No cash for gifts? Share you taste in music instead
No cash for gifts? Share you taste in music instead Heather Browne displays a selection of holiday CDs she has made over the years for friends and listeners of her blog. Music aficionados can personalize their holiday playlists by loading songs onto fun USB drives like this one, at left, that resembles a cassette tape (AP photos)
No cash for gifts? Share you taste in music instead
Lexile: 740L

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Luke Maguire Armstrong doesn't pen a holiday letter to friends. The guitar player and songwriter prefers to communicate musically.

Armstrong makes a CD that he shares with friends and family each Christmas. It contains songs that reflect the places he's visited. Or how he's felt during the year. He includes a note about how he discovered each song. Recent CDs, for example, have helped tell the stories of his travels throughout Central America.

"I choose the songs that had the most impact on me," said Armstrong. He divides his time between New York and Antigua, Guatemala. "It's a way for me to stay in touch with a lot of people and get everyone something."

Sharing music is a great way to connect with friends, and technology has made it easier than ever, says Kristen Chase. She is publisher and CEO of The website covers trends in technology. Chase has a degree in music therapy.

Music lovers can create and share playlists in a variety of ways, Chase said. She recommends Spotify. It's a digital music service. It has access to millions of songs. Users can search for songs online to share with friends and family.

Tyler Hayes is a writer in San Diego. He suggests asking friends what website or app they use to listen to music. Then share a playlist through it. For example, in addition to Spotify, he has shared songs using Beats Music and Rdio.

Heather Browne of Colorado Springs, Colorado, looks forward every fall to creating a 20-song Christmas/holiday playlist. She shares it with friends, family and readers of her music blog.

"I try to find songs with some sense of nostalgia, some sense of wonder," she said. "It takes a lot of work. I get wonderful, emotional feedback from people from all around the world. That makes it worthwhile."

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  • JesseE-2
    11/21/2014 - 12:08 a.m.

    Luke Armstrong shares a compilation CD with his family for Christmas that contains music that reflects his experiences or thoughts on the elapsed year. Kristen Chase of responds saying that music is a great method of social communication and available easily due to online technological developments such as Spotify. Writer Tyler Hayes suggests making use of the applications used by friends for sharing music for greater diversity and options. Heather Browne creates a holiday playlist every fall based on emotional feedback from the music.

    This article interests me to some extent. Although I do agree with the concept of musical expression, I think some key details such as playing musical instruments for social interaction and fun. The information seemed strangely organized, but was relevant and significant.

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