116 The 10th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular! Ten years, baby!

Escape is the theme this summer, as we have plenty to escape from. Find every episode, Christmas Stocking merch and more are at MyChristmasStocking.net. Call (323) 487-1225 before you forget–what makes Christmas so special for you? Tell the world!  Or email it, along with music and show ideas, to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. There’s room for you on our Facebook  and Google+ communities. Info I discussed is on my Twitter feed @XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmastime” by Hill & Hale and Their Merry Friends from “Christmastime”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by DJ 8-8008 feat. April Forrest
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Man! It’s Christmas” by the Rev. Jimmie Bratcher from “Man! It’s Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“I Saw Three Ships” by Found Wandering from the album “On a Christmas Night”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Christmas of Love” by Tresa Street
Buy on Tresa’s website

“Good King Wenceslas” by Takenobu from “Christmas Songs”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“A Voice is Sounding” by Sojourn from “A Child is Born”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells (Remix)” Spade from “CEDM Christmas 2014” (from Noisetrade)

“What Child is This, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by the Jazz Council from “Christmas Sampler”(from Noisetrade)

(Hear more Jazz Council on their album “Dawn” on iTunes)

“The Wassail Song” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells”

“The First Noel (Remix) by pKal from “CEDM Christmas 2014” (from Noisetrade)

“A Good King (Wenceslas)” by Kevin Zerbe from “Zerbinator’s ‘Under the Tree’”

More information:

More about Dial-A-Carol

Projected top toys for 2016

The Capitol Christmas Tree 2016 website

 

 

 

You Will Be Able to Escape Soon–The Summer Music Spectacular is on its Way!

During this rough summer, respite is needed where we can find it. You’ll be able to find it soon in the Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular. Tell us how you are celebrating Christmas this summer, when you start saving and shopping for the holiday or anything else at (323) 487-1225.  Or email your answer, and music and show ideas to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET, or tweet me at Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Join our Facebook  and Google+ communities!  Check out all the past shows and Christmas Stocking merchandise at MyChristmasStocking.net. (Thanks for being on the promo, John!)

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells (Afrolizer Remix)” by Afrolizer from “CEDM Christmas 2014” (from Noisetrade)

115 “What Happened Christmas Eve” by Oliver Herfold

A nice story for the little ones on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Merry Christmas.  Call the Christmas Stocking at (323) 487-12-25 or email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. All year long you’ll find me on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Google+. Catch up on all the episodes and check out the extras at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (w/ Hallelujah)” by Kurt Scobie from “A Merry Mixtape” (from Noistrade)

Background music:

“Iuguetes en Navidad” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“Memory Box” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“Joy to the World” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

Read the story yourself and find other stories in The Night Before Christmas and Other Popular Stories for Children.

114 Christmas Oranges

Where did the tradition of getting an orange in the Christmas stocking start? With St. Nicholas, of course! Find everything at MyChristmasStocking.net. Call (323) 487-12-25 to wish someone Merry Christmas! Or email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. The Christmas Stocking is on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Everywhere I Go” by Joshua and Heather from “Merry Christmas – EP” (from Noisetrade)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Shakespeare’s Carol” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Sans Day Carol” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Angels We Have Heard on High” by Moat Jumper from “Christmas at the Renaissance Fair”
Buy on iTunes 
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Why’d You Eat That has a pretty good history.

Dave’s Garden has some theories.

Smithsonian.com will tell you about the orange and the stocking.

113 I Heard the Christmas Bells

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” comes from an intensely personal poem by America’s poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in the time of the Civil War. Lots more Christmas info and fun on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. Catch up on all the episodes at MyChristmasStocking.net. Share your Christmas plans and/or traditions on the show at (323) 487-12-25. Or do it by email at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Alva Leigh

Background music:

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells”

“I Heard the Bells – Carol of the Bells Medley” by Kevin Zerbe from “The Ghost of Christmas Past”

“The Wassail Song” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells”

More information:

Wikipedia has a bit about the origin of the song, and more about different popular versions.

The website of The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States has an article with more military details about Longfellow’s son Charles.

112 Nutcrackers

You know the ballet. Do you know the history of the nutcrackers and how they became so popular at Christmas? It wasn’t just the ballet. Wish your loved ones Merry Christmas on the show at (323) 487-12-25. Or do it by email at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. The Christmas Stocking is on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Google+. Everything is at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Dance of the Reed Pipes” by William Arnold from “Expedition: Nutcracker Suite” (from Noisetrade)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Check out William’s podcast, the Music Instigator

Background music:

“Waltz of the Flowers” by William Arnold from “Expedition: Nutcracker Suite” (from Noisetrade)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Trepak (Russian Dance from the Nutcracker)” by Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven from “A Little Love This Christmas”
Buy from CDBaby
Buy from Bandcamp

More information:

Slate has more in their Brief History of Nutcrackers.

Wikipedia will brief you in a more expansive history.

And of course the Nutcracker Museum has more, with lots of pictures.

111 Christmas Toys 1970-1979

A lot of great toys were invented in the 1970s and put under the tree; too many to mention! But I cover some of the biggest in this episode. Follow the show on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. And please come to MyChristmasStocking.net. Share your Christmas plans by calling (323) 487-12-25 and be on the show. Or email them to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Fluffy Snow” by Bill McKechnie from “Key to Christmas Fluffy Snow”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Ringing Bells (instrumental version)” by Hill & Hale and Their Merry Friends from “Christmastime”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive history of the Nerf ball.

People magazine has a pretty breezy history of Nerf.

On Wikipedia, learn all you wanted to learn and more about Uno.

Wikipedia discusses the Kenner “Star Wars” action figures, where they all began.

Retro Junk also has a good history of the “Star Wars” figures.

Wikipedia delves into the history of “Hungry Hungry Hippos.”

Learn more about Strawberry Shortcake from Wikipedia.

110 The Legend of the Christmas Rose

Suggested by Joe on Facebook! There’s a song about it. And a sweet story. The flower, the legend, the poem, the carol, it’s all in here. Plus bonus music! Believe it or not, time is running out to call (323) 487-12-25 and be on the show. Or email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. Join us on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking),  and Google+. And please come to MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” by the Grace Episcopal Church Choir (from Soundclick.com)

“Mvmt IV, Every Bell On Earth Will Ring” by the Oh Hellos from “The Oh Hellos’ Family Christmas Album”
Buy on iTunes

Background music includes:

“Bethlehem” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Realidade Eterna (Eternal Reality)” by Corciolli from “Nosso Lar (The Astral City)”

“The Holly and the Ivy” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Novareinna.com has a more on the rose and the legend.

Read the poem that inspired the carol and more at NoelNoelNoel.com.

Read another version of the legend at The Baldwin Project. 

109 Scary Ghost Stories

Is that song onto something? Turns out ghost stories at Christmas is a thing, or was a thing (mostly).  Keep up on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. Call (323) 487-12-25 and wish someone you love Merry Christmas. Or email your wishes to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. All the episodes are at  MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Reindeer” by Hill & Hale and Their Merry Friends from “Christmastime”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“What Child is This” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

More information:

The Guardian explores the Victorian tradition.

A Gothic Curiosity Cabinet looks at the history of telling ghost stories at Christmas.

The Deseret News has more on holiday time ghost stories.

The Conversation examines why we don’t tell ghost stories at Christmas in America.

The Paris Review has five ghost stories perfect for Christmastime.

108 Christmas Trees: Real vs. Artificial

Whether real or artificial, Christmas trees are a symbol of the season. Which is better for you? Come to MyChristmasStocking.net for more episodes. Another question: What are you doing for Christmas? What is  your favorite Christmas memory? Call (323) 487-12-25.  Or email it to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. Join us on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“My Christmas Wish” by Doreen Taylor
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“O Christmas Tree 2007” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“O Tannenbaum” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.com

More information:

Earth911 weighs the pluses and minuses of both choices.

So does ZME Science.

NPR has a look at the tension between the two types.

The History Channel has a history of Christmas trees. 

So does the Christmas Stocking. Way back in 2006. Episode 3!

Wikipedia relates the history of the artificial tree, and the types.

The Boston Globe discusses what it takes to grow a natural tree.

107 Black Friday and Wanamaker’s Christmas Light Show

Some advice on what to avoid and what to go for on Black Friday, and a trip to Philadelphia for the Wanamaker Christmas Light Show. Find a lot more Christmas info on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. Home base is MyChristmasStocking.net, with all the episodes and a lot more. Be on the show! Share your Christmas memories or Christmas plans–or wish someone Merry Christmas at (323) 487-12-25.  Or email them to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Gets Worse Every Year (feat. Oscar Foxley)” by The Other Guys 
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Buy on CDBaby

Background music:

“The First Noel (pKai Remix)” by pKai from “The CEDM Christmas 2014”

“Für Elise” by Lenny Marcus from “The Jazz of Beethoven”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Buy on CDBaby

More information:

The NY Daily News tech guide for 2015.

Kim Komando warns you against these Black Friday “deals” in USA Today.

Black Friday preparation and shopping strategies from U.S. News and World Report.

The outlook for the UK’s Black Friday from c|net.

The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ have a website with lots of information.

All the info you need if you want to visit the Wanamaker organ at Macy’s from Visit Philadelphia.

Wikipedia has lots of info on the history of Wanamaker’s and the organ.

