to a lot of tracks that just re-direct you to iTunes.

The songs are downloaded as 128kbps files but that's not too surprising since most songs downloaded directly from EZ-Tracks are free but get ready for the onslaught of pop-up ads coming your way, which gets annoying FAST. The price you pay for being cheap. When you are done you can browse through pretty much any music genre you desire.

Google searches find the most obscure offerings including this Canadian website. To get around copyright laws the web host reminds you that downloading songs from these albums are only legal if you actually own them already. However, he goes on to say they are probably out of print anyway. The albums available for download are old vinyl recordings owned by the creator of this site that he personally digitized (at 160kbps) and made them available for download. It's definitely worth the novelty to check out some of these albums with titles like Christmas Disco Party, Santa Claus is Canadian, and Tijuana Christmas. I only downloaded a couple of songs but I suspect you could go into sugar shock from the schmaltzy and tacky arrangements from these albums that date back to the 60s.

For more sites with free Xmas music downloads including blogs that offer more personal Xmas collections that have been digitized and made available for download, go to hipchristmas.com

Have fun entertaining your family and friends with these rather off-beat music tracks.