I listen a lot to Bandcamp and sometimes stumble onto some great Christmas songs there, which I collect into an iTunes playlist throughout the year. A lot of this is original material, as well as some covers.
For anyone not familiar with Bandcamp, it’s a great website where (primarily) lesser-known bands can make their music available for download. Some of the songs are marked “free download.” Most are marked “name your price,” which means you pay what you think is fair and can afford. You can even enter a price of “zero” and get the music for free, but if you decide to download anything I’ve recommended here, please consider sharing some holiday generosity with the bands. There’s also a couple of songs that were put on Bandcamp to raise money for some good causes.
I tend to listen to punk rock, ska/ska-punk and reggae so those genres may be a bit over-represented, but there’s also some other material. Nothing really anti-Christmas, though. When it comes to Christmas playlists in particular, you don’t want anything you can’t play when Grammy is around.
Some songs are from holiday albums or collections, and you might like something else from the same album more than the track I selected, so browse around. I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of Christmas material available on Bandcamp.
The photo accompanying this post relates to the fourth song -- “Maybe Next Year” by Daniel Wade, a local Chicago singer/songwriter. It refers to what people here do to save their on-street parking space after shoveling their car out.
Even Tough Guys Need Front Teef – Strange Manor https://strangemanor.bandcamp.com/track/even-tough-guys-need-front-teef-sometimes
Fairytale of New York- Chewing on Tinfoil (a rare version without the “f” word – the one that ends in “t”) https://chewingontinfoil.bandcamp.com/track/fairytale-of-new-york-pogues-cover
Jingle Bell Rock- Holophonics https://theholophonics.bandcamp.com/track/jingle-bell-rock
Maybe Next Year- Daniel Wade https://danielwade.bandcamp.com/track/maybe-next-year
All I Want for Christmas- High Wire https://highwireil.bandcamp.com/track/all-i-want-for-christmas
Get Behind Me, Santa- Sufjan Stevens http://music.sufjan.com/track/get-behind-me-santa
What Christmas Means to Me- The Freecoasters https://thefreecoasters.bandcamp.com/track/what-christmas-means-to-me-christmas-single
What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas- Detroit Riddim Crew Artists https://detroitholidayriddim.bandcamp.com/album/detroit-holiday-riddim
The Toy Maker- Matt Wixson’s Flying Circus https://mattwixsonsflyingcircus.bandcamp.com/track/the-toy-maker
Christmas is Over (Let’s Keep the Lights on for Awhile)- Connor Ratliff & Mikey Erg https://connorratliffmikeyerg.bandcamp.com/track/xmas-is-over-lets-keep-the-lights-up-4-a-while
Nestor the Long Eared Xmas Donkey- Jingle Punx https://jinglepunx.bandcamp.com/track/nestor-the-long-eared-xmas-donkey
Happy Holidays- Something to Do https://maxmas.bandcamp.com/track/something-to-do-happy-holidays
Christmas in the U.S.A.- Cody Melville https://codymelville.bandcamp.com/track/christmas-in-the-usa
Father Christmas- Backyard Superheroes https://weilhouse.bandcamp.com/track/father-christmas
Oi to the World- The Mizzerables https://themizzerables.bandcamp.com/track/oi-to-the-world
It’s Christmas Time- Matthew Ryan https://matthewryan.bandcamp.com/track/its-christmas-time-by-matthew-ryan
Angels- Taj Motel Trio https://ttmt.bandcamp.com/track/angels