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Merry Little Podcast of MyMerryChristmas.com - podcast

Merry Little Podcast of MyMerryChristmas.com

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An exploration of all things Christmas from the Internet's longest ongoing celebration of Christmas at MyMerryChristmas.com

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Christmas is Love: New Christmas Music of 2021
12/11 2021

Christmas is Love: New Christmas Music of 2021

We are pleased to present our annual and traditional episode of new Christmas music. This is far and away our most popular episode every year and it has nothing to do with the host. These featured artists graciously offer up their music for review and allow us to include them in this special episode. Evidently you love it too. Last year’s episode has not only been listened to more than a quarter of a million times it is still going strong, drawing downloads in the thousands weekly. This episode is even better that one. With us approaching our 2nd pandemic Christmas these great Christmas creators are all conveying through their music exactly what it is that we feel, what we value in Christmas and how we want this Christmas to be. It is, at the end of the day, all about love. We did not plan for this theme (or any theme at all) for this episode it has just spontaneously happened. Please listen and enjoy, especially for those artists who took the time to talk with us to share some of the backstories of these great songs. We encourage you to visit these links below, to buy their songs and albums and to let them know through your own reviews how you feel about their music: How Christmas Was Meant to Be – Track Dogs featuring The Barefoot Movement Track Dogs Website: https://www.trackdogsmusic.com/ [https://www.trackdogsmusic.com/]The Barefoot Movement Website: http://www.thebarefootmovementofficial.com/ [http://www.thebarefootmovementofficial.com/]Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/trackdogs/how-christmas-was-meant-to-be-the-barefoot-movement-track-dogs [https://soundcloud.com/trackdogs/how-christmas-was-meant-to-be-the-barefoot-movement-track-dogs]Bandcamp: https://trackdogs.bandcamp.com/track/how-christmas-was-meant-to-be [https://trackdogs.bandcamp.com/track/how-christmas-was-meant-to-be]Wonderful One – Monica Scott and Angie Killian Angie’s Website: http://angiekillian.com [http://angiekillian.com]Monica’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/youtube.com/c/MonicaScottMusic [https://www.youtube.com/youtube.com/c/MonicaScottMusic]Angie’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/youtube.com/angiekillianmusic [https://www.youtube.com/youtube.com/angiekillianmusic]Love is Christmas – Jesse Terry Website: https://www.jesseterrymusic.com [https://www.jesseterrymusic.com]That Old Red Sleigh – Rehya Stevens Website: https://rehyastevens.com [https://rehyastevens.com]Lonely Christmas – Wallis Wallis’ Website: https://iamwallis.com [https://iamwallis.com]More Links: https://linktr.ee/I_am_Wallis [https://linktr.ee/I_am_Wallis]Quarantine Christmas – Mike Mentz Website: https://mikementz.com [https://mikementz.com]Featured at: https://songwhip.com/various-artists/a-rock-by-the-sea-christmas-vol-12 [https://songwhip.com/various-artists/a-rock-by-the-sea-christmas-vol-12]Christmas Time – Mike Farley Featured at: https://songwhip.com/various-artists/a-rock-by-the-sea-christmas-vol-12 [https://songwhip.com/various-artists/a-rock-by-the-sea-christmas-vol-12]The After Christmas Song – Bob Malone Website: https://www.bobmalone.com [https://www.bobmalone.com]Featured at: https://songwhip.com/various-artists/a-rock-by-the-sea-christmas-vol-12 [https://songwhip.com/various-artists/a-rock-by-the-sea-christmas-vol-12]

41m
Great Christmas Podcasts, Part 2 – Finding the Christmas in Christmas Podcasts
9/11 2021

Great Christmas Podcasts, Part 2 – Finding the Christmas in Christmas Podcasts

Great Christmas podcasts are made of one very simple ingredient: love. That is the conclusion of two very different podcasts we feature in this episode. One is two years old and has published dozens of episodes. The other is brand new, only weeks old. Yet the commonality in their creation and the motivation for bringing it all online is surprisingly the same. In fact, we have found this in nearly every other podcast we have featured and we claim the very same for our own. In this merry episode we talk with Rikki Meece of the Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe Christmas Podcast [https://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/sbmchristmas], a general Christmas podcast that dives deep into just about any Christmas subject. In a world of specialized Christmas podcasts Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe dares to cover it all. We discuss with Rikki how her background in radio influences the creation and production of SBMX and how she manages to cover even more of the broad topics of Christmas by expanding the podcast's presence on social media. We also talk with Mark and Doug of the brand new Eggnogs and Yulelogs [https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/eggnogs-and-yule-logs/id1591830885] podcast, which has only been online just the past few weeks. These creative guys have decided to cover the already-covered topic of Hallmark movies. But they do it with their own creative take - and, well, you just have to hear them explain it. They are fun, they are entertaining and they bring a lot of Christmas cheer.

