The days (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) have grown shorter, so it’s time to put in some extra hours working on music production. Native Instruments have released a big selection of synthesis sounds, sampled instruments, and multiple effects in a free, Kore Player-based instrument, in case you haven’t already heard the news via NI’s site. While they’re presets, there are enough macro controls and variations that, combined with your own effects, you can certainly make these your own. And if nothing else, you can drown out the sound of overplayed holiday picks – just make yourself a soundscape, put it on your iPod or phone, plug in those earbuds, and have a Very Spaced-Out Holiday instead.
Incidentally, Kore Player works just fine for me on Linux using WINE, as do NI’s own audio interfaces, so you can even spread the goodness to the penguin-themed operating system.