106 Holiday Parades, Small and Boat

There’s more to holiday parades than Macy’s, although I’ll talk about that too. You’ll find all the episodes, Christmas Stocking merch and more at MyChristmasStocking.net. Tell me your Christmas plans or Christmas memories–or wish someone Merry Christmas at (323) 487-12-25.  Or email them, along with music and show ideas, to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. Join us on Facebook, Twitter (@XmasStocking) and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“American Christmas” by Shawna Swansburg
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Home 4 the Holidays”  by Devyn Rose
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Fretless” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Deck the Halls” by Oven Rake from “XMAS Compilation 10” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Carol of the Bells (Afrolizer Remix)” by Afrolizer from “CEDM Christmas 2014” (from Noisetrade)

More information:

The Guardian tells much of the background.

A Gothic Curiosity Cabinet has some theories.

So does the Deseret News.

And The Conversation.

The Paris Review has theories and some suggested ghostly reading.

105 The 9th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular

The promo said it and it’s still true: it’s the summer, so it’s time to enjoy some holiday music.  Everything I talked about is on my Twitter feed @XmasStocking. And make sure you join our Facebook  and Google+ communities! All the episodes, Christmas Stocking merch and more are at MyChristmasStocking.net. And tell me your Christmas plans or Christmas memories–or wish someone Merry Christmas at (323) 487-1225.  Or email it, along with music and show ideas, to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET,

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Jingle Bell Swing” by Mark Smeby from “En attendant Noël…” (from the Free Music Archive) and “Christmas”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Seth and Betsy from the “Christmas” EP (from Noisetrade)

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Peter Furler featuring David Ian from “Peter Furler Christmas featuring David Ian”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“West Coast” by The Connection from the album “A Christmas Gift for”
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

“We Three Kings/O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Groove for Thought from “Songs of Good Cheer”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“Angels We Have Heard On High” by Evan Wickham from the EP “Christmas Music Vol. 1” (from Noisetrade)
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“Blood Oranges in the Snow” by Over the Rhine from “Even The Snow Turns Blue: An Over the Rhine Christmas Compilation” (from Noisetrade) and “Blood Oranges in the Snow”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Cumbia de Tannenbaum (Club Mix)” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (I found it on Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Xmas Medley by Gina and Kev” by Gina Kellenberger andby Kevin Zerbe

“xmas songs plastic sputnik arcade punk remix” by Hally from “The 8bits of Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Decking the Halls in 1966” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (I found it on Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Joy to the World” by Bing Futch (from MacJams.com)

“Goodbye Charles” by Over the Rhine from “Even The Snow Turns Blue: An Over the Rhine Christmas Compilation” (from Noisetrade) and “Snow Angels”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Hamley’s top toys for Christmas 2015

The official site for the Capitol Christmas Tree 2015

104 “Papa Panov’s Special Christmas” by Leo Tolstoy

It’s time for a Christmas story. This one’s really nice. Make sure you’re caught up with all the episodes at MyChristmasStocking.net. Keep up with the show on Facebook, Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” by Peter Furler featuring David Ian from “Peter Furler Christmas featuring David Ian”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

Background music:

“Away in a Manger – Traditional Christmas Carol for Piano” by Mario Ajero (from Mevio.com)

“After Christmas” by Dexter Britain from “Dexter Britain: Creative Commons Vol. 2” (from the Free Music Archive)

“The Gloucestershire Wassail” by IKOS featuring Dave Clifton from “Christmas Carols and Songs” (Little Room) (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy on iTunes
Buy at Amazon

“Silent Night” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Paul and Brenda Neal from “Two Harps Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy from iTunes

“Snow Day” by Rosie Thomas from “A Very Rosie Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Of the Father’s Love Begotten”” by IKOS featuring Dave Clifton from “Christmas Carols and Songs” (Little Room) (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy on iTunes
Buy at Amazon

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by the United States Marine Band from “Holiday Music Selections” (from the Free Music Archive)

More:

Read the story yourself thanks to Google Books.

103 The Peppermint Pigs of Saratoga Springs, NY

A local tradition in upstate New York, the peppermint pigs are spreading around the country and the world thanks to the internet. Call the Christmas Stocking anytime at 323-487-12-25 or go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click “Call Me.” All the episodes are at that address, too. Join the parties on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Facebook and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Time Again” by Smalltown Poets from “Christmastime Again”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Deck the Halls B” by Kevin McLeod (from Incompetech)

More information:

Saratoga Sweets’ website has a lot of information on the peppermint pigs tradition, how they’re made, and of course you can order directly from them online.

The New York Daily News covered them in 2012.

Who was that who introduced the show? W.E.L.F.–An Elf Run Podcast

102 Winter Solstice

It’s no coincidence that we celebrate Christmas around winter solstice time. At least that’s the theory. We’re talkin’ science! Thank you, David in Arizona, for your gift to the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute. You can find us on  Google+, Twitter (@XmasStocking) and Facebook. Be on the Christmas Stocking yourself by calling 323-487-12-25 or go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click “Call Me.”

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Remember When it Snowed” by Rosie Thomas

Background music:

“Now What” by Beeblebrox from “Dominant Domain” (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“God Rest You Merry Gentlemen” by Kevin Zerbe from “The Christmas Wish List”

More information:

EarthSky has “Everything You Need to Know” about the solstice.

Mashable has 8 solstice facts.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has more info about the solstice and winter.

The Radical Methodist does some digging to connect the solstice with Christmas.

101 Christmas Toys 1960-1969

Unless you were born before 1950 or so, at least some of your favorite toys were probably introduced in the 1960s (if not the ’50s). Get social with the Christmas Stocking on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Call the Christmas Stocking at 323-487-12-25 or go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click “Call Me.” You might be on the show! Thanks Kathy in Minnesota for your generous gift to the show. MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Fum, Fum, Fum” by Irene Nachreiner with Her Latin Jazz Band from “A Hot & Spicy Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Cumbia de Tannenbaum (Club Mix)” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy at Amazon

“Chispas de Christmas (Club Mix)” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy at Amazon

More information:

Go back to the previous Christmas Stocking Toys of the 20th Century  episodes: 79 Toys for Christmas 1900-1950 and 90 Christmas Toys 1950-1959.

Learn more about the Troll dolls from Wikipedia and the old GoodLuckTrolls.com from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Wikipedia will also tell you about Etch-A-Sketch, including technical info.

Find out about the original and the new Game of Life on Wikipedia.

Get cookin’ with Easy Bake Oven info from Wikipedia.

Here’s the long history of G.I. Joe–from Wikipedia.

Wikipedia lets you know about the game of Operation.

Get the info about Spirograph from Wikipedia.

Find out about Twister in this Wikipedia article.

Battleship’s history is detailed by…Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s article on Lite-Brite.

Rev up the Hot Wheels info from Wikipedia.

100 Christmas in Denmark

Jean on Facebook wanted to hear about Danish Christmas (as opposed to Christmas danish. Ha!). Wanna be on the show? Call the Christmas Stocking at 323-487-12-25 or go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click “Call Me.” The Christmas Stocking is on the social networks: Twitter (@XmasStocking)  Facebook and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“A Long Way Home” by Sofia Talvik

Background music:

“The Holy Child” by IKOS David Clifton & the Choirs of Peterborough Cathedral from “Christmas Carols and Songs

“I Heard the Bells – Carol of the Bells Medley” by Kevin Zerbe from “The Ghost of Christmas Past”

“A Good King (Wenceslas)” by Kevin Zerbe from “Zerbinator’s ‘Under the Tree'”

More information:

Denmark.dk, the official website of Denmark has a nice overview of their celebration. VisitDenmark, the official tourism site of Denmark, discusses Danish Christmas traditions and Christmas Eve in Denmark.

AboutTravel looks at Danish Christmas.

 

99 O Holy Night

You know the beautiful song, but do you know its story? It’s a good one. Join the Christmas Stocking social scene at Google+, Facebook or Twitter (@XmasStocking). I’d love to hear from you, maybe put you on the show. Call the Christmas Stocking at 323-487-12-25 or go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click “Call Me.”

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Holy Night”  by Eamonn McCrystal from “The Music of Christmas & Stories Behind The Songs
Buy the album

Background music:

“O Holy Night” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

“Noel (Holy Night) [1916]” by the Venetian Trio from “Voices of Christmas Past” (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

Wikipedia‘s editors do their best to tell the story.

Beliefnet relays a similar story.

Hymns and Carols of Christmas takes an alternative view of some details.

98 Dickens Christmas

Charles Dickens is one of the individuals who’s made the biggest impact on how we celebrate Christmas. Call the Christmas Stocking and wish someone Merry Christmas, talk about your favorite childhood Christmas memory or your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25.  At various times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Watch Twitter (@XmasStocking),  Google+ or Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Ding Dong Merrily on High” and “Rocking” by the Choir of Somerville College, Oxford from the album “Advent Calendar”
Click here to buy on iTunes (UK)
Buy on iTunes (US)
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon (US)
Buy on Stone Records’ site (UK site)

Background music:

“The First Nowell” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.com

“We Three Kings” by Derek K. Miller (from Mevio.com)

More information:

Listen to the related episodes of the Christmas Stocking: 17 Victorian Christmas (from 2007!), 22 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (also from 2007!), 28 Christmas Cards (from 2008!). Finally, listen to a reading of Charles Dickens’s essay in 68 “A Christmas Dinner” by Charles Dickens (from 2011).

There is some disagreement as to whether Dickens did, in fact, invent (or reinvent) Christmas. The Victorian Web makes a case for, as does an article on Patheos.com. This article from the Dickens Project at UC Santa Cruz disagrees.

Ipsum Esse takes a deeper look at “The Carol Philosophy.”

