I think we can all agree that the fastest way to set a mood is with music. So, what better way to get yourself motivated to prepare for the holidays than with Christmas (or Hanukkah! I celebrate both) music?
Most of us already have extensive collections of CDs. Some of use even still have collections of cassettes. Some of us even still listen to those cassettes.
But if you don't have those, or if you want to supplement them, here are some ways to get into that holiday groove without spending extra money at the store or on iTunes:
Pandora - If you don't already use Pandora, you should. When you tell it a single song that you like, Pandora uses magic--or possibly some crazy computer algorithm--to create an entire personalized radio station around that song. I'd say it usually hits the mark about 95% of the time and there's an option to skip songs you don't like. They do have pre-made "holiday music" streams as well, if you can't think of a single Christmas song you'd like to tailor your next couple of hours of humming to.
Last.fm - Similar to Pandora, although I find it to be less user-friendly. This actually lets you download a player and use it on your computer (as long as you're logged in to the Internet) without tying up a browser window.
YouTube - Mr. Scrimp is a big fan of simply searching YouTube for music videos of the specific song he's in the mood to hear. Unlike the first two, which make it difficult to choose exactly what song you listen to at what time, this is, of course, pretty much endlessly customizable. On the other hand, this isn't a radio station, of course, and is questionable when it comes to copyright law.
Everyone has a few songs that really do it for them--they hear that music, and Christmas happens in their head all at once. For me, it's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" by Barenaked Ladies. For Mr. Scrimp, I think it's anything involving Bing Crosby. We're both also big fans of Medieval carols, and I sing Hanukkah songs under my breath all day at work.
What is your favorite music to listen to this time of year? Post a comment and share!