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. 

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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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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)
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“Snowfall” by Michael Allen Harrison from “Snowfall” (MAH Records)
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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.)
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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)
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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)
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“The Christmas Holiday, Or Stuff Your Guts” by The Oxford Waits from “Hey For Christmas” (Beautiful Jo)
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Background music:

“Joy To The World” by Global Journey from “The Magic of Christmas” (Global Journey)
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“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Corky Hale from “Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas” (LML Music)
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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.

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)
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Background music:

“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” by The London Fox Players from “A Peaceful Christmas” (Classic Fox Records)
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“Pannonian Christmas” by Mike Collins from “Desert Anthem” (Talus Music)
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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.

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.

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)

7 Christmas in Asia

From Christmas ’06: All kinds of people celebrate Christmas all over the world! We travel around Asia 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:

“Oh Holy Night” by Chris Goddard (from “An Acoustic Christmas with Chris Goddard”)Milomix Productions

Featured songs:

“Christmas Stocking 1969” by Heather Sullivan (from GarageBand.com)

For more about Christmas in Asia:

An article from the Christian Science Monitor.

Info about east Asia.

Info about south Asia.

Wikipedia looks at Christmas in Asia. And Christmas customs in the Philippines.

And a bit more about the Philippines.

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

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.

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.

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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.

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