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
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

The Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular is on its Way–Promise!

It’s taking long enough, right? I’m working out the final details and will have the next summer episode to you soon! This is the promo. Tell us how you are celebrating Christmas this summer, when you start saving and shopping for the holiday or anything else at (323) 487-12-25. Thanks for the gifts to the Christmas Stocking! They are much needed. MyChristmasStocking.net/contribute. Find the Christmas Stocking  on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on FacebookPinterest, and Google+. Oh–don’t forget to check out Christmas Stocking merchandise at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the promo to your device.

Background music:

Rock the Halls by John Kleinecke

126 “The Fairy Christmas” by Etheldred B. Barry

A bedtime story with an important message for all of us. The phone number is (323) 487-12-25. Call and tell me what Christmas IS to you. Thanks to everyone who has given to the Christmas Stocking! MyChristmasStocking.net/contribute. Get social with the Christmas Stocking on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Google+ and Pinterest.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Al Lewis
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Emmanuel” by Melody and Truth from the album “Merry Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by Howard Eddy
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Angels We Have Heard on High” by Frank Carter from the album “Christmas Cheer”
Get the album from Frank
Buy on iTunes

Read along and find other stories in The Night Before Christmas and Other Popular Stories for Children.

125 The Legend of the Christmas Spider

It’s all about tinsel. Find the Christmas Stocking on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on FacebookPinterest and Google+. Call (323) 487-12-25 and tell me what Christmas IS to you. Thanks to Rick in Pennsylvania for the generous gift to the Christmas Stocking! Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“The Lights on the Trees” by Matt diVenti from the EP “Christmas Songs Vol. 1” (from Noisetrade)
Click here to get the EP

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

Background music:

“The First Noel” and “Good King Wenceslas” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells” (from Noisetrade)

“Unto Us a Child is Born” by the California Guitar Trio
Buy their music here

“This is Christmas Instrumental” by Katey Laurel
This version isn’t available to buy.

More information:

Wikipedia has more on the legend itself, tinsel, and the Christmas spider of Australia.

Kraftmstr.com has a version of the legend.

The Pet Poison Helpline has more information on the dangers of tinsel.

124 Silent Night

You may have heard the story of the origin of “Silent Night,” but I may have some info you didn’t know about. Find out about more carols at MyChristmasStocking.net. The phone number is (323) 487-12-25 What IS Christmas to you? We do the social thing–on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Pinterest and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” by Shuree from the EP “Christmas Soul Unplugged” (from Noisetrade)

Background music:

“Silent Night” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Silent Night” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Silent Night No Percussion Instrumental” by Katey Laurel from the album “This is Christmas”
This version isn’t available to buy, but you can buy her beautiful vocal on iTunes. The whole album is great.

More information:

Find more information about the hymn from the BBC, In Mozart’s Footsteps and Stille Nacht Gesellschaft.

Find many English translations, including the one you probably know, on the Silent Night Web.

123 Christmas Toys 1980-1989

We continue on our march through toy time. Did you love any of these toys? Let me know on Twitter (@XmasStocking),on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. And of course MyChristmasStocking.net. Call (323) 487-12-25 and share what Christmas IS to you!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Infant Lowly Infant Lowly” by Chris Rupp featuring the Hound + the Fox from “A Little Bit of Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Christmas Rap” by Kevin McLeod (from Incompetech)

“Winter White Forest” by Howard Eddy
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

About the Rubik’s Cube from Wikipedia and The Telegraph.

About the Care Bears from Wikipedia and AG Kids Zone.

About My Little Pony from Wikipedia and Hasbro.

Wikipedia will tell you about the Cabbage Patch Kids, the Transformers, the Koosh Ball, Pictionary, American Girl (and AmericanGirl.com), and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

122 “Elf” the Movie

Eddie Lee on Facebook suggested I talk about “Elf.” Here we go! Plus a call from Terry in New York about what Christmas IS to him. You can call (323) 487-12-25, too! We’re all over social media: on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Pinterest and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Key to Christmas” by William McKechnie from “Key to Christmas Fluffy Snow”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” by Dave Jones (from MacJams.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

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

“Joy to the World” 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:

Wikipedia has lots of information.

IMDb will tell you a lot.

Mental Floss will tell you some things you might not know about the movie.

Jon Favreau talked about “Elf” with Rolling Stone.

121 Happy Vs. Merry Christmas

Do you say “Happy Christmas” or “Merry Christmas”? Either way, you’re right. Find out how the expressions developed.  Plenty of Christmas news and info on Twitter (@XmasStocking), a great Christmas community on Facebook, and Google+ and Pinterest. Call (323) 487-12-25 and tell me what Christmas IS to you, and you may be on the show. Thanks to everyone who contributes, MyChristmasStocking.net, click Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Sing We Noel” by Found Wandering from the album “On a Christmas Night”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by the United States Marine Band from “Holiday Music Selections” (from the Free Music Archive)

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.com

” by Frank Carter from the album “Christmas Cheer”
Get the album from Frank
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Patheos delves into the Happy vs. Merry conundrum. Hello Giggles’ take on the same thing. And so does Wonderopolis.

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.

