130 The Rockefeller Christmas Tree 2017: From PA to NYC

Learn the story of this year’s Rock Center tree–it’s an interesting one! Thanks to everyone who’s given to the show at MyChristmasStocking.net/contribute. If you want to be on the show, call (323) 487-12-25, tell what Christmas is to you, say Merry Christmas to someone you love, or whatever! Join us on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Pinterest.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” by David and Deidre Casey from the album “Imagine It’s Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“O Tannenbaum” by Dan Lerch from the album “Badgerland: A Very Badgerland Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

“O Holy Night” by Mark Bodino from “My Favorite Christmas Guitar Songs All Year Round
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Mark Bodino from “My Favorite Christmas Guitar Songs All Year Round
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“O Christmas Tree” by Mark Bodino from “My Favorite Christmas Guitar Songs All Year Round
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Carol of the Bells” by the California Guitar Trio from the album “A Christmas Album
Buy their music here

More information:

The Today Show, of course, has some of the story.

CBS New York has the story from 1010 WINS, including an interview with the tree donor.

Newsday’s AM New York has some secrets of the Rockefeller Christmas tree.

To hear all of the episodes that mention the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (I think), go to RockCenter.MyChristmasStocking.net

 

 

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127 The Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular Number 11

Another year we need a bit of escape from the world. That’s what I’m here for–in the summer, at least.  The Christmas Stocking is on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Pinterest. Please join me! Thanks to everyone who has given to the Christmas Stocking! MyChristmasStocking.net/contribute. Call (323) 487-12-25 and say Merry Christmas to someone you love, you could hear it this season!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Snow” by Sleeping at Last from the album “Yearbook – Collection”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“O Come O Come Emmanuel” by NiTasha Jackson from the collection “Transcending Christmas: A Beautiful Journey from Heaven to Earth” (from Noisetrade)
Click here to get the album

“Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming” by Found Wandering from the album “On a Christmas Night”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Where Angels Don’t Belong” by David and Deidre Casey from the album “Imagine It’s Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“O Holy Night” by Philip Calder from the collection “Transcending Christmas: A Beautiful Journey from Heaven to Earth” (from Noisetrade)
Click here to get the album

“Angels We Have Heard on High (Glory to God Most High)” by Stephen Miller from the EP “Light Has Broken Through” (from Noisetrade)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Two Birds” by Katey Laurel from the double album “This is Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“To Absent Friends This Christmas” by Philip (Squire Tuck) Rougier from the EP “A Festive Felicitations” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Bringing Joy at Christmas” by Philip (Squire Tuck) Rougier from the EP “A Festive Felicitations” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”by the California Guitar Trio from the album “A Christmas Album
Buy their music here

“Christmas Card” junior85 from the album “It’s Christmas II” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Christmas Bells” by Philip Gardner (from MacJams.com)

More information:

Top toys for 2017 and more top toys for 2017.

The Capitol Christmas Tree 2017 website

108 Christmas Trees: Real vs. Artificial

Whether real or artificial, Christmas trees are a symbol of the season. Which is better for you? Come to MyChristmasStocking.net for more episodes. Another question: What are you doing for Christmas? What is  your favorite Christmas memory? Call (323) 487-12-25.  Or email it to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. Join us on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“My Christmas Wish” by Doreen Taylor
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“O Christmas Tree 2007” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“O Tannenbaum” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.com

More information:

Earth911 weighs the pluses and minuses of both choices.

So does ZME Science.

NPR has a look at the tension between the two types.

The History Channel has a history of Christmas trees. 

So does the Christmas Stocking. Way back in 2006. Episode 3!

Wikipedia relates the history of the artificial tree, and the types.

The Boston Globe discusses what it takes to grow a natural tree.

