132 Christmas in the Caribbean

On our Facebook page, Richie suggested I talk about this. Good suggestion! The Christmas Stocking is also on Twitter (@XmasStocking) and Pinterest. Thank you for the gifts sent through MyChristmasStocking.net/contribute. They are a big help and make me feel good! Be on the show! Call (323) 487-12-25. What_is_ Christmas to you? You can also send your response to TopElf@MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“The Virgin Mary” by Lara Landon from the EP “Christmas“(from Noisetrade)
Buy on iTunes
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Background music:

“Ipanema Holiday” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” 
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Little Peace at Christmas” by Philip (Squire Tuck) Rougier  (from the Free Music Archive)

A Ukulele for Christmas (instrumental)” by Lee Rosevere (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

Believe it or not, CheapCaribbean.com has a lot of information.

You’ll find more traditions at News Americas.

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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.

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.

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

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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).”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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