119 Cutting Down Your Own Christmas Tree

If you’ve never cut your own Christmas tree, or haven’t in a while, here are some tips in an extra-sized episode. Lots of Christmas news and fun on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook (including Live Video), Pinterest andGoogle+. Find everything at MyChristmasStocking.net. Tell me  what Christmas IS to you at (323) 487-12-25 and you could be on the show. Email TopElf@MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Ave Maria” by Bunny Sigler from the album “When You’re in Love at Christmastime”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Oh Christmas Tree” by Frank Carter from the album “Christmas Cheer”
Get the album from Frank
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Oh Christmas Tree” by the California Guitar Trio
Buy their music here

“Star on the Tree” by Howard Eddy
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

The Pioneer Tree Farm in McHenry, IL, provided most of the tips I gave.

The National Christmas Tree Association tells you how to care for your farm-grown Christmas tree.

The U.S. Forest Service has information for the Rocky Mountain Region tree cutting program and guidelines for getting your tree in the national forests where available.

Some information about the 2016 Rockefeller Christmas Tree and how to be there (maybe next year?) from RockCenter itself. More about the tree itself from Curbed NY.

118 Black Friday–Still a Thing?

It just seems like Black Friday doesn’t have the buzz it used to, does it? But we’re still going to shop this year, so I have a few things to say about that. And an email at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET about what Christmas IS to them. Would love to hear your voice telling me at (323) 487-12-25! You’ll find the Christmas Stocking on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Google+ and Pinterest. And of course at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Someone to Love This Christmas” by Michelle Hylan
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Jingle Bells” by the California Guitar Trio
Buy their music here

“Holiday Glory” by Howard Eddy
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Up on the Housetop” by Frank Carter from the album “Christmas Cheer”
Get the album from Frank
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

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

More information:

DealNews has what they say are the 12 biggest Black Friday myths.

Digital Strategy Consulting reveals more research on Black Friday post-Brexit in the UK.

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.

116 The 10th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular! Ten years, baby!

Escape is the theme this summer, as we have plenty to escape from. Find every episode, Christmas Stocking merch and more are at MyChristmasStocking.net. Call (323) 487-1225 before you forget–what makes Christmas so special for you? Tell the world!  Or email it, along with music and show ideas, to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. There’s room for you on our Facebook  and Google+ communities. Info I discussed is on my Twitter feed @XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmastime” by Hill & Hale and Their Merry Friends from “Christmastime”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by DJ 8-8008 feat. April Forrest
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Man! It’s Christmas” by the Rev. Jimmie Bratcher from “Man! It’s Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“I Saw Three Ships” by Found Wandering from the album “On a Christmas Night”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Christmas of Love” by Tresa Street
Buy on Tresa’s website

“Good King Wenceslas” by Takenobu from “Christmas Songs”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“A Voice is Sounding” by Sojourn from “A Child is Born”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells (Remix)” Spade from “CEDM Christmas 2014” (from Noisetrade)

“What Child is This, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by the Jazz Council from “Christmas Sampler”(from Noisetrade)

(Hear more Jazz Council on their album “Dawn” on iTunes)

“The Wassail Song” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells” (from Noisetrade)

“The First Noel (Remix) by pKal from “CEDM Christmas 2014” (from Noisetrade)

“A Good King (Wenceslas)” by Kevin Zerbe from “Zerbinator’s ‘Under the Tree’”

More information:

More about Dial-A-Carol

Projected top toys for 2016

The Capitol Christmas Tree 2016 website

 

 

 

115 “What Happened Christmas Eve” by Oliver Herfold

A nice story for the little ones on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Merry Christmas.  Call the Christmas Stocking at (323) 487-12-25 or email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. All year long you’ll find me on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), and Google+. Catch up on all the episodes and check out the extras at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (w/ Hallelujah)” by Kurt Scobie from “A Merry Mixtape” (from Noisetrade)

Background music:

“Iuguetes en Navidad” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“Memory Box” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“Joy to the World” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

Read the story yourself and find other stories in The Night Before Christmas and Other Popular Stories for Children.

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.

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.

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.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

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

Background music:

“Waltz of the Flowers” by William Arnold from “Expedition: Nutcracker Suite” (from Noisetrade)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Trepak (Russian Dance from the Nutcracker)” by Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven from “A Little Love This Christmas”
Buy from CDBaby
Buy from Bandcamp

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.

109 Scary Ghost Stories

Is that song onto something? Turns out ghost stories at Christmas is a thing, or was a thing (mostly).  Keep up on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. Call (323) 487-12-25 and wish someone you love Merry Christmas. Or email your wishes to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET. All the episodes are at  MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Reindeer” by Hill & Hale and Their Merry Friends from “Christmastime”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“What Child is This” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

More information:

The Guardian explores the Victorian tradition.

A Gothic Curiosity Cabinet looks at the history of telling ghost stories at Christmas.

The Deseret News has more on holiday time ghost stories.

The Conversation examines why we don’t tell ghost stories at Christmas in America.

The Paris Review has five ghost stories perfect for Christmastime.

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.

107 Black Friday and Wanamaker’s Christmas Light Show

Some advice on what to avoid and what to go for on Black Friday, and a trip to Philadelphia for the Wanamaker Christmas Light Show. Find a lot more Christmas info on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. Home base is MyChristmasStocking.net, with all the episodes and a lot more. Be on the show! Share your Christmas memories or Christmas plans–or wish someone Merry Christmas at (323) 487-12-25.  Or email them to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Gets Worse Every Year (feat. Oscar Foxley)” by The Other Guys 
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Buy on CDBaby

Background music:

“The First Noel (pKai Remix)” by pKai from “The CEDM Christmas 2014”

“Für Elise” by Lenny Marcus from “The Jazz of Beethoven”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Buy on CDBaby

More information:

The NY Daily News tech guide for 2015.