97 The Holiday Blues

This season isn’t always happy. Some tips about how to deal with the down times. You never have to be alone. Come by Google+, maybe hang out; Facebook, and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Thank you so much to Paul, who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute. It’s easier than ever to call the Christmas Stocking. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! Talk about your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas, your own favorite childhood Christmas memory, or simply wish someone Merry Christmas! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Watch Twitter for more.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Try to Have a Merry Christmas” by Elizabeth Chan (@lizchanmusic on Twitter) from “Everyday Holidays”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Christmas in the City” by Elizabeth Chan from “Christmas in the City”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Deck the Halls with We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Doug Boldt (from Mevio.com)

“Christmas Bells” by Philip Gardner (from MacJams.com)

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Mano Reza from “Guitar for Christmas” (from Soundclick.com)
Buy on Soundclick
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Get the tips from the Mayo Clinic and UC Davis. Also WebMD has a large section full of resources.

USA Today discusses Blue Christmas services.

96 Black Friday and Hot Toys for 2014

Complementing past Black Friday episodes about online and credit card safety, we look at other techniques for staying both safe and comfortable on Black Friday and beyond.  Join me on  Twitter (@XmasStocking) where you’ll get some Christmas news, Google+, where I hope to do a hangout or two, Facebook, where we talk about the show. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Call the Christmas Stocking and tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply wish someone Merry Christmas. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Big thanks to Anne who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Bells are Ringing” by The Connection from the album “A Christmas Gift for”
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Dance to da Beat” by 5 is Even (from Mevio.com)

“Carol of the Bells” by Live Action Fezz from the album “Badgerland: A Very Badgerland Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

The National Crime Prevention Council has tips for your personal safety plan for Black Friday.

BlackFriday.com has more good Black Friday etiquette. Not quite Emily Post….

The toys returning from the 1980s. Some other great toys this year.

Tips to save on Christmas shopping all year.

95 The Hollywood Christmas Parade

One of the oldest parades in the United States is in the Entertainment Capital of the World, but it’s sort of a small parade. This episode features a listener call and the next one could be you. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. I’ll let you know on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking) and  Google+, where I plan to do a hangout or two. You can also mail TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply wish someone Merry Christmas. And thanks to Brian who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

The Fall Song by Joy Ike from the album “All or Nothing”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“It’s Christmas Christmas Time” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version)” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“Carol of the Bells” and “Autumn Sunset” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

More information:

Wikipedia has some information about the history of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. So does the official Facebook page of the parade.

Learn about this year’s Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Learn more about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the official website and tips before you go from the Long Island Press.

94 The Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular Eight

With the summer we’re having we need some Christmas spirit. Thanks to some good music I think you’re going to find it.  Have you liked us on Facebook? Followed us on Twitter (@XmasStocking)? How about circling us on  Google+? We’ll video hangout there a bit. The Christmas Stocking has a new phone number!  Wish someone Merry Christmas, leave an intro to the show or share your special Christmas traditions at (323) 487-1225. Or go to MyChristmasStocking.net. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.Thanks very much to everyone who’ve given at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“A Christmas Song” by Elizabeth Chan (@lizchanmusic on Twitter) from “Naughty & Nice”

Buy on iTunes

“Jolly Old St. Nicholas” by Pitch Feather   (from the Free Music Archive)

“Merry Christmas Mood” by Greg Lato (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year” by Rosie Thomas from “A Very Rosie Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Sing We Now of Christmas/Noël Nouvelet by Irene Nachreiner with her Latin Jazz Band from “A Hot & Spicy Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Give Me All Your Love at Christmas Time” by Nick Bukuvalas (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Set a Place at Your Table for a Zombie” by Debra Mann from Badgerland: Yuletide Entertainments (from the Free Music Archive)

“All I Want for Christmas” by Devyn Rose (from Mevio.com)

“Christmas is Coming” by Roger McGuinn  (from the Free Music Archive)

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells” by Kevin Zerbe

“What Child is This” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

“It’s Christmas Christmas Time” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Mano Reza from “Guitar for Christmas” (from Soundclick.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Joy Kinda Holiday-ish” by Charlie Crowe (from Mevio.com)

“Silent Night” by Nullsleep from “The 8bits of Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Gypsy Christmas Deck the Halls/Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Lee Alexander (from Mevio.com)

“Joy to the World” by Roger McGuinn  (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

Hamley’s Top Toys

About the White House Christmas tree from Pennsylvania

About the Capitol Christmas Tree from Minnesota

About Opryland’s Christmas plans

About Jim’s Tastee Freez Christmas in July

W.E.L.F.–An Elf Run Podcast

The Christmas Stocking Zazzle store

The Christmas Stocking International Zazzle store

93 New Year’s

For the final episode of 2013, we look at some random New Year’s traditions/customs.  Whenever you want to get in touch, just email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. The Christmas Stocking will be on social media throughout the year, including Google+Facebook, and Twitter (@XmasStocking).

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Last Day of the Year” by Reid Jamieson from “Songs for a Winter’s Night
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Happy New Year” by Ivor Game
Buy on iTunes

“Auld Lang Syne” by Roger McGuinn  (from the Free Music Archive)

Background music:

“Smooth Sailing” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

More information:

FatherTime’s.net has traditions from a whole ton of countries around the world.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac discusses New Year’s customs.

Of course, Wikipedia has info, too.

92 “Little Wolff’s Wooden Shoes” by François Coppée

It’s a good time for a Christmas story, so here you go. Find the Christmas Stocking on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Google+, and Facebook. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” by Eamonn McCrystal from “The Music of Christmas & Stories Behind The Songs
Buy the album

Background music:

Christmas Eve at Midnight (Small Town Square)” by Lee Rosevere from “A Happy Puppy Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

O Come, O Come Emmanuel / Greensleeves,” “O Holy Night,” and “Jingle Bells” by Simply Three from “A Simply Three Christmas”
Buy the CD from Simply Three
Buy from iTunes
Buy the mp3s from Amazon

“Deck the Halls with We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Doug Boldt (from Mevio.com)

More:

Read the story yourself thanks to Google Books.

91 Christmas Wreaths

Emma in the UK asked about the history of wreaths. Good question, Emma. Join us on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Thanks again for your gift, Emma! MyChristmasStocking.net, click “Contribute” at the top.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Song in the Air/Il Est Ne” by DeDe from “World of Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“To Drive the Cold Winter Away” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on Amazon.com

“Carol of the Bells” by Kevin Zerbe

More information:

Wikipedia has articles on the wreath in general and the Advent wreath in particular.

90 Christmas Toys 1950-1959

You may be surprised at how many of your childhood favorites, and maybe your children’s favorites, first showed up in the 1950’s. Don’t forget episode 79, which covers the first half of the 20th century.  You’ll find all the episodes at  MyChristmasStocking.net.  Join the parties on Twitter (@XmasStocking),  Google+, and Facebook. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Thanks to everyone who starts their Christmas (or any Amazon) shopping at Shop.MyChristmasStocking.net. You help the show a tiny bit and it doesn’t cost you a thing!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

A Christmas Story” by Kevin Dremel (from Mevio.com)

Background music: “12 Days of Christmas” by Oregon Chad (from Mevio.com)

Memory Box” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

Forbes had an article a few years ago about some of the biggest toys of the last 100 years.

Wikipedia has many good articles (too many to list here, but they’re easy to find).

89 The Christmas Pickle

Dave in Texas wanted to hear about the Christmas Pickle. It’s actually real! Sort of. Let me know what to talk about on Facebook, Twitter (@XmasStocking) and Google+. Or email your suggestions to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. All the episodes are at  MyChristmasStocking.net. Thanks to Dave in Arizona for your gift to the show! Go to Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net to give.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

Go Tell it on the Mountain” by Roger McGuinn (from the Free Music Archive)

Background music:

“Angels We Have Heard on High” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

Carol of the Bells” by Gato (from MacJams.com)

More information:

About.com does a good job of investigating the legend.

WhyChristmas.com boils it down.

Here’s Wikipedia’s article.

88 Hark! The Herald Merry Gentlemen

Find out about a couple of your favorite carols, plus a modern take on them. Are you curious about any carols? Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Lots more holiday music and more at MyChristmasStocking.net. Also find the Christmas Stocking on  Google+, Facebook, and Twitter (@XmasStocking).

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” by Groove for Thought from “Songs of Good Cheer”
Buy from Groove for Thought

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” by Alexis Cole featuring Mark Finkin from “The Greatest Gift”
Buy from Alexis Cole

Background music:

Hark the Herald” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

“God Rest You” by Kevin Zerbe

More information:

Wikipedia will tell you about “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” lyricist Charles Wesley and  his collaborator George Whitefield. Also “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen.”

Hear an alternate version of “Hark!” on a previous episode.

87 Christmas in Antarctica

How festive does it get on the bottom of the world? Find out in this episode. The Christmas Stocking is on Twitter (@XmasStockingGoogle+, and Facebook. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NETShare your childhood Christmas memory at MyChristmasStocking.net, click “Call Me.” It’s easy and free!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

In the Bleak Mid-Winter” by IKOS David Clifton & the Choirs of Peterborough Cathedral from “Christmas Carols and Songs
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“One Christmas Night” by Tommy Emmanuel from “All I Want for Christmas”
Buy on Amazon

“Xmas Fantasy/Silent Night” by Fran Dagostino (from MacJams.com)

More information:

Learn about McMurdo Station from Wikipedia.

See McMurdo Station for yourself on the USAP webcams. They also tell you the temperature and windchill. You might be surprised at how warm it is this time of year!