24m
Great Christmas Podcasts – Part 1
1/11 2021

Great Christmas Podcasts – Part 1

Christmas podcasts have exploded in number over the past couple of years. A decade ago there were just a handful of us podcasting Christmas. Now there are several hundred. How do you sort all that out? What are the truly great podcasts of Christmas? Sure, that is a subjective thing. But if you want a balanced look at the Best of Christmas Podcasts [https://mymerrychristmas.com/the-best-of-christmas-podcasts-2021/], we point you to a two-month project that surveyed listeners, Christmas publications, Christmas radio stations, Christmas communities, Christmas podcasters and podcast experts. But that effort selected just 10 podcasts out of the hundreds online to identify. This merry little episode focuses on some other vote getters. We spotlight just a few more podcasts we think you need to know about. First up is Totally Rad Christmas [https://totallyradchristmas.buzzsprout.com], a podcast that burst onto the scene last year with complete energy for the 1980s Christmas. While that's a podcast exploring the culture of Christmas from the 80s we dig deeper into a specific area of Christmas culture through the celebration of Christmas TV specials with Advent Calendar House [https://adventcalendar.house] podcast. And finally we wrap it up with a comfortable old friend, Sounds of Christmas [https://soundsofchristmas.com], who launched a new podcast - the Sounds of Christmas Podcast [https://www.soundsofchristmas.com/podcasts.html] - this past year. Listen to these great Christmas creators talk about their contributions to Christmas online and why you need to give them all a listen.

28m
Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 3
12/10 2021

Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 3

Christmas of the 20th Century takes a very progressive turn in Part 3 of this series, this one covering the 1920s. It was a time of technological explosion and it touched nearly every part of Christmas. American homes were increasingly converted to electric service, making the use of washing machines, dishwashers, lights, and every imaginable appliance now a fact of modern living. There were many devices that affected Christmas: the radio, the phonograph and the light bulb. All of these had a huge impact on Christmas. In this episode we explore how Christmas changed with these innovations - and how Christmas played a part in bringing each to market. Music was the biggest benefactor in bringing the industry of sound recording together with radio broadcasting. For the first time, diverse types of Christmas music were heard all over the country. And the country rose up to embrace it. This episode features a wide variety of recorded music from this era known as the Roaring 20s. There were other innovations that impacted thing - even non-electric stuff such as cameras and telephones. These items and how they were marketed, especially at Christmas, would go on to influence Christmas for generations. Underlying all this innovation was a progressive time especially for women. This is another topic of exploration that, again, would influence Christmas more in the decades ahead. This is a fun and expansive episode. In fact, we could - and probably will - get another couple of episodes out of this glorious time in Christmas history.

41m
Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 2
24/9 2021

Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 2

Christmas of the 20th Century continues with this new episode exploring the years from 1910 to 1919. It was an epic era of change fueled by World War I and a global pandemic. But what was it really like? Everything in the world was changing. During these years we went from horse-and-buggy to speedy automobiles. News was soon to be heard over the radio before it could be printed in newspapers. Houses were starting to become wired for electricity and life in the home was forever changed as technology made new appliances do the work that previously was nothing short of manual labor. Christmas changed too -- especially in movies and in music. The Victrola - a talking machine that recorded sound and played it back - became the must-have device of this decade. We tell the story of how recording and playback was done. It was advanced science for the times but primitive to us today. The fascinating story of the Columbia Record Company is told as it worked to bring recordings of large choral and orchestra groups to the mass market. This episode features lots of music from era and showcases just how far sound has come. Movers and shakers, especially as it related to Christmas, include Norman Rockwell, who is featured prominently in this episode. We also explore the history of World War I and how that global event was affected by Christmas during each year of the war. The decade closes with two major events: a global pandemic and the onset of Prohibition. These two changed everything about Christmas, with headlines that eerily mirror what we are experiencing today.

