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.

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Featured music:

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

Background music:

“Waltz of the Flowers” by William Arnold from “Expedition: Nutcracker Suite” (from Noisetrade)
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“Trepak (Russian Dance from the Nutcracker)” by Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven from “A Little Love This Christmas”
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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.

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20 The Nutcracker

From Christmas ’07: A ballet that is almost synonymous with Christmas, the Nutcracker was not a favorite of Mr. Tchaikovsky, although it grew on him. You’ll find out more and hear some music from The Nutcracker Suite in this episode. Comment at MyChristmasStocking.net, email me at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Thanks, Melissa, for calling and wishing your family Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas to you!

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Background music:

“Nutcracker Overture” by Music Box Archives (from Soundclick.com)

“Deck the Halls” by Herbie Flowers, Mike Hatchard (from “Christmas Jazz – Colourful Interpretations Of Christmas Favorites”)
(Classic Fox Records)
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More On This Album

Featured music:

“March” from “Nutcracker Suite Op. 71 Pt. 2” by the Goose Creek Bands (from Soundclick.com)

More information:

BalletMet Columbus (OH) has a comprehensive history of the ballet.

Wikipedia.com has some good information on both Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and the original story.

Ballet Minnesota has a timeline of the ballet’s development.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the plot.

2 Black Friday

From Christmas ’06: The most anticipated shopping day of the year for many shoppers, the most dreaded for others, and for retail employees: Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. What’s up with such a forboding name for such a fun day? We’ll get into that and more on the Christmas Stocking. What is the coolest, wildest gift you’re giving a loved one this year? Let me know! The music’s a bit crazy this time, just like the day. Comment at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

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Background music includes:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies by Molly Pauken and Rob Brumfiel from the album “Six String Christmas”

Brooklyn Christmas by Peter S. Quinn (from GarageBand.com)

Featured song:

Christmas Hopes and Joy by Black Turtle