Sounds of the Season

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice lattes make way for peppermint mochas. Leaves riot all over the sidewalk, bright carpets of scarlet and gold. The nights grow long and dark. But most of all, as sure as Thanksgiving follows Halloween, it’s time for your early birdie patrons to check out all the holiday music on your shelves, leaving you in the lurch when everybody else is ready to start rocking around the Christmas tree.

Time to go digital!

Still from A Charlie Brown Christmas, copyright Charles Schultz/United Features Syndicated 1965.
Still from A Charlie Brown Christmas, copyright Charles Schultz/United Features Syndicated 1965.

Freegal and Hoopla are your best bets for sing-along holiday cheer. Here are a few search tips and content examples.


  • For a broad search, select “genre” from the top bar, then “holiday” from the genre sidebar on the results page.
  • To narrow it down a bit, try keyword searches for terms like “Christmas,” “holiday,” “klezmer,” etc. in the search box. Make sure your drop-down menu is set to either “Albums” or “Songs” for best results.
  • You can also choose “Advanced Search” at the top of the page, set the genre to “Holiday,” and use “Search All” as your default. This search gives the most visually friendly layout, and easiest results browsing.

Some cool finds:

  • Let’s Celebrate Kwanzaa, Peter Pan Kids
  • Christmas Music by Dogs and Cats, The Christmas Critters
  • Jazz Music for Thanksgiving Dinner, Disembogue Records


  • Hoopla’s search interface is easier to navigate, but less precise.
  • A keyword search for “Christmas” will bring up a wealth of titles.
  • Filter by “music,” then select any title.
  • Each title has suggested tags for “similar items.” Selecting these will take you to comprehensive lists of “holiday titles,” “Christmas titles,” etc

More interesting results:

  • Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever
  • The Karaoke Channel: It’s Thanksgiving!
  • The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer Nutcracker for Chanukah

Although it’s fun to point out novelties and curiosities, rest assured there’s a wide variety of music, from the fun and lighthearted to the sober and tasteful, for everyone to stream or download. Take a few minutes to explore on your own, and report back on what you find in the comments section.

Leigh Anne

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main

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