Learn about the culture in Antarctica, including the Christmas season.

Learn about Christmas in Antarctica from a semi-local (he’s there a few months per year).

Want to take a holiday tour of Antarctica?

86 Elf on the Shelf

An undercover elf who keeps an eye on the kids for Santa? Can it be true? Hey! I know an elf! I’ll get the scoop. Share your childhood Christmas memory at MyChristmasStocking.net, click “Call Me.” You can also find the Christmas Stocking on  Facebook, Twitter (@XmasStocking) and Google+. Email us TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Thanks to Emma in the UK for your generous gifts to the Christmas Stocking! Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

This Holiday Night” by Margo Rey (find her on Facebook and Twitter)
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music includes:

“Joy to the World” by Kevin Zerbe

“I Saw Three Ships”  by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

More information:

Of course I found a lot at their own ElfontheShelf.com, including all of the merchandise which can be bought right there.

Also, Wikipedia and a Washington Post article from a semi-convert.

To buy merchandise through Amazon.com & help the show a tiny bit, just click here.

85 Black Friday 2013

It’s a big shopping day, not the biggest, but one of them. When did the stores start calling it “Black Friday?” Join the family at Google+Facebook and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Email us TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. The home site is MyChristmasStocking.net, where you’ll find all of the episodes and how you can get on the show. And thanks to Nancy in Nebraska and Paul in the UK for your generous gifts to the Christmas Stocking. Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

December 26” by Todd Wright from “Imperfect Heart
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Happy Holiday” by Tigertail (from Mevio.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

More information:

The Visual Thesaurus has more on the modern usage of Black Friday.

Here’s more on the hot toys I told you about.

And some quality gifts for kids courtesy of HuffPost Parents.

What are the toys that Target and Toys “R” Us promoting?

84 Happy 150th Thanksgiving, America!

President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving, and it’s been going ever since.  Find out what’s happening in the Christmas Stocking on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Google+, and Facebook. The Email is TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. All the episodes and info on how to get on the show are at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

Christmas Crush” by Nicole Kehl from “‘Tis the Season” (from Mevio.com)
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Christmas Hymns [1917]” by Francis J. Lapitino from “Voices of Christmas Past”  (from the Free Music Archive)

“Xmas Fantasy/Silent Night” by Fran Dagostino (from MacJams.com)

More information:

More on Sarah Josepha Hale’s Thanksgiving campaign from History.com.

Read her letter to Abraham Lincoln that seemed to have convinced him.

Learn more about Sarah Josepha Hale from Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia.

All about Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from Macy’s itself.

83 The 7th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular!

Yay! It’s here! I timed this to arrive at the precise point you’re sick of summer. No? Too late? Sorry. Too early? Well, you can wait a bit; I’ll still be here. And I’ll be on  Google+, where we’ll hang out at least once or twice before Christmas, on Facebook and on Twitter (@XmasStocking).  Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply wish someone Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net. Thanks very much to everyone who’ve given at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Jingle Bells” by Skid Row from “Monster Ballads for Christmas”  (Razor and Tie) (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Christmas in Hawaii” by the Hot Rods from “Tiger Room presents The Hot Rods (It’s Christmas Time Again)” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Christmas All Year Long” by Darrell Smith from “Ordinary Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“O Come O Come Emmanuel” by IKOS featuring Dave Clifton from “Christmas Carols and Songs” (Little Room) (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy at Amazon

“Mr. Christmas” by Kristine W. from “Hey Mr. Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Christmas Time’s a Comin'” by Rusty Bladen from “Feels Like Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Greensleeves” by Lee Harris & the Tijuana Trumpets from “A Whole Lotta Santa” (from Mevio.com)

Background music:

“CHRISTMAS FINAL BOSS” by junior85 from “It’s Christmas Christmas Time” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version)” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“The Gloucestershire Wassail” by IKOS featuring Dave Clifton from “Christmas Carols and Songs” (Little Room) (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy on iTunes
Buy at Amazon

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” by Bing Futch (from MacJams.com)

“Up on the Housetop” by Paul Slocum from “The 8Bits of Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy on their site

“Chispas de Christmas (Club Mix)” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

More information:

Some cool, adventurous Christmas cruises.

More about Selfridges Christmas Emporium, with some nice photos.

All about Maddy’s Coloring for Christmas charity work in Missouri.

Learn about the Capitol Christmas Tree for 2013 here.

82 “The Three Kings” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I share with you the story of the Three Kings as told by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Find all the episodes on MyChristmasStocking.net. Make sure you’re following Twitter.com/XmasStocking, you have us on your Facebook News Feed, and the Christmas Stocking is on your Google+  home page. Thank you to everyone who’s given to the Christmas Stocking at Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Come, O Come Immanuel” by Richard Jensen from the EP “Carols”

Background music:

“We Three Kings” by Tommy Harden from “Peace On Earth” (IMI)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!” by Washington Saxophone Quartet from “Tis The Season Celebrate With WSaxQ” (Americus Records, Inc.)
More On This Album

“The Holly and The Ivy” by Washington Saxophone Quartet from “Tis The Season Celebrate With WSaxQ” (Americus Records, Inc.)
More On This Album

More information:

HWLongfellow.org has much about Mr. Longfellow, including the poem itself.

81 Rudolph’s Television Debut

Like his song, Rudolph’s introduction to TV was the product of relationships and proximity. Join us on Facebook, get lots of Christmas info on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and check us on Google+. Everything Christmas Stocking is on MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Waltz” by Tom Grant and Rebecca Kilgore from “Winter Warm” (Nu-Wrinkle Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer” by Tema Digital Media from “Instrumental Christmas” (Tema Digital Media)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“This Christmas Day (Hui Cox)” by Mary Starr, Hui Cox from “This Christmas Day” (TIK / MAGIC CITY RECORDS)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Winter Wonderful” by Tony Evans & His Orchestra from “I Love Christmas” (Tema International)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

The Archive of American Television interviewed Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Lots of Rudolph fans contributed to the Wikipedia article, it seems.

A full cast list and other tidbits can be found on IMDb.com.

Ifyou can’t get enough Rudolph or Rankin/Bass, you may enjoy the book, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Making Of The Rankin/Bass Holiday Classic. (Buying through this link will help the Christmas Stocking podcast; but there’s plenty to look at without buying).

80 Christmas in the Philippines

The Philippines celebrate Christmas like no other people. Learn some of the traditions.  All the show notes are at MyChristmasStocking.net. Follow the Christmas Stocking on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, Like us on Facebook, and circle us on Google+. Thank you Dave in Kansas for your generous gift.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Oh Holy Night” by Hangad from “Pasko Naming Hangad”

Background music:

“What Child Is This” by Marimba Quest from “Christmas Carnaval” (80-Minutes of Music/Talking Taco Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
Buy at Misrolas
More On This Album

“Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” by John Nilsen from “Heaven and Nature: Music of Christmas” (Magic Wing)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


More information:

CNN.com has a nice piece with pictures.

Learn more from Northern Illinois University.

Wikipedia has a pretty extensive article.

Instructions on building your own paról.

79 Toys for Christmas 1900-1950

A lot of the toys we loved when we were kids have been around a long time. We go back in time to look at some of the biggest. Get all the episodes and more on MyChristmasStocking.net. Lots going on at FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” by the Phoenix Quartet

Background music:

“Swinging Santa Claus” by Marc Reift Orchestra, Marc Reift from “Noris: White Christmas” (Marcophon)
More On This Album

“O Tannenbaum” by The Unified Jazz Ensemble from “Make a Joyful Noise” (Panda Digital)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Forbes had an article a few years ago about some of the biggest toys of the last 100 years, and Wikipedia has many good articles (too many to list here, but they’re easy to find).

78 Manger and Halls

The origin of a couple of carols and some great versions, too! Join us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingFacebook, and Google+.  MyChristmasStocking.net is the main site where you can get in touch and listen to all the episodes.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Away in a Manger” by Martha’s Trouble from “This Christmas” (ItsAboutMusic.com)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Deck the Halls” by the HoHoHos (aka the Juliettes) from “It’s the HoHoHos”
Buy the album at Bandcamp.com

“Deck the Sheds with Bits of Wattle” by Bucko and Champs from “Vol. 1-2-Aussie Christmas With Bucko & Champs”
Buy the CD at Amazon.com
 Buy at iTunes Music Store

Background music:

“Away In A Manger” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Lounge Jazz” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Deck The Halls” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Lounge Jazz” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has excellent info on both “Away in a Manger” and “Deck the Hall(s).”

77 Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland

By suggestion from Dominick, we travel to Frankenmuth, Michigan to visit the world’s largest Christmas store. Thank you Paul in the UK for your generous gift. Go to Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net if you’d like to give. Join the family on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+. All the episodes are at MyChristmasStocking.net, where you can also learn how to be on the show.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” by BYU Women’s Chorus from “Merrily on High: Celebration of Christmas (Live at BYU)” (BYU Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Silent Night” by Alice Gomez from “Christmas on the Mesa” (80-Minutes of Music/Talking Taco Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by John Nilsen from “Heaven and Nature: Music of Christmas” (Magic Wing)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


More information:

The Lansing State Journal writes often about the store.

Update 6/7/15: A profile of Bronner’s Click here to learn about CEO Wayne Bronner, and Click here for the fun facts about the store, both from Click here for MLive.com.