Kim Komando warns you against these Black Friday “deals” in USA Today.

Black Friday preparation and shopping strategies from U.S. News and World Report.

The outlook for the UK’s Black Friday from c|net.

The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ have a website with lots of information.

All the info you need if you want to visit the Wanamaker organ at Macy’s from Visit Philadelphia.

Wikipedia has lots of info on the history of Wanamaker’s and the organ.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.”

97 The Holiday Blues

This season isn’t always happy. Some tips about how to deal with the down times. You never have to be alone. Come by Google+, maybe hang out; Facebook, and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Thank you so much to Paul, who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute. It’s easier than ever to call the Christmas Stocking. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! Talk about your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas, your own favorite childhood Christmas memory, or simply wish someone Merry Christmas! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Watch Twitter for more.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Try to Have a Merry Christmas” by Elizabeth Chan (@lizchanmusic on Twitter) from “Everyday Holidays”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Christmas in the City” by Elizabeth Chan from “Christmas in the City”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“Deck the Halls with We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Doug Boldt (from Mevio.com)

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

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Mano Reza from “Guitar for Christmas” (from Soundclick.com)
Buy on Soundclick
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

More information:

Get the tips from the Mayo Clinic and UC Davis. Also WebMD has a large section full of resources.

USA Today discusses Blue Christmas services.

96 Black Friday and Hot Toys for 2014

Complementing past Black Friday episodes about online and credit card safety, we look at other techniques for staying both safe and comfortable on Black Friday and beyond.  Join me on  Twitter (@XmasStocking) where you’ll get some Christmas news, Google+, where I hope to do a hangout or two, Facebook, where we talk about the show. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Call the Christmas Stocking and tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply wish someone Merry Christmas. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Big thanks to Anne who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Christmas Bells are Ringing” by The Connection from the album “A Christmas Gift for”
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Dance to da Beat” by 5 is Even (from Mevio.com)

“Carol of the Bells” by Live Action Fezz from the album “Badgerland: A Very Badgerland Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

The National Crime Prevention Council has tips for your personal safety plan for Black Friday.

BlackFriday.com has more good Black Friday etiquette. Not quite Emily Post….

The toys returning from the 1980s. Some other great toys this year.

Tips to save on Christmas shopping all year.

95 The Hollywood Christmas Parade

One of the oldest parades in the United States is in the Entertainment Capital of the World, but it’s sort of a small parade. This episode features a listener call and the next one could be you. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25! At select times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. I’ll let you know on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking) and  Google+, where I plan to do a hangout or two. You can also mail TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply wish someone Merry Christmas. And thanks to Brian who gave to the show at www.MyChristmasStocking.net/Contribute.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

The Fall Song by Joy Ike from the album “All or Nothing”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“It’s Christmas Christmas Time” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version)” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“Carol of the Bells” and “Autumn Sunset” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

More information:

Wikipedia has some information about the history of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. So does the official Facebook page of the parade.

Learn about this year’s Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Learn more about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the official website and tips before you go from the Long Island Press.

94 The Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular Eight

With the summer we’re having we need some Christmas spirit. Thanks to some good music I think you’re going to find it.  Have you liked us on Facebook? Followed us on Twitter (@XmasStocking)? How about circling us on  Google+? We’ll video hangout there a bit. The Christmas Stocking has a new phone number!  Wish someone Merry Christmas, leave an intro to the show or share your special Christmas traditions at (323) 487-1225. Or go to MyChristmasStocking.net. Email TopElf 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:

“A Christmas Song” by Elizabeth Chan (@lizchanmusic on Twitter) from “Naughty & Nice”

Buy on iTunes

“Jolly Old St. Nicholas” by Pitch Feather   (from the Free Music Archive)

“Merry Christmas Mood” by Greg Lato (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year” by Rosie Thomas from “A Very Rosie Christmas”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Sing We Now of Christmas/Noël Nouvelet by Irene Nachreiner with her Latin Jazz Band from “A Hot & Spicy Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Give Me All Your Love at Christmas Time” by Nick Bukuvalas (from Mevio.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Set a Place at Your Table for a Zombie” by Debra Mann from Badgerland: Yuletide Entertainments (from the Free Music Archive)

“All I Want for Christmas” by Devyn Rose (from Mevio.com)

“Christmas is Coming” by Roger McGuinn  (from the Free Music Archive)

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells” by Kevin Zerbe

“What Child is This” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

“It’s Christmas Christmas Time” by junior85 (from the Free Music Archive)

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Mano Reza from “Guitar for Christmas” (from Soundclick.com)
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Joy Kinda Holiday-ish” by Charlie Crowe (from Mevio.com)

“Silent Night” by Nullsleep from “The 8bits of Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Gypsy Christmas Deck the Halls/Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Lee Alexander (from Mevio.com)

“Joy to the World” by Roger McGuinn  (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

Hamley’s Top Toys

About the White House Christmas tree from Pennsylvania

About the Capitol Christmas Tree from Minnesota

About Opryland’s Christmas plans

About Jim’s Tastee Freez Christmas in July

W.E.L.F.–An Elf Run Podcast

The Christmas Stocking Zazzle store

The Christmas Stocking International Zazzle store

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.

