120 The National Christmas Center

We travel to Pennsylvania Dutch country to visit a regional favorite. Thanks for the suggestion, Steven! He wrote to TopElf@MyChristmasStocking.net to suggest it. Join us on Facebook, where I’m posting some Live Video among other stuff, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), where I’m posting news and other Christmas links, and Pinterest and Google+, where I post about the show. I want your voice on the show! Call (323) 487-12-25 and explain what Christmas IS to you. Explore MyChristmasStocking.net for over 100 other episodes.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“December Daze” by Janet Devlin from the EP “December Daze”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

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

“Christmastime” by illuminati (from MacJams.com)

More information:

The National Christmas Center website has pretty much everything you need to know.

The Reading, PA, Eagle talked to the founder and owner of the National Christmas Center, Jim Morrison in 2015.

Travel sites Discover Lancaster, Visit PA, and Roadside America have more info if you want to visit.

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117 Getting Your Eats on for Thanksgiving and Christmas

What do you eat for the holidays? What’s common? What’s special to regions and families? And a phone call at (323) 487-12-25. You should call! Or email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. Tell the world what Christmas IS to you. Lots more Christmas Stocking on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Facebook, and Google+. Find all the episodes, show notes and links at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmastime”Buy on iTunesBuy on Amazon

Background music:

Wish Background” by Kevin McLeod (from Incompetech)

“The Holly and the Ivy” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells” (from Noisetrade)

More information:

As you might expect, Wikipedia has a large article about Thanksgiving dinner.

Foodtimeline.org goes through the history of Thanksgiving meals in North America, all the way back to Native American traditions.

The University of Southern California’s Annenberg Media Center has a history of the Thanksgiving feast of their own.

Sports and political data site FiveThirtyEight had an unscientific look at what different regions of America eat at Thanksgiving.

Lonely Planet has a similar take on regional Thanksgiving foods in the U.S.

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” (from Noisetrade)

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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.

32 Christmas in the Early 20th Century

From Christmas 2008: A lot happened in the first half of the 20th century, and we look at how Christmas was affected. More at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And join us on Facebook. And talk to me be on MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button, and my voicemail will call you.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Jingle Bells” by Joe Williams from “Christmas Remixed 2”
(Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

Background music:

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Jeffrey Scot Wills from “A Central Standard Christmas”
(IMI)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Noel Nouvelet/Patapan Medley” by Sarah Whitely (from MacJams.com)

More information:

The Antique Christmas Lights Museum has information.

History.com has details on the Christmas Truce of 1914.

Wikipedia has a list of Christmas hit singles.

28 Christmas Cards

From Christmas 2008: You send them, you receive them (if you send them), but do you know where they came from? You will, in the latest episode of The Christmas Stocking. More at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.  Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And join us on Facebook. And talk to me be on MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button, and my voicemail will call you.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” by Jeff Oestreich (from GarageBand.com)

Background music:

“A Christmas Festival” by the Goose Creek Bands (from Soundclick.com)

More information:

Ideafinder.com has a good history.

Of course, Wikipedia has a page on Christmas cards, too.

22 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

From Christmas ’07: The most famous ghost story is also one of the most famous Christmas stories, and we look at the story behind the story. Tell us your Christmas story at MyChristmasStocking.net, email me at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” by Frank McConnell (from “Christmas Guitar – Warm And Intimate Christmas Favorites”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Herbie Flowers, Mike Hatchard (from “Christmas Jazz – Colourful Interpretations Of Christmas Favorites”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

Featured music:

“Christmas Song” by Greener (from “Christmas Song”)
(Two Lions Media, Inc.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Buy at Amazon
More On This Album

More information:

Here’s a closer look at the story of A Christmas Carol.

Pastor Mark D. Roberts loves the story and goes in-depth with Dickens’s influence.

Here’s a nice overview of Charles Dickens’s influence on Christmas.

Wikipedia.com‘s biography of Mr. Dickens.

If you’re ever in London, you might want to visit the Charles Dickens Museum.

17 Victorian Christmas

From Christmas ’07: A lot of what we know as Christmas came from the Victorian era, and some earlier traditions that we enjoy today were revived in the Victorian era. Tell us your favorite traditions at MyChristmasStocking.net. Or email me at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“O Little Town Of Bethlehem” by The Columba Minstrels (from “Christmas On The Back Porch- 20 Treasured Songs of the Season performed in Simple Folk styles”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” by Eric Wyse (from “Christmas Angels- 20 Treasured Songs of the Season Performed In Peaceful Styles”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

“We Three Kings Of Orient Are” by London Fox Players & Tim Mather (from “20 Christmas Party Favorites”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

Featured music:
“I Saw Three Ships” by The Choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor (from “Cathedral Christmas”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

“Love Came Down At Christmas” by Chichester Cathedral Choir (from “20 Choral Christmas Favorites”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

More information:

The official web site of the British monarchy has an excellent history.

Stuart Buchanan MacWatt writes about the personal side of Victoria and her family’s approach to Christmas.

As mentioned in the episode, a link to the holiday store windows of the past from Victoriana.com.

A nice overview of Christmas in Victorian times.

10 Santa Claus and the Christmas Stocking

From Christmas ’06: Santa is coming soon, and one of his Christmas elves, Norman, spills some secrets about him! Plus, a great barbershop version of “Jingle Bells.” MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

Birth to the Savior by Rejoice (from GarageBand.com)

“Jingle Bells” (mp3) by Chris Goddard from “An Acoustic Christmas with Chris Goddard” Milomix Productions

Featured song:

“Jingle Bells” by the Groove Barbers from “Kids’ Club – Holiday Fun Volume 1” (a compilation featuring many artists, including Lisa Loeb)
Rock River Music

9 Christmas Shopping

From Christmas ’06: Plenty of music this time. And perhaps the craziest part of the Christmas season is the shopping. How long have we been doing it and how much of it will we be doing it are questions answered on the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET .

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells” by Jennifer Haines I found it on Music.Download.com (now last.fm)

“Good King Wenceslas” by Karl Frederick Grossman (from GarageBand.com)

Featured songs:

“Joy to the World” and “Coventry Carol” by the Joy to the World!! Christmas Quartet (from GarageBand.com)

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir

8 A Middle Ages Christmas

From Christmas ’06: How was a Middle Ages Christmas different? For one thing, no one got an iPod. Find out how they celebrated way back when on 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:

“What Child is This” by Stephen Bashaw. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

“Jingle Bells” by The R&R Project (from GarageBand.com)

Featured songs:

“A Pirate’s 12 Days of Christmas” by Gastronomical Unit (from GarageBand.com)

5 The Feast of the Nativity (Early Christmas)

From Christmas ’06: Christmas has not always been a shopping fest. When did people start celebrating the birth of Christ in December (or so)? Why this time of year? Find out in the Christmas Stocking.MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“The First Noel” by Linda Gentille from “A Gentille Christmas”
SnailWorx

Featured songs:

“E-mail From Nigeria” by Dr. Elmo from “Hip Hopped Grandma”
Laughing Stock

“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Dr. Elmo
from “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
Laughing Stock

The History Channel website has a lot of great Christmas information.

You can find out a lot at Wikipedia.org, too.

1 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

From Christmas ’06: Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade really sets the tone. Find out where Thanksgiving Day Parades started and relive the history of the big one–Macy’s in New York. Also enjoy some great holiday music! Comment at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

1) Deck the Halls by John Morgan, available on a CD of holiday music. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

2) Birth to the Savior by Rejoice (from GarageBand.com)

Featured song:

The Santa Claus Rock by Howard Pearlman