If you're one of those people who just can't get enough of Christmas, be sure to decorate your Mac as well as your house. A wide variety of free holiday-themed desktop wallpapers are available on the web. Whether your taste runs to vintage, traditional, modern, sentimental, or humorous, you're bound to find something you like.
If you're not sure how to change your Mac desktop wallpaper, check out our guide:
Updated for Christmas 2013
Vlad Gerasimov is a prolific and talented artist whose desktop wallpapers are a particular favorite of ours. The wallpapers are available in multiple sizes, suitable for the iPad, iPhone, iPhone 4, 21-inch iMac, 27-inch iMac, MacBook Air, and 24-inch and 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays, as well as other desktop and portable Macs. Images include snowmen, snowflakes, icicles, Christmas trees, flying Santas, Siberian winters, penguins, and a Christmas train. You'll also find Christmas and other e-cards and animated e-cards on Vlad's site, as well as apps and games for the iPad and iPhone.
There are three dozen December wallpapers to choose from on the American Greetings web site, including photographs and illustrations. Photos include Christmas puppies, a cat in a Santa hat, a festive fence, frosted gingerbread cookies, and a miniature Christmas tree. The illustrations include holiday penguins, Santa checking his naughty-or-nice list, snow globes, Santa on a snowmobile, and snowmen. Each image is available in four different sizes, from 800x600 pixels to 1600x1200 pixels. You must register with the American Greetings site before you can download any images, but registration is free.
Wallcoo.net offers hundreds of holiday wallpapers from around the world; images include photos, paintings, and illustrations. The wallpapers are available in multiple sizes, and many are available in widescreen as well as standard formats. Images include Santa Claus in numerous poses and situations, snowmen, angels, teddy bears, Disneyland displays, candy canes, Christmas stockings, Christmas trees, ornaments, outdoor scenes, clay dolls, pets, cartoons, fantasy illustrations, and scenes from The Night Before Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and other storybooks.
Stacy Fisher, About.com's Guide to Freebies, has an updated list of what she considers the top 25 free Christmas desktop wallpapers. The images include snowmen, Christmas ornaments, holiday lights, reindeer, candy canes, a cheery fireplace, and outdoor scenes. While you're on Stacy's site, be sure to check our her list of the best winter wallpapers, and many other Christmas freebies, including gift tags, online games, printable coloring pages, and music.
When you decorate your Mac for Christmas, don't forget to include your iPod touch and iPhone. Sam Costello, About.com's Guide to the iPhone and iPod, has a list of nine web sites and apps that include collections of Christmas-themed wallpapers for one or both devices. The images include Christmas trees in multiple colors, snowy outdoor scenes, Santa Claus, snowmen, ornaments, wreaths, candy canes, and kittens decked out in Santa caps. Sam also provides instructions for changing the wallpaper on your iPhone.
If you're leaning toward outfitting your Mac with a nostalgic holiday theme, the Operation Letters to Santa web site offers a number of possibilities. Many of the images are only available in 800x600 pixel format, though, so they won't look their best on large or widescreen displays. Images include vintage and modern Santas, old-fashioned outdoor scenes, small towns, farms, Christmas trees, sleighs, decorated mailboxes, teddy bears, cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, and horses.
The collection of wallpapers on the Christmas-Wallpapers.co.uk web site isn't very large, but it does include some unusual images, including an overhead view of a festive desk and notepad, a group of snowmen admiring a Christmas tree, and a Coca-Cola truck decorated for Christmas. You'll also find Christmas lights, toys, gifts, candles, decorations, outdoor scenes, and Santas.
The desktop wallpapers at Jinglebell Junction are guaranteed to make you smile. Although there are only five designs to choose from, they're all worth adding to your collection. There are two versions of Santa and his reindeer flying across the world, plus a snowman and his avian friends; Santa, a reindeer, and an elf rushing to deliver presents; and Santa getting ready to climb down a chimney. Each image is available in four different sizes, from 800x600 pixels to 1920x1080 pixels.
The Free Christmas Wallpapers web site has a colorful collection of vintage and modern holiday wallpapers. Some of the images are fairly simple, which is nice if you don't like a busy desktop. Images include mistletoe, Santa and a reindeer building a snowman, a Christmas village, snowflakes, a white Christmas tree and snowflakes against a red background, a Christmas village and bear, an Apple icon sporting a Santa cap, and a country Christmas night.
The 4Wallpapers.com web site currently has 64 Christmas wallpapers and 16 winter wallpapers in its collection. The wallpapers include photos, paintings, and illustrations, and are available in two or more sizes, ranging from 800x600 pixels to 1600x1200 pixels. Christmas images include traditional and modern Santas, outdoor scenes, pets, birds, wildlife, Christmas trees, holiday greetings, snowmen, and snow globes. Winter images include outdoor scenes, snowmen, snowflakes, and what is purported to be Santa's car.