92 “Little Wolff’s Wooden Shoes” by François Coppée

It’s a good time for a Christmas story, so here you go. Find the Christmas Stocking on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Google+, and Facebook. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” by Eamonn McCrystal from “The Music of Christmas & Stories Behind The Songs
Buy the album

Background music:

Christmas Eve at Midnight (Small Town Square)” by Lee Rosevere from “A Happy Puppy Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)

O Come, O Come Emmanuel / Greensleeves,” “O Holy Night,” and “Jingle Bells” by Simply Three from “A Simply Three Christmas”
Buy the CD from Simply Three
Buy from iTunes
Buy the mp3s from Amazon

“Deck the Halls with We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Doug Boldt (from Mevio.com)

More:

Read the story yourself thanks to Google Books.

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.

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.

87 Christmas in Antarctica

How festive does it get on the bottom of the world? Find out in this episode. The Christmas Stocking is on Twitter (@XmasStockingGoogle+, and Facebook. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NETShare your childhood Christmas memory at MyChristmasStocking.net, click “Call Me.” It’s easy and free!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

In the Bleak Mid-Winter” by IKOS David Clifton & the Choirs of Peterborough Cathedral from “Christmas Carols and Songs
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

Background music:

“One Christmas Night” by Tommy Emmanuel from “All I Want for Christmas”
Buy on Amazon

“Xmas Fantasy/Silent Night” by Fran Dagostino (from MacJams.com)

More information:

Learn about McMurdo Station from Wikipedia.

See McMurdo Station for yourself on the USAP webcams. They also tell you the temperature and windchill. You might be surprised at how warm it is this time of year!

Learn about the culture in Antarctica, including the Christmas season.

Learn about Christmas in Antarctica from a semi-local (he’s there a few months per year).

Want to take a holiday tour of Antarctica?

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.

85 Black Friday 2013

It’s a big shopping day, not the biggest, but one of them. When did the stores start calling it “Black Friday?” Join the family at Google+Facebook and Twitter (@XmasStocking). Email us TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. The home site is MyChristmasStocking.net, where you’ll find all of the episodes and how you can get on the show. And thanks to Nancy in Nebraska and Paul 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:

December 26” by Todd Wright from “Imperfect Heart
Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes

Background music:

“Happy Holiday” by Tigertail (from Mevio.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

More information:

The Visual Thesaurus has more on the modern usage of Black Friday.

Here’s more on the hot toys I told you about.

And some quality gifts for kids courtesy of HuffPost Parents.

What are the toys that Target and Toys “R” Us promoting?

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.

83 The 7th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular!

Yay! It’s here! I timed this to arrive at the precise point you’re sick of summer. No? Too late? Sorry. Too early? Well, you can wait a bit; I’ll still be here. And I’ll be on  Google+, where we’ll hang out at least once or twice before Christmas, on Facebook and on Twitter (@XmasStocking).  Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Tell us about your favorite childhood Christmas memory, your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas  or simply 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:

“Jingle Bells” by Skid Row from “Monster Ballads for Christmas”  (Razor and Tie) (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Christmas in Hawaii” by the Hot Rods from “Tiger Room presents The Hot Rods (It’s Christmas Time Again)” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Christmas All Year Long” by Darrell Smith from “Ordinary Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“O Come O Come Emmanuel” by IKOS featuring Dave Clifton from “Christmas Carols and Songs” (Little Room) (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy at Amazon

“Mr. Christmas” by Kristine W. from “Hey Mr. Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Christmas Time’s a Comin'” by Rusty Bladen from “Feels Like Christmas” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

“Greensleeves” by Lee Harris & the Tijuana Trumpets from “A Whole Lotta Santa” (from Mevio.com)

Background music:

“CHRISTMAS FINAL BOSS” by junior85 from “It’s Christmas Christmas Time” (from the Free Music Archive)

“Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version)” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“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

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” by Bing Futch (from MacJams.com)

“Up on the Housetop” by Paul Slocum from “The 8Bits of Christmas” (from the Free Music Archive)
Buy on their site

“Chispas de Christmas (Club Mix)” by Juan Oskar from “Christmas is for Grownups Too” (from Mevio.com)
Buy at Amazon

More information:

Some cool, adventurous Christmas cruises.

More about Selfridges Christmas Emporium, with some nice photos.

All about Maddy’s Coloring for Christmas charity work in Missouri.

Learn about the Capitol Christmas Tree for 2013 here.

82 “The Three Kings” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I share with you the story of the Three Kings as told by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Find all the episodes on MyChristmasStocking.net. Make sure you’re following Twitter.com/XmasStocking, you have us on your Facebook News Feed, and the Christmas Stocking is on your Google+  home page. Thank you to everyone who’s given to the Christmas Stocking at Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Come, O Come Immanuel” by Richard Jensen from the EP “Carols”

Background music:

“We Three Kings” by Tommy Harden from “Peace On Earth” (IMI)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!” by Washington Saxophone Quartet from “Tis The Season Celebrate With WSaxQ” (Americus Records, Inc.)
More On This Album

“The Holly and The Ivy” by Washington Saxophone Quartet from “Tis The Season Celebrate With WSaxQ” (Americus Records, Inc.)
More On This Album

More information:

HWLongfellow.org has much about Mr. Longfellow, including the poem 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).

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).