76 Canadian Christmas

For longtime listener Jeffery, the neighbors to our (the U.S.) north are the focus. Follow us on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+. Find all the episodes at MyChristmasStocking.net. Thanks, Diana in Ontario Canada for your generous gift to the Christmas Stocking. Go to Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net if you’d like to give.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Snowy White River” by Sofia Talvik

Background music:

“Il est né le divin enfant” by Washington Saxophone Quartet from “Tis The Season Celebrate With WSaxQ” (Americus Records, Inc.)
More On This Album

“The Huron Carol” by Vic Diesel (from MacJams.com)

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas-Harp and Strings” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

WhyChristmas.com has lots of good info, as does this article from Kaboose.com.

From Boston.com, learn about the tree Halifax, Nova Scotia, sends to Boston each year.

75 Charities at Christmas

A few innovative charities in this season of giving. Wish someone you love Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net by clicking the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Online communities are on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Welcome Home” by John Angotti from “Welcome Home For Christmas” (World Library Publications)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“The Christ Child’s Lullaby” by David Miller from “Quiet Christmas” (Clarity Sound & Light)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“The Christ Child’s Lullaby” by David Miller from “Quiet Christmas” (Clarity Sound & Light)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

The Brattleboro Reformer Christmas Stocking.

First Book.

The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree.

Trees for Troops.

74 Christkindlmarkts

They’re more popular than ever–and they’ve been around a long time!  Follow the show on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, circle the show on Google+ and like the show on Facebook. What does Christmas mean to you? Tell me atMyChristmasStocking.net by clicking the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“A Star Shall Rise Up Out of Jacob” by BYU Combined Choirs and Orchestra from “There Is a Star: Celebration of Christmas (Live at BYU)” (BYU Records)
More On This Album

Background music:

“In Dulce Jubilo” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“Ding Dong! Merrily on High” by Davyd Booth, Michael Stairs from “It’s Christmas Again At Longwood Gardens” (DTR)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has a lot to say about the markets.

Vancouver, Canada not only has a Christmas Market, they have a pretty good history of them, too.

73 Krampus

Not all of Christmas is sweetness and light. By request from Brian and Charlie from our Facebook posse, we focus on the Alpine sidekick of St. Nick, Krampus. Gahh! Wish your favorite someone Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net by clicking the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. The Christmas Stocking is also on Twitter.com/XmasStocking and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Gift of Giving” by Pamela Hines from “New Christmas” (SPiceRack Records)
More On This Album


Background music:

“Antagonist B” by Kevin Macleod (freepd.com)

“Circus Tent”“Movement Proposition” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Joy to the World” by Jim Edwards (from MacJams.com)

More information:

You can learn more about Krampus from this Etsy blog. And Wikipedia.

A few years ago, I talked about a similar set of Christmas characters. If you like Krampus, you’ll love the Yule Lads.

72 Black Friday and Christmas Shopping 2012

The shopping season is here. Some strategies for getting deals, some hot toys and the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. You’ll find the Christmas Stocking on Twitter.com/XmasStocking,  Facebook.  Let the world know what Christmas means to you. Call me privately from MyChristmasStocking.net using the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Coming Home” by The Sota Boys from “MistleFlow” (Distrophonix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” by Charles Afton from “The Reindeer Room II” (Kriztal Entertainment Group, Inc.)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“We Three Funky Kings” by  Jay Soto from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Predictions for the 2012 Christmas shopping season from smarter people than me (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

The logic behind the myth of the Black Friday deal.

The ins- and outs- of price-matching policies you need to watch out for.

The Toys ‘R’ Us 2012 Holiday Hot Toy List!

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book!

There have been Black Friday episodes in every season (6 of them! Plus one more where I talk a little about it!)

71 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2012

We look at the history of the biggest Thanksgiving parade in the country. It’s been six years since the last time we focused on it, so I figured let’s do it. Also the first Merry Christmas wish of the season from a listener! Call me privately from MyChristmasStocking.net using the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Show notes are now on the front page of MyChristmasStocking.net. Join the conversation on Facebook. Plenty happening on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, too. Thank you to everyone who has given to the Christmas Stocking this year. It’s been really helpful (info on that is at Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net).

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“It’s The Time” by The Chi-Lites from “Street Carols” (Street Gold Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Angels We Have Heard On High”  by Darren Rahn from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
 Buy at iTunes Music Store
 Buy at Amazon MP3
 More On This Album  

“Have Yourself A Merry Merry Christmas” by Tema Digital Media from “Instrumental Christmas” (Tema Digital Media)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Macy’s website will tell you all about the parade.

About.com has some great info if you’re going to the parade. MommyPoppins.com has even more.

Marching.com has a listing of…the bands. And how you can submit yours to be in a future parade.

Of course there’s a Wikipedia page!

If you really want to compare with the original (first!) episode you can.

70 Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular 6

From summer 2012: It’s not later than usual, but the summer’s been so crazy it feels like it. Especially if you’re in America’s heartland or bread basket.  We’ve been busy on Facebook and  Twitter (@XmasStocking). Also find us on  Google+, where we’ll hang out at least once or twice before Christmas. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Tell us what Christmas means to you or wish someone Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net. Thanks very much to everyone who’ve given at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Carol of the Bells”  by John Angotti from “Welcome Home For Christmas” (World Library Publications)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Mulberry Lane from “Christmas Spirit” (World Egg Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Eerayiram Aandugal Mun” by Uma Ramanan from “Happy Christmas Vol.1 & 2” (Unique Recording Co.)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“For Christmas’ Sake” by Sounds Of Blackness from “The Night Before Christmas 2” (Atomic K Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Little Drummer Boy” by etypejazz from “HOHO Volume Two” (Etype Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Sleigh Ride” by Tom Grant from “Santa Claus is Going to Town!” (Nu-Wrinkle Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“A Merry Christmas” by Marc Reift Orchestra, Prague Chamber Choir, Marc Reift from “Voices 6 Christmas Swing” (Marcophon)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Angels We Have Heard On High”  by Darren Rahn from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Away in a Manger” by Alice Gomez from “Native American Flute for Christmas (For Massage, New Age, Spa & Relaxation)” (Talking Taco Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“The Shepherds Of Argentina” by Marimba Quest from “Christmas Carnaval” (80-Minutes of Music/Talking Taco Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Joy to the World” by Moat Jumper from “Christmas at the Renaissance Fair”
Buy the song at iTunes Music Store 
Buy at Amazon.com

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful – Behold Him Medley” by Bob Baldwin from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

The Target/Neiman Marcus Christmas Collection.

The story of Furby’s return, and Furby’s website.

The official website of the Capitol Christmas Tree for 2012.

Christmas tours from the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Aaron Neville and Wynonna.

I mentioned the Rockettes, the Grinch at MSG, “A Christmas Story, The Musical” on Broadway.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Christmas music from Blake Shelton, Rod Stewart, Chris Mann, and Scotty McCreery.

Preorders are up for “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking” on Amazon.

69 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

From Christmas 2011: Merry Christmas! We know Rudolph’s story, more or less, but how did his story come to light?   We’re here all year on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net and keep coming back to MyChristmasStocking.net whenever you need some Christmas.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” by Sounds Of Blackness from “The Night Before Christmas 2” (Atomic K Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer” by Tema Digital Media from “Instrumental Christmas” (Tema Digital Media)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Jolly Old St. Nicholas/Jingle Bells” by Bill Cunliffe, Clay Jenkins, Larry Koonse, Joe La Barbera, Tom Warrington from “Snowfall” (Jazz Compass)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Joy to the World” by Bing Futch (from MacJams.com)

More information:

Snopes.com debunks a myth (that I don’t mention), and has lots of good info. And Wikipedia has even more.

68 “A Christmas Dinner” by Charles Dickens

From Christmas 2011: Mr. Dickens loved Christmas. He wrote about it a lot. And he’s credited with creating the modern Christmas. Today, an essay he wrote when he was just 23, where you can see some of the themes that would come out in his later, more famous work. Find more episodes and ways to get in touch at MyChristmasStocking.net. We’re also on Twitter.com/XmasStockingFacebook, and Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by 21 AD from “Christmas… A Winter’s Love”

Background music:

“Für Elise” by Lenny Marcus from “The Jazz of Beethoven”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Buy on CDBaby

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Lounge Jazz” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Coventry Carol” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

“Snowfall” by Bill Cunliffe, Clay Jenkins, Larry Koonse, Joe La Barbera, Tom Warrington from “Snowfall” (Jazz Compass)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

You can read “A Christmas Dinner” yourself.

67 “It’s a Wonderful Life”

From Christmas 2011: I had been planning to focus on this movie for a couple of years, and chose this year because it’s an anniversary year (65 years young!). But Jeff mentioned it on  Facebook, I think people have asked on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and Brian mentioned it in his note I read in the last episode (which he sent to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net). So it really is time. Other ways to get in touch with us are in the Contact Us tab on MyChristmasStocking.net where you can listen to episodes also. And circle the Christmas Stocking on Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx (conductor) from “Catholic Classics, Vol. 8: Christmas Classics” (GIA)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Gavin Sutherland  from “Piano Past Times Volume Three – The Christmas Album” (Campion Cameo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“One Christmas Night” by Tommy Emmanuel from “All I Want for Christmas”

“We Will Meet Again for Christmas” by Enrique Gil  (from MacJams.com)

“Sleigh Ride” by Tony Evans & His Orchestra from “Merry Christmas – Tony Evans” (Tema International)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

I found a lot of information on the movie on Wikipedia and IMDb.

If you’re thinking of heading to “the Real Bedford Falls,” Seneca Falls, NY, this site will fill you in on what’s going on. Big doin’s this year, of course.

If you’d like to buy “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” on Blu-ray or DVD, click the title to head to Amazon.