105 The 9th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular

The promo said it and it’s still true: it’s the summer, so it’s time to enjoy some holiday music.  Everything I talked about is on my Twitter feed @XmasStocking. And make sure you join our Facebook  and Google+ communities! All the episodes, Christmas Stocking merch and more are at MyChristmasStocking.net. And tell me your Christmas plans or Christmas memories–or wish someone Merry Christmas at (323) 487-1225.  Or email it, along with music and show ideas, to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET,

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Jingle Bell Swing” by Mark Smeby from “En attendant Noël…” (from the Free Music Archive) and “Christmas”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Seth and Betsy from the “Christmas” EP (from Noisetrade)

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Peter Furler featuring David Ian from “Peter Furler Christmas featuring David Ian”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“West Coast” by The Connection from the album “A Christmas Gift for”
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

“We Three Kings/O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Groove for Thought from “Songs of Good Cheer”
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“Angels We Have Heard On High” by Evan Wickham from the EP “Christmas Music Vol. 1” (from Noisetrade)
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

“Blood Oranges in the Snow” by Over the Rhine from “Even The Snow Turns Blue: An Over the Rhine Christmas Compilation” (from Noisetrade) and “Blood Oranges in the Snow”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Cumbia de Tannenbaum (Club Mix)” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (I found it on Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Xmas Medley by Gina and Kev” by Gina Kellenberger andby Kevin Zerbe

“xmas songs plastic sputnik arcade punk remix” by Hally from “The 8bits of Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Decking the Halls in 1966” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (I found it on Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Joy to the World” by Bing Futch (from MacJams.com)

“Goodbye Charles” by Over the Rhine from “Even The Snow Turns Blue: An Over the Rhine Christmas Compilation” (from Noisetrade) and “Snow Angels”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Hamley’s top toys for Christmas 2015

The official site for the Capitol Christmas Tree 2015

70 Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular 6

From summer 2012: It’s not later than usual, but the summer’s been so crazy it feels like it. Especially if you’re in America’s heartland or bread basket.  We’ve been busy on Facebook and  Twitter (@XmasStocking). Also find us on  Google+, where we’ll hang out at least once or twice before Christmas. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Tell us what Christmas means to you or wish someone Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net. Thanks very much to everyone who’ve given at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Carol of the Bells”  by John Angotti from “Welcome Home For Christmas” (World Library Publications)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Mulberry Lane from “Christmas Spirit” (World Egg Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Eerayiram Aandugal Mun” by Uma Ramanan from “Happy Christmas Vol.1 & 2” (Unique Recording Co.)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“For Christmas’ Sake” by Sounds Of Blackness from “The Night Before Christmas 2” (Atomic K Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Little Drummer Boy” by etypejazz from “HOHO Volume Two” (Etype Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Sleigh Ride” by Tom Grant from “Santa Claus is Going to Town!” (Nu-Wrinkle Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“A Merry Christmas” by Marc Reift Orchestra, Prague Chamber Choir, Marc Reift from “Voices 6 Christmas Swing” (Marcophon)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Angels We Have Heard On High”  by Darren Rahn from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Away in a Manger” by Alice Gomez from “Native American Flute for Christmas (For Massage, New Age, Spa & Relaxation)” (Talking Taco Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“The Shepherds Of Argentina” by Marimba Quest from “Christmas Carnaval” (80-Minutes of Music/Talking Taco Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Joy to the World” by Moat Jumper from “Christmas at the Renaissance Fair”
Buy the song at iTunes Music Store 
Buy at Amazon.com

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful – Behold Him Medley” by Bob Baldwin from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

The Target/Neiman Marcus Christmas Collection.

The story of Furby’s return, and Furby’s website.

The official website of the Capitol Christmas Tree for 2012.

Christmas tours from the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Aaron Neville and Wynonna.

I mentioned the Rockettes, the Grinch at MSG, “A Christmas Story, The Musical” on Broadway.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Christmas music from Blake Shelton, Rod Stewart, Chris Mann, and Scotty McCreery.

Preorders are up for “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking” on Amazon.

59 Thanksgiving Potpourri

From Thanksgiving 2011: We return for our sixth year; I’m glad you’re here. Keep up with Christmas at  Twitter.com/XmasStocking and our Facebook page, and circle us on Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Call me from MyChristmasStocking.net, where you’ll find many more episodes, too.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“She’s Coming Home for X-mas” by The Beautiful Losers from “Peace, Love and Xmas” (Strawberry Hill Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background Music:

“Nasareth Homeboy”  by HÃ¥kan Lidbo from “Jul pa techno 2011 – Electronic Christmas Anthems” (Clubstream Mix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Amy Marie from “Simple Gifts” (Spiritwood Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Background on this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree.