77 Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland

By suggestion from Dominick, we travel to Frankenmuth, Michigan to visit the world’s largest Christmas store. Thank you Paul in the UK for your generous gift. Go to Contribute.MyChristmasStocking.net if you’d like to give. Join the family on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+. All the episodes are at MyChristmasStocking.net, where you can also learn how to be on the show.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” by BYU Women’s Chorus from “Merrily on High: Celebration of Christmas (Live at BYU)” (BYU Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Silent Night” by Alice Gomez from “Christmas on the Mesa” (80-Minutes of Music/Talking Taco Music)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” 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:

The Lansing State Journal writes often about the store.

Update 6/7/15: A profile of Bronner’s Click here to learn about CEO Wayne Bronner, and Click here for the fun facts about the store, both from Click here for MLive.com.

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.

75 Charities at Christmas

A few innovative charities in this season of giving. Wish someone you love Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net by clicking the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Online communities are on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

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

Background music:

“The Christ Child’s Lullaby” by David Miller from “Quiet Christmas” (Clarity Sound & Light)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“The Christ Child’s Lullaby” by David Miller from “Quiet Christmas” (Clarity Sound & Light)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

The Brattleboro Reformer Christmas Stocking.

First Book.

The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree.

Trees for Troops.

74 Christkindlmarkts

They’re more popular than ever–and they’ve been around a long time!  Follow the show on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, circle the show on Google+ and like the show on Facebook. What does Christmas mean to you? Tell me atMyChristmasStocking.net by clicking the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“A Star Shall Rise Up Out of Jacob” by BYU Combined Choirs and Orchestra from “There Is a Star: Celebration of Christmas (Live at BYU)” (BYU Records)
More On This Album

Background music:

“In Dulce Jubilo” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“Ding Dong! Merrily on High” by Davyd Booth, Michael Stairs from “It’s Christmas Again At Longwood Gardens” (DTR)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has a lot to say about the markets.

Vancouver, Canada not only has a Christmas Market, they have a pretty good history of them, too.

73 Krampus

Not all of Christmas is sweetness and light. By request from Brian and Charlie from our Facebook posse, we focus on the Alpine sidekick of St. Nick, Krampus. Gahh! Wish your favorite someone Merry Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net by clicking the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. The Christmas Stocking is also on Twitter.com/XmasStocking and Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Gift of Giving” by Pamela Hines from “New Christmas” (SPiceRack Records)
More On This Album


Background music:

“Antagonist B” by Kevin Macleod (freepd.com)

“Circus Tent”“Movement Proposition” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Joy to the World” by Jim Edwards (from MacJams.com)

More information:

You can learn more about Krampus from this Etsy blog. And Wikipedia.

A few years ago, I talked about a similar set of Christmas characters. If you like Krampus, you’ll love the Yule Lads.

72 Black Friday and Christmas Shopping 2012

The shopping season is here. Some strategies for getting deals, some hot toys and the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. You’ll find the Christmas Stocking on Twitter.com/XmasStocking,  Facebook.  Let the world know what Christmas means to you. Call me privately from MyChristmasStocking.net using the Call Me button or email an audio file to  TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Coming Home” by The Sota Boys from “MistleFlow” (Distrophonix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” by Charles Afton from “The Reindeer Room II” (Kriztal Entertainment Group, Inc.)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“We Three Funky Kings” by  Jay Soto from “Smooth Soul Holiday” (NuGroove Music LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Predictions for the 2012 Christmas shopping season from smarter people than me (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

The logic behind the myth of the Black Friday deal.

The ins- and outs- of price-matching policies you need to watch out for.

The Toys ‘R’ Us 2012 Holiday Hot Toy List!

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book!

There have been Black Friday episodes in every season (6 of them! Plus one more where I talk a little about it!)

69 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

From Christmas 2011: Merry Christmas! We know Rudolph’s story, more or less, but how did his story come to light?   We’re here all year on FacebookTwitter.com/XmasStocking, and Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net and keep coming back to MyChristmasStocking.net whenever you need some Christmas.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Silent Night” 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

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

“Jolly Old St. Nicholas/Jingle Bells” by Bill Cunliffe, Clay Jenkins, Larry Koonse, Joe La Barbera, Tom Warrington from “Snowfall” (Jazz Compass)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

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

More information:

Snopes.com debunks a myth (that I don’t mention), and has lots of good info. And Wikipedia has even more.

68 “A Christmas Dinner” by Charles Dickens

From Christmas 2011: Mr. Dickens loved Christmas. He wrote about it a lot. And he’s credited with creating the modern Christmas. Today, an essay he wrote when he was just 23, where you can see some of the themes that would come out in his later, more famous work. Find more episodes and ways to get in touch at MyChristmasStocking.net. We’re also on Twitter.com/XmasStockingFacebook, and Google+. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Come All Ye Faithful” by 21 AD from “Christmas… A Winter’s Love”

Background music:

“Für Elise” by Lenny Marcus from “The Jazz of Beethoven”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon
Buy on CDBaby

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Lounge Jazz” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Coventry Carol” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

“Snowfall” by Bill Cunliffe, Clay Jenkins, Larry Koonse, Joe La Barbera, Tom Warrington from “Snowfall” (Jazz Compass)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

You can read “A Christmas Dinner” yourself.