66 Three Ships & Wenceslas

Posted On December 13, 2011

Filed under Christmas, Episode, Holiday, Podcast, Xmas
Tags: , , ,

Comments Dropped leave a response

From Christmas 2011: “I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” are curious carols. Where did they come from? Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net or click Contact Us on MyChristmasStocking.net. You can also listen to episodes there, too. Add the Christmas Stocking to your circles on Google+, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” by We Three Kings from “The 12 Songs of Christmas”

Background music:

“In Dulce Jubilo” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“Bring the Torch, Jeanette Isabella” by Moat Jumper from “Christmas at the Renaissance Fair”
Buy the song at iTunes Music Store 
Buy at Amazon.com

“Good King Wenceslas and His Merry Band”  by US Air Force Airmen of Note from “Christmas Time Is Here”
(Altissimo!)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Get information on “I Saw Three Ships” from hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com and Wikipedia.

Get information on “Good King Wenceslas” from hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com and Wikipedia.

The organization Brian mentioned is Charity Newsies.

65 The WPIX Yule Log

From Christmas 2011: Ever since I discovered there was a period of time around Christmas Eve/Day that there was just a shot of a burning fireplace on TV, I’ve been fascinated. How did that happen? Introduce the show like Brian did at MyChristmasStocking.net and listen to some episodes, too. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net.  Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Join us on Facebook. And add the Christmas Stocking to your circles on Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Do You Hear What I Hear”  by Lisa McClowry from “Do You Hear What I Hear ” (World Stage International)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version)” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“Ode to Joy” by Lenny Marcus from “The Jazz of Beethoven”

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

More information:

Wikipedia teaches us both about the real Yule log and the television Yule Log.

You can learn much more about the WPIX Yule Log from the official fan site. Where can you find the original Yule Log this year? Or perhaps you’d just like to download it to your phone.

64 Caroling, Caroling

From Christmas 2011: By another great suggestion from Emma from the UK on our Facebook page, we track the development of going door to door singing Christmas songs. You can also communicate with us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking (plus get lots of holiday content). And add the Christmas Stocking to your circles on Google+. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net.  Go to MyChristmasStocking.net for all the episodes and much more.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“What Child Is This?” by The London Fox Singers from “Christmas Gospel Choir” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Edwin Hubbard, Prana from “Christmas Songs” (LocoBop)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Renaissance Dances” by The Revels Early Music Band and Parlor Ensemble, The Christmas Revels from “Welcome Yule – An English Christmas Revels” (Revels Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Deck The Halls (Instrumental)” by Christmas Karaoke from “Happy Holiday – Christmas Karaoke” (Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“I’ll be Home For Christmas” by Tony Evans & His Orchestra from “I Love Christmas” (Tema International)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


More information:

Time magazine discusses the history of caroling. About.com looks at the history of carols.

Wikipedia has a couple of good articles on carols, Christmas carols and a good article about wassailing.

63 Mistletoe

From Christmas 2011: Emma from our Facebook page suggested we talk about mistletoe, and it’s been a while, so…. Other ways to get in touch include Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Follow and talk to us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Add us to your circles on Google+. Call the show and share your Christmas memory or wish somebody Merry Christmas. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net. Click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“You Are My Christmas”  by Tim Mahoney, Kathy Mahoney from “Home for the Holidays – A Minnesota Christmas” (Tim Mahoney band)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Il est Ne, le Divin Enfant” by Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and other carols”

“Past Three O’ Clock” by Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and other carols”

“Northern Snow (Cori Ander)” by The Noel Project (from MacJams.com)

 More information:
HowStuffWorks.com has a couple of very interesting articles, here and here.

62 Toys For Tots

From Christmas 2011: The story of a great program that bring hope to kids in America. Call and introduce the show yourself. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net. Click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Add us to your circles on Google+. Join us on the Facebook page, too!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Rock ‘n’ Rolling Snowman” by Plastic Snow
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.co.uk
Watch the video

Background music:

“Christmas Day” by Pete Dooley (from MacJams.com)

“The Magic Of Christmas Time (Instrumental)” by Tommy Emmanuel from “All I Want for Christmas”

“Deck the Halls” by Lil Mom (from MacJams.com)

More information:

You’ll find the history of Toys for Tots and ways you can help at ToysforTots.org.

Thanks again, Tim, for the introduction! Tim has his own podcast, PageantCast, all about the world of beauty pageants.

The Festival of  Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge is on the BBC in Europe, BBC World Service and American Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio in the U.S.

61 Nativity Scenes

From Christmas 2011: Sarah from our Facebook page suggested we discuss Nativity scenes. Sarah has good ideas. You can also contact me via email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. You’ll find all the ways to get in touch at MyChristmasStocking.net. For example, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you, and you can wish Merry Christmas or share a Christmas memory. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And add us to your circles on  Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Mary” by J Grace from “Christmas Eve”
Buy at CD Baby

Background music:

“What Child is This” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“Away in a Manger” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” by Von Ives Orchestra from “Merry Christmas” (TMG)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Learn more about Nativity scenes from Wikipedia and the Catholic Education Resource Center.

Thanks again, Emma from the UK for your generous gift. To give to the Christmas Stocking, go to contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

60 Black Friday, Christmas Shopping Advice and Safety Tips 2011

From Black Friday 2011: It’s officially shopping day, even though the sales have been going on for a while.  Some shopping advice apps and more. Lots happening on our Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Circle the Christmas Stocking on  Google+. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And introduce the show yourself at MyChristmasStocking.net. Just click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“This Christmas” by The Elves of Heaven from “This Christmas EP” (Seaport Music Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Greetings in Space” by Pufferfisk from “Jul pa techno 2011 – Electronic Christmas Anthems” (Clubstream Mix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Winterprayer” by John Morgan, available on a CD of Christmas music. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

More information:

Thanks to Dead Air Radio, who introduced the show.

The Better Business Bureau’s tips are here.

Some Black Friday mobile apps from DealNews, Fat Wallet, and TGI Black Friday.

What should you avoid buying on Black Friday?

Thanks again to Anonymous for the gift. If you’d like to give to the Christmas Stocking, go to contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

59 Thanksgiving Potpourri

From Thanksgiving 2011: We return for our sixth year; I’m glad you’re here. Keep up with Christmas at  Twitter.com/XmasStocking and our Facebook page, and circle us on Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Call me from MyChristmasStocking.net, where you’ll find many more episodes, too.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“She’s Coming Home for X-mas” by The Beautiful Losers from “Peace, Love and Xmas” (Strawberry Hill Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background Music:

“Nasareth Homeboy”  by HÃ¥kan Lidbo from “Jul pa techno 2011 – Electronic Christmas Anthems” (Clubstream Mix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Amy Marie from “Simple Gifts” (Spiritwood Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Background on this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree.

If you’re interested in the Capitol Christmas tree you might be interested in its driver as it travels across the country. He’s a volunteer.

Check out this video of the Chicago tree being loaded on the flatbed truck.

Learn where the official White House tree for the Blue Room came from.

Find out more about James Taylor as Bob Cratchit.

Thanks again to Beth from North Carolina. If you’d like to give a gift to the Christmas Stocking, go to contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

58 Christmas Stocking Summer Spectacular Number 5

From summer 2011: Another hot summer means another music spectacular full of Christmas music. If you haven’t, please follow Twitter.com/XmasStocking,  and “Like” our Facebook page. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And share your Christmas memories or wish someone Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net. Just click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free. Thanks to everyone who’ve given. Click “Contribute” at the top of MyChristmasStocking.net to find out more.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Rock 4 XMAS Anthem (feat. Ira Black, Ron Keel & Terry Ilous)” by Ira Black from “Rock 4 XMAS, Vol. 3” (Tau)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“O Christmas Tree” by 21 AD from “Christmas… A Winter’s Love” (Lifestyles)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Mystery of the Midwest” by the Kathy Fleischmann Band from “A Bent Pussycat Xmas Vol. 3” (thanks to Ariel Publicity)

“Silent Night Revisited” by Joe Droukas from “Christmas is a State of Mind” (ItsAboutMusic.com)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Hot Christmas”  by Dr. Elmo from “Up Your Chimney” (Laughing Stock)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“While Shepherds Watch Their Flock by Night” by Mystified (from MacJams.com)

“The Christmas Song Song” by Rocky and Balls from the album “We Like Cake And Beards And Stuff”

Background music:

“Oh Christmas Tree (Salsa)” by BobbyRodriguez from “A Latin Jazz Christmas” (LatinJazz Productions)
 Buy at iTunes Music Store
 Buy at Amazon MP3
 More On This Album

“Xmas Fantasy/Silent Night” by Fran Dagostino (from MacJams.com)

“Cold Sun” by Yelena Eckemoff, Mads Vinding, Peter Erskine from “Cold Sun” (L & H Production)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”  by Bradley Leighton from “Holiday of Lights” (Pacific Coast Jazz)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“We Three Kings (Jazz Quartet)” by Donald Doyle (from MacJams.com)

“Joy to the World” by Jim Edwards (from MacJams.com)

More information:

All about the Capitol Christmas tree, from California to Washington.

I mentioned the Sears Christmas page. It’s hard to find, and it’s not as official as I’d thought. But they have some stuff.

If you want to see Harrod’s Christmas merch, here it is (no official page yet as of the release date).

If you’re looking for my weather forecast information, I was most impressed with this page and this page (part two of the first one). Accuracy not guaranteed.

Listener pages mentioned:

The online Christmas radio station I talked about.

Wayne’s Comics is the comics podcast I mentioned. It’s on this page with a pop culture podcast called sfp-now. Scroll down and you’ll find the comics one. Two for the price of one!

