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.

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Featured music:

“Song in the Air/Il Est Ne” by DeDe from “World of Christmas”
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Background music:

“To Drive the Cold Winter Away” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
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“Carol of the Bells” by Kevin Zerbe

More information:

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

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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)
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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.

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)
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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.

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.

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.

6 The Holly and the Ivy

From Christmas ’06: Sure, holly and ivy are pretty, but what do they mean? We look at that and mistletoe and poinsettias, too, in this edition of the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“Pat-a-Pan” by the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir (from Columbia, South Carolina, music from GarageBand.com)

“Silent Night” by Michael Silvestri (from the album “Christmas In New England – Guitar Celebrations For The Holidays”, on ItsAboutMusic.com)

Featured songs:

“The Holly and the Ivy” and “Carol of the Bells” by the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir

3 O, Christmas Tree

From Christmas ’06: The centerpiece of holiday decorating is the Christmas tree. Why do we bring a tree inside the house and put pretty baubles on it? Where did that tradition come from? We’ll answer those questions and more on the Christmas Stocking. Comment atMyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“Deck the Halls” by Technohazard (from GarageBand.com)

“O Christmas Tree,” one of Patricia’s Christmas Carols (from Soundclick.com)

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by John Morgan, available on a CD of Christmas music. I found it at  feelslikechristmas.com

Featured song:

“Holy Night” by Sandra Mooy

If you want to learn more about Christmas trees:

The National Christmas Tree Association has a lot of information, including tree maintenance.

Wikipedia has a decent history, too, although it has a lot of opinions sprinkled in the information.