SomaFM - Our perennial favorite for Christmas music is the listener-supported and DJ-programmed SomaFM, which this year has five live-stream holiday music stations. Christmas Lounge streams laid-back holiday vibes with "chilled holiday grooves and classic winter lounge tracks" that are family-safe. You'll find an eclectic seasonal playlist with tracks such as 'The First Noel' by Frank Sinatra, 'O Come O Come Emmanuel' by Groovecatcher, and 'Brandy By The fire' by Alex Wilson.
If that's a bit too mellow for your taste, SomaFM has other holiday choices. Christmas Rocks! is an indie/alternative holiday rock channel with artists that include Bela Fleck & The FleckTones ('Linus and Lucy'), Sufjan Stevens ('Up On The Housetop'), and Bob Dylan ('Little Drummer Boy').
Xmas in Frisko is a "wacky and eclectic holiday mix, not for the easily offended" that this year is playing 'Convenience Store Santa' by Dapper Jones, 'I Had A Very Merry Christmas' by Jerry Lewis, 'Chistmas Booty (Giving Up The Butt)' by DJ Timbo And Friends, and 'Father Christmas' by Mud.
Jolly Ol' Soul, meanwhile, brings some soulful holiday music from the likes of Count Sidney & His Dukes ('Soul Christmas'), Percy Sledge ('Christmas Wish'), 2 Men 4 Sould ('Ribbon in the SKy'), and Clarence Carter ('Back Door Santa').
New for Christmas 2020 is Department Store Christmas, billed as "Holiday Elevator Music from a more innocent time. However, the music is a step above the tinny canned background music you might expect. Tracks played during our review included Silver Bells by The Ray Conniff Singers, What Child is This from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Deck The Halls from Broadway Stage Orchestra, and Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! by Ronnie Aldrich's Two Pianos and Orchestra.
Pandora - You will find a lot of variety on Pandora, with holiday music in nearly any category you can think of. To find the holiday stations, select Browse from the menu at the top of the Pandora home screen, then select Holidays from the Moods and Activities section. There you'll find 54 (at the time this article was written) holiday stations.
The station titled simply 'Christmas' was the most popular at the time of this review, showing a total of 65 million listeners. Examples of tracks played on this station include traditional favorites like 'I'll Be Home For Christmas by Michael Bublé, 'O Holy Night' by Nat King Cole, and 'Have Yourself A Merry Christmas' by Frank Sinatra. Other popular stations include Christmas Traditional, Today's Christmas, Country Christmas, Classical Christmas, and Family Christmas. Stations in more "niche" categories include Tropical Holidays (Jimmy Buffett, anyone?), Christmas Rappin', Reggae Holidays, Bluegrass Christmas, and Celtic Holidays. You'll even find a Holiday Workout Radio channel that you can sweat to.
TuneIn - The TuneIn home screen features three Holiday selections: Home for the Holidays, Holiday Hits, and Holiday Standards. The first selection is not a station, but takes you directly to the TuneIn's "Festive Frequencies" menu, which also includes the Hits and Standards selections noted above. Holiday Hits plays "fresh seasonal jams form stars like Ariena Grande, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson, alongside modern classics from Mariah Carey, Wham! and more." Holiday Standards brings you "all the classical holiday standards you know and love, performed by legends like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fetzgeral, Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett." The so-called Festive Frequencies is just streams from six over-the-air radio stations that are playing holiday music. For more options, use the search function to search on "Christmas" to find Christmas radio stations from the U.S. and around the world, along with Christmas-themed podcasts and shows.
iHeartRadio - iHeartRadio has several custom Christmas channels available: iHeartChristmas, iHeartChristmas Classics, iHeartChristmas Rock, North Pole Radio, iHeartChristmas Country, and iHeartChristmas R&B. To find these stations, select 'Radio' from the menu bar at the top of the iHeartRadio Roku app, then select 'Holiday' under the Music & Entertainment category. For even more content, use the search function to search on 'Christmas', which will return live stations, artists playing Christmas music, Christmas tracks, and even a selection of Christmas podcasts.
Those are our top recommendations for streaming holiday music on Roku. If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.Check out our Roku Christmas Channels list for all holiday-specific channels. A complete list of Roku music channels can be found here.