67 “It’s a Wonderful Life”

From Christmas 2011: I had been planning to focus on this movie for a couple of years, and chose this year because it’s an anniversary year (65 years young!). But Jeff mentioned it on  Facebook, I think people have asked on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and Brian mentioned it in his note I read in the last episode (which he sent to TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net). So it really is time. Other ways to get in touch with us are in the Contact Us tab on MyChristmasStocking.net where you can listen to episodes also. And circle the Christmas Stocking on Google+.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx (conductor) from “Catholic Classics, Vol. 8: Christmas Classics” (GIA)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Gavin Sutherland  from “Piano Past Times Volume Three – The Christmas Album” (Campion Cameo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“One Christmas Night” by Tommy Emmanuel from “All I Want for Christmas”

“We Will Meet Again for Christmas” by Enrique Gil  (from MacJams.com)

“Sleigh Ride” by Tony Evans & His Orchestra from “Merry Christmas – Tony Evans” (Tema International)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

I found a lot of information on the movie on Wikipedia and IMDb.

If you’re thinking of heading to “the Real Bedford Falls,” Seneca Falls, NY, this site will fill you in on what’s going on. Big doin’s this year, of course.

If you’d like to buy “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” on Blu-ray or DVD, click the title to head to Amazon.

66 Three Ships & Wenceslas

Posted On December 13, 2011

Filed under Christmas, Episode, Holiday, Podcast, Xmas
Tags: , , ,

Comments Dropped leave a response

From Christmas 2011: “I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” are curious carols. Where did they come from? Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net or click Contact Us on MyChristmasStocking.net. You can also listen to episodes there, too. Add the Christmas Stocking to your circles on Google+, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” by We Three Kings from “The 12 Songs of Christmas”

Background music:

“In Dulce Jubilo” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“Bring the Torch, Jeanette Isabella” by Moat Jumper from “Christmas at the Renaissance Fair”
Buy the song at iTunes Music Store 
Buy at Amazon.com

“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

More information:

Get information on “I Saw Three Ships” from hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com and Wikipedia.

Get information on “Good King Wenceslas” from hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com and Wikipedia.

The organization Brian mentioned is Charity Newsies.

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.

62 Toys For Tots

From Christmas 2011: The story of a great program that bring hope to kids in America. Call and introduce the show yourself. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net. Click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Add us to your circles on Google+. Join us on the Facebook page, too!

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Rock ‘n’ Rolling Snowman” by Plastic Snow
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.co.uk
Watch the video

Background music:

“Christmas Day” by Pete Dooley (from MacJams.com)

“The Magic Of Christmas Time (Instrumental)” by Tommy Emmanuel from “All I Want for Christmas”

“Deck the Halls” by Lil Mom (from MacJams.com)

More information:

You’ll find the history of Toys for Tots and ways you can help at ToysforTots.org.

Thanks again, Tim, for the introduction! Tim has his own podcast, PageantCast, all about the world of beauty pageants.

The Festival of  Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge is on the BBC in Europe, BBC World Service and American Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio in the U.S.

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.

60 Black Friday, Christmas Shopping Advice and Safety Tips 2011

From Black Friday 2011: It’s officially shopping day, even though the sales have been going on for a while.  Some shopping advice apps and more. Lots happening on our Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. Circle the Christmas Stocking on  Google+. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. And introduce the show yourself 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:

“This Christmas” by The Elves of Heaven from “This Christmas EP” (Seaport Music Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Greetings in Space” by Pufferfisk from “Jul pa techno 2011 – Electronic Christmas Anthems” (Clubstream Mix)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Winterprayer” by John Morgan, available on a CD of Christmas music. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

More information:

Thanks to Dead Air Radio, who introduced the show.

The Better Business Bureau’s tips are here.

Some Black Friday mobile apps from DealNews, Fat Wallet, and TGI Black Friday.

What should you avoid buying on Black Friday?

Thanks again to Anonymous for the gift. If you’d like 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.

53 Operation Christmas Child

From Christmas 2010: They’re fairly new, but already they’ve put smiles ong the faces of untold kids around the world. We’ll look at the good they do and the concerns about them. 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. I’m posting Christmas info on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and will reply if you message me. Come to our  Facebook page. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“The Cherry Tree Carol” by Magpie Lane from “Knock At The Knocker, Ring At The Bell” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“The Somerset Wassail” by Magpie Lane from “Wassail! A Country Christmas” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Christmas Medley Piano Solo” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

“Jingle Bells” by Global Journey from “The Magic of Christmas”
(Global Journey)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Learn all about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child from the horse’s mouth. And here is their Facebook page.

Wikipedia has two sides of the story.

A recent story on an English primary school which pulled out.

A couple of DVDs with Christmas specials: Bing Crosby: The Television Specials Volume 2 and Bob Hope – Hope for the Holidays. Click from here when you buy and you’ll help out The Christmas Stocking.

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.

47 4th Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular

From summer 2010: It’s been a hot summer in some places, a cool one in others (like mine). Either way, we still need some Christmas, right? This is a pretty summery episode, I think. Lots more Christmas at MyChristmasStocking.net, on Twitter.com/XmasStocking, and on Facebook.  Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. You can also get in touch by phone, see pictures and videos and more at MyChristmasStocking.net.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Sandy Claws” by Allen Dean (from MacJams.com)

“Christmas Boat” by the Woofers (from MacJams.com)

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sandra Nordstrom from “Another Silent Christmas” (BT ENTERTAINMENT)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“All I Want for Christmas is a Funky Brass Band” by Phat2sDay from “Ambassador From N’Awlins” (Sound of New Orleans / LocoBop)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

“Best Little Christmas” by Don McAvoy & the Great Whatever from “Peace, Love & Scrapple”

Buy the CD at their website

“The Christmas Goose” by The Oxford Waits from “Hey For Christmas”  (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby from “Bing Crosby Christmas” (Spectra Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“White Christmas Uke Style” by Martin Leroy (from MacJams.com)

“Oh Christmas Tree (Salsa)” by BobbyRodriguez from “A Latin Jazz Christmas” (LatinJazz Productions)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” by Arturo Stalteri from “Flowers” (Materiali Sonori)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Twitter.com/XmasStocking has all the links.