If you’re interested in the Capitol Christmas tree you might be interested in its driver as it travels across the country. He’s a volunteer.

Check out this video of the Chicago tree being loaded on the flatbed truck.

Learn where the official White House tree for the Blue Room came from.

Find out more about James Taylor as Bob Cratchit.

Thanks again to Beth from North Carolina. If you’d like to give a gift to the Christmas Stocking, go to contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

52 “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

From Christmas 2010: I love the dancing twins, the pink aluminum Christmas tree, and everything else about A Charlie Brown Christmas. We go behind the scenes. Many ways to get involved. I post a ton of Christmas info on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and will reply if you message me. The  Facebook page is hopping, too. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And what do you want for Christmas? Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you privately and for free.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Sing Hallelujah (Christ Is Born of Mary)” by 1 Less Stone (from Soundclick.com)

Background music:

“The First Nowell” by David Shelley from “Christmas Sax – Seasonal Favorites With Smooth Jazz”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

More information:

Infoplease.com, MentalFloss.com, Wikia.com and, of course, Wikipedia.com have some more about the production.

Amazon has many DVD versions, including this one and the Holiday Collection, some Blu-rays (this is the most basic version) (oh–and this is the Holiday Collection Blu-ray), and you can download a digital copy.

The original ending of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

The Washington Post has an excellent overview of the special with an interview with Lee Mendelson. If only it had come out before this podcast!

38 Advent and Christmas Trees 2009

From Christmas 2009: The season of Advent has been around for a long time, but it has not always been the same. Share your family’s Christmas Eve/Christmas Day traditions at MyChristmasStocking.net. Find the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private so it won’t be revealed. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And join us on Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“People Look East” by Al Petteway & Amy White from “Winter Tidings: An Appalachian Christmas” (Maggie’s Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” by The London Fox Players from “A Peaceful Christmas” (Classic Fox Records)
More On This Album

“Pannonian Christmas” by Mike Collins from “Desert Anthem” (Talus Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has a nice overview of Advent.

CRI/Voice, Institute, an ecumenical ministry has its own perspective of Advent.

Advent from a Catholic perspective in the online Catholic Encyclopedia.

16 Rockefeller Center Tree and The Grinch!

From Christmas ’07: This year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City has some 21st century improvements. And there is no improving on the Grinch! Let us know about your Christmas tree, or your Grinch, at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email me at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“O Christmas Tree” by Jenny Crook (from “Christmas Harp – Elegant Expressions of Christmas with Celtic & Concert Harps”)
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra (from “Christmas Fantastique”) I found it at FeelsLikeChristmas.com
(Nelidova Records)

“Pat-a-Pan” by US Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants (from “Light One Candle”)

(Altissimo!)
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

Featured Music:

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Medley” and “Caroling Caroling Medley” by Tennessee Ernie Ford (from “Family Christmas”) (IMI)
More On This Album

More information:

A detailed biography of Dr. Seuss can be found on the official Seussville site.

Find out about the Dr. Seuss National Memorial.

Want to buy the How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Anniversary Edition: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective?

Want to buy the video version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (50th Birthday Deluxe Remastered Edition)?

imdb.com’s entry on the TV special.

Wikipedia has entries on Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the Grinch himself.

4 O Rockefeller Christmas Tree

From Christmas ’06: A really big tree, and the one the world thinks of when they think of America’s Christmas Tree. How long have they been putting up a tree? The answer, and a really great Christmas original on the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“O Christmas Tree” by Robb McCormick (from Soundclick.com) (here’s his myspace page)

“The First Noel” by Marti van Lin

Featured song:

“Cool, Cool Christmas” by Dean Krippaehne (from GarageBand.com) (and Dean’s myspace page….)

If you want to learn more about Rockefeller Center and its Christmas tree, the Rockefeller Center website has a lot of stuff.

3 O, Christmas Tree

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

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

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

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

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

Featured song:

“Holy Night” by Sandra Mooy

If you want to learn more about Christmas trees:

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

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