57 “A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clark Moore

From Christmas 2010: Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy it. Stay in touch on Twitter.com/XmasStocking and our Facebook page. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Other ways to communicate and a lot more are at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Santa’s On His Way” by The Pipettes
from “Santa’s On His Way”
(Fortuna POP)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

Background music:

“A Silent Night” by Bernd Rover (from MacJams.com)

“Christmastime” by illuminati (from MacJams.com)

“I Saw Three Ships” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Joemy Wilson from “Gifts – Traditional Christmas Carols”
(Dargason Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by TennesseeVic (from MacJams.com)

More info:

Several versions of the poem, including four published in the 19th century, are on Wikisource.org

56 About “A Visit From St. Nicholas”

From Christmas 2010: Travel with me to the busy workshop in the North Pole, where we discuss Clement Clark Moore’s classic work with a special guest! I love getting mail. Email’s good, too: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. All the ways to get in touch are at MyChristmasStocking.net. For instance, click the Call Me button and put in your phone number. My voicemail will call you. The Christmas Stocking’s Facebook page has a good group of people, so you’ll fit right in. And follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Coventry Carol” by The Noel Project (from MacJams.com)

Background music:

“Winter Whimsy” by Shay MacKay (from MacJams.com)

“Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee” by Von Ives Orchestra from “Merry Christmas”
(TMG)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia.com has an article about the poem and Clement Clark Moore himself, About.com’s Urban Legends page will tell you more about Moore and the poem. Even more on Mr. Moore (that never gets old) from merrycoz.org.

The New York Institute for Special Education is proud to have had Clement Moore on their board of managers.

The St. Nicholas Center discusses the poem and much more about St. Nick.

Donald Wayne Foster says Henry Livingston wrote the poem. Here’s his Wikipedia page, a New York Times article about his assertion and supporting evidence, a timeline supporting this view, and an excellent refutation by Stephen Nissenbaum from UMass.

55 Fruitcake

From Christmas 2010: Mmm, fruitcake! Not everyone has that reaction. So how has the fruitcake lasted so long? You’ll find out in this episode. What do you really want for Christmas? Let us know at MyChristmasStocking.net. Click the Call Me button and put in your phone number. My voicemail will call you.  Or you can email your answer to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net.  Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, too. C’mon by The Christmas Stocking’s Facebook page, also.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Utishmosya (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)” by Ruslana from “New Year and Christmas Songs”
(Comp Music Ltd)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells” by Kevin Ague from “A Solstice Night”

“Two Episodes from “Yolka” (The Christmas Tree), Op. 21″ by Anthony Goldstone from “Russian Piano Music, Vol. 2”
(Divine Art)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

TLC has a history, as do FoodTimeline.org, What’sCookingAmerica.com and Wikipedia.

54 Christmas in the Late 20th Century

From Christmas 2010: The world went from black and white TV just catching on to the internet beginning its domination, but did Christmas change very much? We travel down memory lane. Join us on The Christmas Stocking’s Facebook page! Lots happening. Lots going on at Twitter.com/XmasStocking, too. Not much time to tell the world your Christmas wish at MyChristmasStocking.net. Click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you.  Or email your answer to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“We Three Kings” by Pink Martini from “Joy to the World”
(Heinz Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

Background music:

“Surf’s Up Emmanuel” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

“Oh Holy Night” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

More information:

Retrohousewife.com goes back to Christmases in the 40’s to recent times. I’ll just link to the 50’s and you can go from there.

Some Christmas toys from the past. And more, from a slightly British perspective.

Here’s a Toys ‘R’ Us commercial from the 70’s. Here’s an M&M’s commercial from the 80’s. Much more warm and fuzzy than these days.

I could link to a bunch of Amazon pages that would help The Christmas Stocking, but I think this one from TopTenReviews will be easier for both of us. One fan’s opinions of the best of the 90’s doesn’t gibe with mine.

Wikipedia has a good list of Christmas hits from the 20th century.

53 Operation Christmas Child

From Christmas 2010: They’re fairly new, but already they’ve put smiles ong the faces of untold kids around the world. We’ll look at the good they do and the concerns about them. What do you want for Christmas? Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you privately and for free. I’m posting Christmas info on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and will reply if you message me. Come to our  Facebook page. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“The Cherry Tree Carol” by Magpie Lane from “Knock At The Knocker, Ring At The Bell” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“The Somerset Wassail” by Magpie Lane from “Wassail! A Country Christmas” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Christmas Medley Piano Solo” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Global Journey from “The Magic of Christmas”
(Global Journey)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Learn all about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child from the horse’s mouth. And here is their Facebook page.

Wikipedia has two sides of the story.

A recent story on an English primary school which pulled out.

A couple of DVDs with Christmas specials: Bing Crosby: The Television Specials Volume 2 and Bob Hope – Hope for the Holidays. Click from here when you buy and you’ll help out The Christmas Stocking.

52 “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

From Christmas 2010: I love the dancing twins, the pink aluminum Christmas tree, and everything else about A Charlie Brown Christmas. We go behind the scenes. Many ways to get involved. I post a ton of Christmas info on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and will reply if you message me. The  Facebook page is hopping, too. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And what do you want for Christmas? Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you privately and for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Sing Hallelujah (Christ Is Born of Mary)” by 1 Less Stone (from Soundclick.com)

Background music:

“The First Nowell” by David Shelley from “Christmas Sax – Seasonal Favorites With Smooth Jazz”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

More information:

Infoplease.com, MentalFloss.com, Wikia.com and, of course, Wikipedia.com have some more about the production.

Amazon has many DVD versions, including this one and the Holiday Collection, some Blu-rays (this is the most basic version) (oh–and this is the Holiday Collection Blu-ray), and you can download a digital copy.

The original ending of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

The Washington Post has an excellent overview of the special with an interview with Lee Mendelson. If only it had come out before this podcast!

51 Christmastowns, USA

From Christmas 2010: We tour the country for just a few of the communities with names inspired by, or sometimes just coincidentally named for, Christmas things. Tell us what you really want for Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private. Or email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Join us on Facebook. And follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” by The Victorian Singers from “Songs Of Good Cheer”
(Clarity Sound & Light)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

“I Saw Three Ships” by The Columba Minstrels from “Christmas – Celtic Traditions”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Here’s a nice master list of Christmassy towns.

Info on Christmas, MI, Santa Claus, IN (plus a little more, and even more), North Pole, AK, and Nazareth, PA.

You can get the Noel, MO, postmark on your cards.

Find out about the Santa Land ruins in Santa Claus, AZ.

50 Advent Calendars

From Christmas 2010: If Advent is all about the serious, Advent calendars are all about the fun. To be on the Christmas Stocking yourself, go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number.  My voicemail will call you for free. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and join our crew on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Santa In L.A.” by 21 AD from “Christmas… A Winter’s Love”
(Lifestyles)
More On This Album

Background music:

“Carol of the Birds” by Thomas Whitehouse (from MacJams.com)

“Angels We Have Heard on High” by Joemy Wilson from “Gifts – Traditional Christmas Carols”
(Dargason Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has some info.

Lego has a bunch of Advent calendars, including this latest one.

A couple of online Advent calendars are here and here.

And if you’re thinking of buying the $1 million Advent calendar, here’s more on it.

49 Christmas Shopping, Online Safety and Hot Toys

From Black Friday 2010: While you’re shopping, or getting ready to, check out the trends for 2010, and get some advice about how to be safe online this season. Lots happening on our Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And let us know what your deepest wish for Christmas is at MyChristmasStocking.net. Just click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Hip Hop Christmas” by Mark Mangold, Lyza Wilson and Elijah K.

Background music:

“We Wish You a Merry Synthmas” by the Genius Johnnies (from MacJams.com)

“Iron Horse” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Very Christmasy” by DJplaneten from “Jul PÃ¥ Techno – 9 Swedish Christmas Anthems”
(Clubstream Mix)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Jingle Bells” by Corky Hale from “Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas”
(LML Music)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Suggestions on where to shop online.

Gallup‘s survey on 2010 shoppers.

The 12 Scams of Christmas. Look out!

Here’s more on the hot toys for 2010.

48 Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade

From Thanksgiving 2010: Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade was also an American tradition thanks to television, in fact, for a while it was a world-wide tradition. We look at the history in the first episode of the fifth season. It’s easy to get in touch with me on the phone–go to MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; I will not learn your number. You can email me, TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   Join us on Facebook. And follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Joy To The World” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Rhythm & Blues”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Christmastime” by illuminati (from MacJams.com)

“Ridin’ the Yuletide” by The Woofers (from MacJams.com)

More information:

Click here for The Santa Claus Parade home page, with lots of info

Wikipedia has a good article on the parade, and Eaton’s, the original sponsor.

Parade broadcaster CityTV talked to the parade’s General Manager.

CanadaCool.com will give you some tidbits.

The Toronto Sun has a quick history, too.

47 4th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular

From summer 2010: It’s been a hot summer in some places, a cool one in others (like mine). Either way, we still need some Christmas, right? This is a pretty summery episode, I think. Lots more Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net, on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and on Facebook.  Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. You can also get in touch by phone, see pictures and videos and more at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Sandy Claws” by Allen Dean (from MacJams.com)

“Christmas Boat” by the Woofers (from MacJams.com)

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sandra Nordstrom from “Another Silent Christmas” (BT ENTERTAINMENT)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“All I Want for Christmas is a Funky Brass Band” by Phat2sDay from “Ambassador From N’Awlins” (Sound of New Orleans / LocoBop)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

“Best Little Christmas” by Don McAvoy & the Great Whatever from “Peace, Love & Scrapple”

Buy the CD at their website

“The Christmas Goose” by The Oxford Waits from “Hey For Christmas”  (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby from “Bing Crosby Christmas” (Spectra Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“White Christmas Uke Style” by Martin Leroy (from MacJams.com)

“Oh Christmas Tree (Salsa)” by BobbyRodriguez from “A Latin Jazz Christmas” (LatinJazz Productions)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” by Arturo Stalteri from “Flowers” (Materiali Sonori)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Twitter.com/XmasStocking has all the links.