37m
Christmas Decorating
26/8 2021

Christmas Decorating

Christmas decorating could be a problem this year. Have you noticed how your local grocery store has no selection of bottled water? Believe it or not, the same thing causing a shortage of bottled water could affect Christmas decoration supply this year. It just another reality heading into our 2nd pandemic Christmas. This episode of the Merry Little Podcast talks about how Christmas decorating will be different this year because of all the weird going on in the world. We reached out to experts at Bronners.com [https://bronners.com], the world's largest Christmas store, to tell us what is going on and how everything to do with Christmas decorating will be affected. While decking the halls will be different they will be decked. It is a tradition of antiquity. To that end we explore the history of "Deck the Halls" and explain why it wasn't only just a holiday tradition back in the day but also why it is as much a party song as it is a carol. Of course, we find joy in sharing the decorating of Christmas as well with our 16th Annual Ornament Exchange [https://mymerrychristmas.com/events/annual-ornament-exchange/] at the Merry Forums of MyMerryChristmas.com. Pandemic or no, we're celebrating. To that end, we invite you as well to explore more about Bronners with this great episode from our friends at the Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe Christmas Podcast [https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/sbmchristmas/id/19782878], who talk with CEO Wayne Bronner about the story of the world's biggest Christmas store.

29m
Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 1
4/8 2021

Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 1

Christmas of the 20th Century is a new series of the Merry Little Podcast that focuses on a full century of change. How we celebrate Christmas evolved with the changes in technology and media as the 20th century progressed. In this episode we explore the emerging technologies of Christmas of the 20th century in Christmas decor through electrifying the Christmas tree. Christmas tree safety was long a top of debate but adding the safer and more festive elements of electric lights was no cheap feat. Recorded music likewise was in its infancy and few could afford what little music was offered. Movies were only beginning between 1900 and 1910 but Christmas was at the forefront of this new technology. The very first movies put on film were about Christmas, including a now-famous 1898 production that featured Santa Claus landing on the roof of a home and delivering presents to sleeping children. A hold-over from the previous century was the Christmas card. It only became more popular in the new century and it burdened post offices everywhere. Coast-to-coast media, even if it was only in print, went far to influence the fads of Christmas and few fads were as crazy as the toy teddy bears of the early 1900s, a tradition that has endured well into the 21st century. Marketed by importers of pin cushions, the teddy bear craze was driven by President Teddy Roosevelt, who famously refused to kill a bear that had been set up by the media.

24m
Christmas Cowboys and Anniversaries
27/5 2021

Christmas Cowboys and Anniversaries

Our annual anniversaries episode of the Merry Little Podcast celebrates Christmas Cowboys and several iconic elements of the season celebrating a Christmas birthday of sorts. Our friend Glen Warren of the Seasons Eatings Podcast [https://seasonseatingspodcast.libsyn.com] sets down his ladle for a look into the legend and life of Gene Autry, the original crooner of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and author of a variety of legendary Christmas hits. This episode also celebrates the 75th anniversary of both The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole and It's a Wonderful Life. What would Christmas be without them? Other milestones enjoying a Christmas birthday this year are Christmas albums from Elvis and Kenny Rogers and - can you believe it? - it's the 10th year anniversary Michael Buble's Christmas.

40m
The Future of Christmas Present
31/1 2021

The Future of Christmas Present

The future of Christmas present is definitely on the minds of many as we head into the New Year. What just happened? How do we explain the Christmas we just experienced? Try as we might to predict ahead of time what Christmas 2020 would be like we still have been flooded with feedback about the Christmas we all just went through. For many of us, it was a Christmas unlike any other in our lifetime. But - it's not like history has not recorded a Christmas like this. In this episode we look back to the Christmas of 1943 - a dark, unexpected, unusual and isolated Christmas that saw many separated from their families for the first time. Framed by Bing Crosby's classic, "I'll Be Home for Christmas", the lessons of Christmas 1943 are learned through not only the sacrifices of those in our family past but also of those from every side who found a way for their humanity to command in a time of war. We share the incredible story of a real combat mission flown over Germany on December 20th, 1943 when an American B-17 bomber commanded by Lt. Charles Brown was shredded by German air defenses and 15 German fighters. The tells the impressions of German Pilot Franz Stigler who couldn't believe the American plane was in the air. His choices were stark: he could shoot them down and win Germany's highest wartime honor for aviators or he could risk court martial and certain execution by allowing the B-17 to escape to safety. It was a story not only of Christmas 1943 but one that took 50 years to resolve when Lt. Brown met Franz Stigler in the 1990s. The lessons of humanity a there for us to learn from every Christmas. We also share a simple story of a loss we suffered on the Merry Forums - and how the discovery of our simple community taught a grieving daughter a new level of love from her Mother who spent so many years with us online. This thoughtful episode contemplates but does not predict the Christmas coming to us next. Instead it projects what Christmas can be -- if we can only remember what it is all really about.

