Are you ready for the holidays? We realize that for some people that's a heavy-duty question. Of course, many find Christmastime to be the jolly, feel-good season of sharing and caring so many of us read about in storybooks and maybe even experienced during childhood. (And to those who do, we raise a toast.) For others, however, the mere mention of words like "Santa," "sleigh," "snow," and "drummer boy" just might cause a stroke.
OK, settle down, it's not that bad. And there are ways to soothe the aches and pains, including, believe it or not, Christmas music. Now, before you recoil in horror at the thought of sodden carols rebounding through stinky shopping-mall dressing rooms, note that the holiday music we have is a bit, well, different. OK, we've got the classics, we admit it--Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee. But we've also dug up some unusual ditties you may not have heard 8000 times before, from the likes of Lord Weatherby, Sufjan Stevens, Merle Haggard, Bootsy Collins, and...wait, Dokken? It's not exactly the stuff you'll play for grandma and grandpa while opening presents 'round the fireplace, but it is festive in its own special way. So you see, whether the holidays make you all warm and fuzzy or leave you bitter and shivering, we've got you covered.
Listen right now to our featured holiday playlist, then check out CNET Download Music's holiday music feature page for additional songs both classic and kooky. You can also browse our archives for tons more free Christmas songs and other holiday-themed downloads.