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Get 9 Christmas albums for free

From the Cheapskate: Microsoft's giveaway includes the single best holiday album of all time.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

OK, universe, I see what you're up to. After falling all over myself yesterday to explain the problems with the two deals from the day before yesterday, you make yesterday's deal sell out minutes after I posted it. So that's your game, huh?

Not to tempt fate or anything, but today's deal can't sell out. It can expire, but there's no limited physical inventory. I defy you to ruin this one, universe!


Best Christmas album ever. No contest.

Of course, there may be a limited number of digital licenses, so maybe I'll just shut the heck up and share the deal already...

For a limited time, and possibly while "supplies" last, the Microsoft Store is offering nine Christmas albums for free. They're all provided in DRM-free MP3 format, though if you want to download them, prepare for a little hoop-jumping.

This is a surprisingly good collection, one that would cost you $83 if you actually purchased each album. For starters, there's the single best holiday album of all time: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by Vince Guaraldi. You don't have to like Peanuts or even celebrate Christmas (I'm a Hanukkah guy, myself, though the lovely Mrs. Cheapskate is all about the tinsel) -- there's just no better batch of tunes to get you in the holiday spirit.

You also get the impossibly awesome 25-track "A Motown Christmas," which includes tracks from the likes of Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Steve Wonder and Smokey Robinson. And who doesn't love "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

If you like modern stuff, you'll find albums from Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige and Ariana Grande.

So, yeah, great stuff. And free! From Microsoft, no less! Note that you'll need to be signed into your Microsoft account to get these albums. You can get one free if you don't already have one.

Once you've added some albums to your library, you can stream them via the Microsoft Groove apps. If you want to download any of the tracks, you'll need to fire up Groove (in Windows) and navigate to your albums. It would be nice if you could download directly from the web, but I didn't see an option to do that.

Have a peaceful weekend, cheeps, and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Bonus deal: So help me, I love geeky stuff like this. Ending today, Groupon has a Wireless Bluetooth Winter Hat for $17.99, plus $3.99 for shipping. If you're an Ebates user, you can snag 9 percent cash back.

The hats, which come in four colors, include built-in headphones that pair wirelessly to your phone -- meaning you can keep your head warm while walking the dog and still enjoy great podcasts. (Don't ask me why my co-host looks so sad; probably because he knows I'm the smart, funny one.)