38m
Shepherds and Angels
7/12 2020

Shepherds and Angels

Shepherds and Angels are forever a part of the Christmas story. But why? And what things can we learn from them? In this exploration of a different angle on the Nativity story we ask a lot of questions. The idea is not to cast doubt. It is to celebrate clear facts -- surprising things about the shepherds and angels that you may not know. In this merry episode we discuss the part that shepherds in particular played in the story. They were a curious choice for being key witnesses to the most heralded event in human history. Scholars do not agree about who they exactly were and what they may have known before that night of angelic manifestation. But there is a lesson to be learned by what they saw and how they reacted to it. Angels too are an interesting element of the Christmas story. For many people, angels are a fact of everyday life. Why are there angels? What is their purpose? Why did so many involved in the story of Christmas see angels? This is a celebration as well of beautiful Christmas music, including: This Holy Night -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds7aH69y29I by Broken Bow Music [https://www.facebook.com/BrokenBowMusic1/] | Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/This-Holy-Night-Broken-Music/dp/B08NFMW5H6/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Broken+Bow+Music+This+Holy+Night&qid=1607282320&sr=8-1]I Wonder as I Wander -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1hMgD613Lo Tabernacle Choir God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCoy7URHuY4 Madilyn Paige & Her Sisters Angels from the Realms of Glory -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrLoWt2tfqg The Piano Guys & Cast of Thousands

35m
The Magic of Turkeys and Santa
26/11 2020

The Magic of Turkeys and Santa

In this episode we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas together with a mix of old and new. Thanksgiving -- that All-American holiday of festive foods married with historical debates -- get a look through the lens of pandemic past. We explore the Thanksgiving of 1918 and how it was the same and how it was different. This conversation comes as a backdrop to modern-day calls to abolish Thanksgiving by The New York Times and The Atlantic. While we agree some liberties have been taken with the history of Thanksgiving we have to take a real-world look at what Puritans and Native Americans really have to do with the Thanksgiving we really celebrate. But highlighting this episode even more is the fact that Thanksgiving, as always, sets the Christmas stage and helps build the delicious anticipation we all get in Santa Claus. Our merry little Thanksgiving Gobble Contest has yielded some festive results that we shared include the laughter of my 5 year old grandson who grabbed the microphone to tell me a Christmas tale that happened in my home just last Christmas. Mind you, I've never heard this story before -- and it is, as all Santa stories are -- a legendary thing. And that led to the debut of our first edition of our reading of A Visit from St. Nicholas - the Merry Forums sponsored event we call the Twas the Night Before Christmas Read-a-thon [https://mymerrychristmas.com/twas-the-night-before-christmas/]. This is an activity we have talked about for years that we have finally made a reality. And it is a little production sure to produce a smile and loads of Christmas spirit. We also share some more new music. A new song from Robyn Scott titled I Saw Santa Last Night brings a party feel to this episode. Song Details: Title:  I Saw Santa Last Night Artist:  Robyn Scott Writers:  Robyn Scott & Brian Dolph Length:  2:54 BPM:  100 ISRC:  CA8ZW1900001 Social Media Links Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Robynscottsingscountry [https://www.facebook.com/Robynscottsingscountry]Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/country.singer.robyn.scott/ [https://www.instagram.com/country.singer.robyn.scott/]Twitter:https://twitter.com/RobynScottsings [https://twitter.com/RobynScottsings]I Saw Santa Last Night - Links: Spotify:http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_Spotify [http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_Spotify]iTunes:http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_iTunes [http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_iTunes]Apple Music:http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_AppleMusic [http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_AppleMusic]Amazon:http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_Amazon [http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_Amazon]Google Play:http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_GooglePlay [http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_GooglePlay]YouTube:http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_GooglePlay [http://bit.ly/RS_Santa_GooglePlay]