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.

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)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Snowfall” by Michael Allen Harrison from “Snowfall” (MAH Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

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.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

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)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

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)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“The Christmas Holiday, Or Stuff Your Guts” by The Oxford Waits from “Hey For Christmas” (Beautiful Jo)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Joy To The World” by Global Journey from “The Magic of Christmas” (Global Journey)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Corky Hale from “Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas” (LML Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

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)
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.

37 Black Friday and Jingle Bells

From Christmas 2009: Shopping looks to be a bear this season; maybe we can tame it a little. Wish someone Merry Christmas on the phone 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:

“Jingle Bells” by Lisa Loeb from “Kids’ Club – Holiday Fun Volume 1” (Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Deck the Halls (feat. Di Johnston)” by Undercover Christmas from “Undercover Christmas: Chapter One” (Undercover Culture Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“The Holly and the Ivy” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

“We Three Kings II” by BuddahBoy (from Soundclick.com)

More information:

Many Black Friday sites are out there. BlackFriday.info is one I check, since I like things basic.

This is a corporate-looking CyberMonday.com site, but it has information.

Search my tweets on Black Friday, shopping and retail by checking this page, entering one of those words and putting XmasStocking in the “From” box.

If you want more on Jingle Bells, including the missing verse, Wikipedia will tell you.

36 Small Town Parades

From Thanksgiving 2009: The Christmas season has returned, and we look at smaller parades around the country. There is a new way to call the Christmas Stocking. Go to 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:
“Season of Joy” 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

Background music:


“Christmas Morn (Stop! Stop! Stop!)” by Jeff Tincher from “Well… Where’s The Presents?” (NiteLife Music)
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“I Saw Three Ships” by Brian Bunker Christmas (from GarageBand.com)

More information:

It may seem like I exhausted the parade list, but this is only the tip of the iceburg. Wikipedia has a list that isn’t exhaustive, either, but if you want to explore….

More on the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

A list of holiday events in Chicago, including the McDonald’s Parade which has already happened.

See what Target has cooked up for Holidazzle 2009 in Minneapolis.

Find more articles I tweeted using this search page. Enter XmasStocking in the “From” box, and “Parade” in the Words box.

35 3rd Annual Christmas Stocking Summer Music Spectacular

From summer 2009: Lose yourself in the Christmas season with lots of music, information and advice, all with a summer feel, somehow! You’ll find more at MyChristmasStocking.net and Twitter.com/XmasStockingEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   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:

“Yule Swing” by Anna Wilson from “Yule Swing!”
(Transfer Records, LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Carol of the Bells” by Darby O’Gill (from Soundclick.com)


“Santa Baby” by The Swingle Singers from “Unwrapped”
(The Sound Corporation)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album


“Joy To The World” by Prague Chamber Choir, Philharmonic Wind Orchestra from “Greatest Christmas Carols”
(Marcophon)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album


“Go, Santa Go!” by Howell – Freundlich Overdrive from “Christmas Fervor”
(Fervor Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album


“Nutcracker March” by Pittsburgh Symphony Brass from “A Song of Christmas”
(Four Winds Entertainment, Inc.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Sno” by Tonic Sol-Fa from Sugarüe”
More from the Tonic Sol-Fa store

Background music:

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

“Surf’s Up, Emmanuel” by Brian Bunker (from GarageBand.com)

“Sleigh Ride” by Jeffrey Scot Wills from “A Central Standard Christmas”
(IMI)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Let It Snow” by In Due Season from “In Due Season EP”
(gMusic)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

For more information:

Twitter.com/XmasStocking has all the links. Like Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” train tour, hot toys this year, the personalized Rubik’s Cube, ways to save for the holiday, and more.

34 Christmas in Europe

From Christmas 2008: We conclude our initial tour of continents with a look at Christmas in Europe. Also, another listener tradition! More at MyChristmasStocking.net. TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. 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:

“Silent Night” by Justin Faulknor

Background music:

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Eden Symphony Orchestra from “A Symphony of Christmas Joy”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Napster
Buy at Amazon MP3
 More On This Album


“Oh Holy Night” by Chris Goddard from “An Acoustic Christmas with Chris Goddard”
(Milomix Productions)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

You’ll find links about Christmas in  eastern and central Europe, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Spain.

33 The Salvation Army

From Christmas 2008: By listener suggestion from Twitter, we look at the history of the Salvation Army. 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:

“Christ Was Born on Christmas Day” by Chichester Cathedral Choir from “Choral Christmas – Seasonal Favorites Performed By Cathedral Choir”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Lulee’s Dance / Joy to the World / We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Tommy Harden from “Celtic Carols”
(IMI)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem” by Kevin McLeod (from Incompetech)

More information:

The Salvation Army USA has a website with a lot of information, including history and ways to give.

Once again, Wikipedia has lots of info.

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.

