Monday, November 18, 2013

Putting the Christmas Spirit on your Mac Desktop

It's about that time of year again. Time to buy buy buy, and hope you better get something out of your investment at least in the form of a carton of cigarettes or something useful. Too cynical? Right. There's what we say we want for Christmas and what we really want. Anyway, in case that sounds too transactional for your delicate sensibilities, here are a few ways you can put the spirit and cheer and decoratáge of Christmas onto your OS X desktops.

Nothing says Christmas like Christmas lights, so to get those on your desktop you can get MacLampsX. It works on Tiger PowerPC on up, and you can also check their page of custom bulbs to download if you want to add to the default.

Falling animated snow is also doable, with Snö. It can use a lot of CPU, so you'll probably want to dial back from the defaults.

And to round it all off, there's a PowerPC screen saver conveniently called SnowSaver. This one doesn't use a ton of CPU, while managing a somewhat impressive 3-D look.

Here's what MacLampsX and Snö look like together on a Tiger desktop. The Badlands wallpaper probably isn't entirely appropriate, but this is America (in my part of the world).

I looked for some of this stuff on Linux, too, and there's something really cool looking called XSnow, but it's not compiled on Debian for PowerPC and I didn't know how to build it. I'll just have to imagine it, like Santa Claus and his lair, or whatever all that business is.

UPDATE: Thanks to Charles in the comments for pointing out X-MasTree, a blinking light Christmas tree for you desktop (also features a days till Xmas badge). The only download left on the internet seems to be on this Tucows ftp archive. Direct download is here.


  1. Another good one: X-MasTree by John Schilling. It puts a Christmas tree on your desktop, and works on Tiger.

    Only problem is I can't find a download for it. I might have it on my hard drive somewhere...

    1. Good catch. I found a download here:

      Use the find option, 'cause the alphabetizing is a little weird.