46 Tournament of Roses Parade

From Christmas 2009: For over 120 years, Pasadena, California, has been where it’s at on New Year’s morning. Learn a little something, and hear one more Christmas tradition. Get in touch with me on the phone by going to MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; I will not learn your number. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   Join us on Facebook. And follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:
“What Are You Doing for New Year’s Eve” by Rick Dempsey, The Deanna Bogart Band from “Home Run Holiday” (Vista)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Shoot ‘Em In The Pants” by The Christmas Jug Band from “On The Holiday Highway” (Globe Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Joy to the World / The Gift” by Al Petteway & Amy White from “Winter Tidings: An Appalachian Christmas” (Maggie’s Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Auld Lang Syne” by Pittsburgh Symphony Brass from “A Song of Christmas” (Four Winds Entertainment, Inc.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

The Tournament of Roses website has everything you need to know if you’re thinking of attending sometime.

Wikipedia has a nicely organized history, including a list of all of the Grand Marshals.

45 Boxing Day

From Christmas 2009: The day after Christmas means more shopping for many Americans. But for those who celebrate Boxing Day…okay, it means more shopping for them, too. But there’s even more to it! Have a suggestion for the ChristmasStocking?  Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so nobody will know where the call came from. Or get in touch on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Or Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Good King Wenceslas and His Merry Band” by  US Air Force Airmen of Note from “Christmas Time Is Here” (Altissimo!)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


Background music:

“Breakin’ Up Christmas” by Al Petteway & Amy White from “Winter Tidings: An Appalachian Christmas” (Maggie’s Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Snopes.com disabuses my impression of Boxing Day and gives some info.

Kaboose.com has a little Q&A on the topic.

And of course Wikipedia is full of knowledge.

44 Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

From Christmas 2009: The New York Sun may no longer be around, but this editorial may live forever. A little background about the editorial and Virginia, and of course we will hear it, too. If you’d like to be on the Christmas Stocking, go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number.  My voicemail will call you for free. Join us on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“The Christmas Song” by Stacey Kent from “The Christmas Song” (Candid Productions)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Randy Klein from “Here Comes Santa Claus” (Rock Candy Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Simple Gifts” by Amy Marie from “Simple Gifts” (Spiritwood Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album


“Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” by  Berlin Symphony Orchestra from “Christmas Remixed 2” (Christmas Chill)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Read the editorial for yourself on Wikipedia

43 Christmas in Ireland

From Christmas 2009: A Mini Irish Christmas Music Spectacular! Info, music and Christmas traditions from a listener who emailed TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. You can be on the Christmas Stocking. Just go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number.  My voicemail will call you for free, and you can mark your number private. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

Mrs. Fogharty’s Christmas Cake” by Darby O’Gill (from Soundclick.com)

Children Go Where I Send Thee” by Darby O’Gill (from Soundclick.com) An African-American spiritual they say is based on an ancient Irish patter song.

“Silent Irish Night” by Rebsie Fairholm (from MacJams.com)

Background music:

Christmas Day in the Morning” by Shira Kammen (from Magnatune)

“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by Monika Herzig from “Peace on Earth” (Owl Studios)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Santa’s Net, Kaboose.com, and WhyChristmas.com all have cool tidbits.

42 Handel’s “Messiah”

From Christmas 2009: This one is for you, Mom! Find out some background on “Messiah” by Handel, and listen to a couple of snippets, including the Hallelujah Chorus. You can be on the Christmas Stocking. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private. Join us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:
“For Unto Us A Child Is Born (from Messiah by G.F. Handel)” by  Oregon Bach Festival Choir & Orchestra from “The Life Of Christ: The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus in music” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Hallelujah Chorus” by The Choir & Orchestra of Pro Christe from “Christmas Traditions-20 Treasured Songs of the Season Performed in Classic Styles” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Sinfonia (from Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 by J.S. Bach)” by Bach-Collegium Stuttgart from “The Life Of Christ: The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus in music” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Snowfall” by Michael Allen Harrison from “Snowfall” (MAH Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Not surprisingly, GFHandel.org has a nice overview of the creation of “Messiah.”

Also not surprisingly, Wikipedia does, as well.

41 The Yule Lads

From Christmas 2009: What could be scarier than Scrooge’s ghosts? The Yule Lads could be! By suggestion from Megan on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Email me at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And you can wish someone Merry Christmas or share your Christmas memory at MyChristmasStocking.net. Just click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:
“Oh Come All Ye Faithful” by  Sirens from “River City Christmas” (Arbor Records Ltd.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Highway to Wenceslas” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)


“Christmas Time is Here” by Thomas Marriott, Bill Anschell, Jeff Johnson, John Bishop from “The Cool Season – An Origin Records Holiday Collection, Vol. 2” (Origin Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

About.com has a personal reflection on the Yule Lads, with lots of info.

Of course, Wikipedia has an article full of history.

40 Moravian Christmas

From Christmas 2009: Sharyn from California suggested we look at the Moravian-American Christmas traditions. Good suggestion. She emailed me at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. You can also use your phone. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so I won’t know where the call came from. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Herald Angels” by The Oxford Waits from “Hey For Christmas” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“The Christmas Holiday, Or Stuff Your Guts” by The Oxford Waits from “Hey For Christmas” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Joy To The World” by Global Journey from “The Magic of Christmas” (Global Journey)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Corky Hale from “Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas” (LML Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Katie Tucker, a Moravian, wrote an essay on their traditions.

The Moravian and the Amish communities mingle in Pennsylvania, and so have some traditions. The Washington Post points out Moravian stars and more in Bethlehem, PA.

And, of course Wikipedia has articles on the Moravian Church in America, the Moravian star, and the Lovefeast, and of course you can dig even deeper than that.

39 Christmas Seals

From Christmas 2009: Most of us probably know why we put Christmas Seals on our envelopes and packages, but do you know where they came from? You will. We want to hear you, not just from you. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so nobody will know where the call came from. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Wake Up, It’s Christmas!” by Peter Combe
Buy at AmazonMP3
Buy at CD Baby

Background music:

“O Holy Night” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Guitar” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

 

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by Monika Herzig from “Peace on Earth” (Owl Studios)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

To get your Christmas Seals or just donate to the American Lung Association, go here. The ALA has a decent history of the Seals, though glossing over some details.

The University of Virginia Health System’s Claude Moore Health Sciences Library site has a more comprehensive history, as does Wikipedia.

38 Advent and Christmas Trees 2009

From Christmas 2009: The season of Advent has been around for a long time, but it has not always been the same. Share your family’s Christmas Eve/Christmas Day traditions at MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so it won’t be revealed. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“People Look East” by Al Petteway & Amy White from “Winter Tidings: An Appalachian Christmas” (Maggie’s Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” by The London Fox Players from “A Peaceful Christmas” (Classic Fox Records)
More On This Album

“Pannonian Christmas” by Mike Collins from “Desert Anthem” (Talus Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has a nice overview of Advent.

CRI/Voice, Institute, an ecumenical ministry has its own perspective of Advent.

Advent from a Catholic perspective in the online Catholic Encyclopedia.

37 Black Friday and Jingle Bells

From Christmas 2009: Shopping looks to be a bear this season; maybe we can tame it a little. Wish someone Merry Christmas on the phone at MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so it won’t be revealed. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Jingle Bells” by Lisa Loeb from “Kids’ Club – Holiday Fun Volume 1” (Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Deck the Halls (feat. Di Johnston)” by Undercover Christmas from “Undercover Christmas: Chapter One” (Undercover Culture Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“The Holly and the Ivy” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

“We Three Kings II” by BuddahBoy (from Soundclick.com)

More information:

Many Black Friday sites are out there. BlackFriday.info is one I check, since I like things basic.

This is a corporate-looking CyberMonday.com site, but it has information.

Search my tweets on Black Friday, shopping and retail by checking this page, entering one of those words and putting XmasStocking in the “From” box.

If you want more on Jingle Bells, including the missing verse, Wikipedia will tell you.

36 Small Town Parades

From Thanksgiving 2009: The Christmas season has returned, and we look at smaller parades around the country. There is a new way to call the Christmas Stocking. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so it won’t be revealed. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:
“Season of Joy” by Sounds Of Blackness from “The Night Before Christmas 2” (Atomic K Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:


“Christmas Morn (Stop! Stop! Stop!)” by Jeff Tincher from “Well… Where’s The Presents?” (NiteLife Music)
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“I Saw Three Ships” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

More information:

It may seem like I exhausted the parade list, but this is only the tip of the iceburg. Wikipedia has a list that isn’t exhaustive, either, but if you want to explore….

More on the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

A list of holiday events in Chicago, including the McDonald’s Parade which has already happened.

See what Target has cooked up for Holidazzle 2009 in Minneapolis.

Find more articles I tweeted using this search page. Enter XmasStocking in the “From” box, and “Parade” in the Words box.

35 3rd Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular

Posted On July 31, 2009

Filed under Christmas, Episode, Holiday, Xmas
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