31 A Christmas Story

From Christmas 2008: 2008 was the 25th anniversary of the movie A Christmas Story and we celebrate with some behind the scenes info. More at MyChristmasStocking.net. Also a couple of traditions from Christmas Stocking listeners who emailed TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And join us on Facebook, too.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Sno” by Tonic Sol-Fa from Sugarüe”
More from the Tonic Sol-Fa store

Background music:

“Deck the Halls” by Kevin McLeod (from Incompetech)

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by David Shelley from “Christmas Sax – Seasonal Favorites With Smooth Jazz”
(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Buy a two disc “Ultimate Collector’s Edition,” a regular “Two-Disc Special Edition,” or on Blu-ray from one of these links and help The Christmas Stocking!

You can visit Ralphie’s house! They’ve had over 100,000 visitors.

IMDB is full of information about this movie and its sequel.

Of course, Wikipedia has lots.

30 Christmas in Australia

From Christmas 2008: Summertime, and Christmas is easy…in Australia. Well, maybe not easy, but definitely warm. We get up close and personal with the folks down under in the latest episode. More at MyChristmasStocking.net. Shout out to Sarah who emailed me at 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:

“On The Rooftop” by Gentleman Auction House from “Christmas In Love”
(Emergency Umbrella)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Happy Christmas” by Dan Lopes (from MacJams.com)

Background music:
“Wise Men Trio” by Yelena N. Eckemoff from “New Christmas Songs”
(L & H Production)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

“Adeste Fidelis” by Bruce Cockburn from “Christmas”
(True North Records)
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

For more information:

Santa’s.Net has lots of info about Australian Christmas (they should, they’re in Australia).  So does HowStuffWorks.com, LovelyChristmas.co.uk and Wikipedia.com. And Sarah from Australia deserves to be read.

29 “Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

From Christmas 2008: In this super-stuffed Christmas Stocking episode, one of my favorite Christmas stories. I hope you enjoy it. Find info at MyChristmasStocking.net. If you have any stories or poems you would like to be shared on The Christmas Stocking, you can email me: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.  Also 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:

“Away in a Manger” by Amy Caldwell and Tom Moore (from Soundclick.com)

Background music:

“All Poor Men And Humble” by The Eden Symphony Orchestra from “20 Classical Christmas Favorites”(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Christmas Pathetiqué” by Michael Allen Harrison from “Enchanted Christmas Volume Three”
(MAH Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Angels We Have Heard on High” by Tommy Harden (from “Peace On Earth”)
(IMI)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

You can read the story yourself.

Wikipedia has a nice overview of other versions of the story.

If you want to find out more about O. Henry (including his real name) The Literature Network is a good resource.

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.

27 The Rockettes and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

From Christmas 2008: By request via TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET, we look at the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes and their history, along with information on this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. More at MyChristmasStocking.net. Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. 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:

“O Christmas Tree” by The GrooveBarbers from “Happy Holiday – Christmas Favorites”
(Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Nutcracker March” by Pittsburgh Symphony Brass from “A Song of Christmas”
(Four Winds Entertainment, Inc.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

King’s Blues March” by Marc Reift Orchestra from “Swingle Bells”
(Marcophon)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

O Christmas Tree (jazz piano trio)” by John Stebbe (from MacJams.com)

Find out more:

You may still be able to buy tickets to the national tour or even the Radio City show!

The New York Times likes the Rockettes: A review from 2005, background on the life of a Rockette from 2005, a profile of the new director and choreographer of the New York show from 2006, and background on last year’s 75th anniversary spectacular. Put ’em together, it’s a lot of information.

The New York Daily News has a nice profile of the Rockettes, too.

Wikipedia has a lot of information, too.

2009 UPDATE: The show opens Nov. 13 this year.

2010 UPDATE: The show opens Nov. 5 this year!

26 Black Friday and Christmas Shopping 2008

From Black Friday 2008: As much as we say it’s not happening this year, most of us will end up doing more Christmas shopping than we were planning to. This time, we have some Black Friday tips and general shopping tips. And someone special called. You can, too. More at MyChristmasStocking.netEmail: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   And follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton

Background music:

“Innkeeper” by Yelena N. Eckemoff from “New Christmas Songs”
(L & H Production)
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Silent Night Instrumental” by Jiggajoe (from Soundclick.com)

“Up on a Housetop” by Kevin MacLeod (from Incompetech.com)

For more information:

There are a ton of sites with Black Friday info, which will probably be updated throughout the season like  Black-Friday.net and BlackFriday.info (which has a nice news blog, too).  Don’t forget CyberMonday.com, which looks like it’s in cahoots with the merchants (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution website has some good shopping tips, and the Worcester Telegram has cyber shoppping tips.

I also mention John Hodgeman.

25 Thanksgiving

From Thanksgiving 2008: The holiday season is starting late this year because Thanksgiving is late. Whose fault is that? Find out in the first edition of The Christmas Stocking. More at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.   Follow me on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. 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.

Background music:

“All Poor Men And Humble” by The Eden Symphony Orchestra from “20 Classical Christmas Favorites”(Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Mo’oz Tsur” by Laurie Z. from “Heart of the Holidays” (Zebra Productions, Inc.)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

“Over the River and Through the Woods (grandma mix)” by Ignite Sky (from Soundclick.com)

“Seasoned Greetings” by Davie Allan and the Arrows from (”Fuzz For the Holidays 2″)

Featured song:

“Christmas Is Coming To Town” by Anna Wilson from “Yule Swing!”
(Transfer Records, LLC)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
More On This Album

More information about Thanksgiving:

The History Channel lists some “Mayflower Myths,” a possible menu for the first Thanksgiving, and they have the Thanksgiving proclamation by the Continental Congress in 17