32m
New Christmas Music 2020
16/11 2020

New Christmas Music 2020

New Christmas music in 2020 is like everything else related to 2020: very different. In fact, we would say there is more heart to the music this year and nothing showcases that better than the good work of the artists and musicians whose songs we feature in this traditional episode of the Merry Little Podcast. Each year we try to do this. To share new music of Christmas is to share Christmas better than almost anything else. We purposely steer clear of the mainstream and the known in this episode to feature those emerging artists who give their all to Christmas in their art. That's what makes this episode powerful and that's what makes it fun. Here is the new Christmas music we're featuring this time around: Home for the Holidays – Sudden Flying Website: https://SuddenFlying.com [https://SuddenFlying.com]YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfaeSS2T4F0 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfaeSS2T4F0]Purchase: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/suddenlyflying/home-for-the-holidays-feat-christopher-weeks [https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/suddenlyflying/home-for-the-holidays-feat-christopher-weeks]When This is Over – Harper Denhard Website: http://www.harperdenhard.com/ [http://www.harperdenhard.com/]Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/songs-of-hope-and-light-ep/1537645239 [https://music.apple.com/us/album/songs-of-hope-and-light-ep/1537645239]YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoLIjsHby9rqwv-MaznQYqH1CIBPLQr1f [https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoLIjsHby9rqwv-MaznQYqH1CIBPLQr1f]Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5nPeuoMiz9QS8RnoC2MZqJ?si=BkmIOWUMQ2Oju_6TKc3AZw [https://open.spotify.com/album/5nPeuoMiz9QS8RnoC2MZqJ?si=BkmIOWUMQ2Oju_6TKc3AZw]Christmas Time is Here – Amanda King Website: https://amandaking.com [https://amandaking.com]YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfM713j4uE8 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfM713j4uE8]I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – Jim Brickman Website: https://jimbrickman.com [https://jimbrickman.com]YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thejimbrickmanmusic/videos [https://www.youtube.com/user/thejimbrickmanmusic/videos]The Gingerbread Man – Jack Tempchin Website: https://jacktempchin.com [https://jacktempchin.com]YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POZfVo0Kv9k [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POZfVo0Kv9k]Darkness Won’t Prevail – Tim Bowen, Eternal Friends Music WebSite: https://eternalfriendsmusic.com [https://eternalfriendsmusic.com]YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNCiCFN0k-4 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNCiCFN0k-4]Home for Christmas – Performed by Rachel Warren YouTube: https://youtu.be/ggQnkqfC15E [https://youtu.be/ggQnkqfC15E]Sheet Music Plus: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/home-for-christmas-digital-sheet-music/21802722 [https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/home-for-christmas-digital-sheet-music/21802722]I Wonder What You Got for Me -- Leah Belle Faser Website: https://www.leahbellefaser.com [https://www.leahbellefaser.com]Album preview: https://ffm.to/crossing-hermis-bridge [https://ffm.to/crossing-hermis-bridge]Let It Snow - -- Luke McMaster Website: https://lukemcmaster.com [https://lukemcmaster.com]YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_sAr2mGBsU [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_sAr2mGBsU]Christmas Kielbasa – Mike Schneider Band Website: https://www.mikeschneiderband.com/christmas [https://www.mikeschneiderband.com/christmas]Facebook: www.facebook.com/mikeschneiderband [http://www.facebook.com/mikeschneiderband]YouTube: www.youtube.com/mikeschneiderband [http://www.youtube.com/mikeschneiderband]Follow That Star – Joanna Jones Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johannalynjones/?hl=en [https://www.instagram.com/johannalynjones/?hl=en]YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDrA1j48lspaWcU9VKHC2N4LqnZyiTA9q [https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDrA1j48lspaWcU9VKHC2N4LqnZyiTA9q]

47m
Let it Be Christmas
12/11 2020

Let it Be Christmas

Let it Be Christmas - despite what 2020 has become. That is the theme and the message of this merry episode of the Merry Little Podcast that is filled with music. We take a look back at our thoughts of Christmas just months ago and the predictions we made last spring about what this Christmas will be like. It's here now -- so how are we dealing with it? We have some pretty serious issues, not the least of which is the unexpected mental toll this year has taken on many. Are you feeling it? Have you lost that loving feeling when it comes to Christmas? Many have and we're taking that topic head on. For some the thought to let it be Christmas is difficult to put the head around in a year like this. Where can we turn for inspiration? We take a look back in history with two very different stories. We discuss George Washington's Christmas at Valley Forge and how Christmas saved things for him when the Continental Congress could help him not at all. The lessons of General Washington are a ponderous thing for those of us struggling to find the Christmas we believe in. We also tell the story of Archie Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt. This one is a little more light-hearted but its lessons are the same: that we need and even crave the love, warmth and security of a Christmas well-celebrated and that we will go far to get it. Christmas for many this year -- and Thanksgiving too, for that matter - is one many are having to reach far for. How is that done? While we do not claim to have the answers we do have some suggestions. It is something we can work on together. And for many, it is something we can over come together. Please join us at the Merry Forums of My Merry Christmas [https://mymerrychristmas.com/forum], where we have ideas of plenty about the virtual Christmas and the things we can do together to let it be Christmas. [https://santassleigh.org]

37m
Family History in Christmas
25/10 2020

Family History in Christmas

Family history in Christmas is something everyone has. In fact, the stories of family at Christmas can possibly be the most cherished family memories we possess. In this merry episode of the Merry Little Podcast we take it to a very personal level when it comes to Christmas history as we discuss the sharing and retention of our family Christmas stories. We have all been there when it comes to these things. We'll sit around at or after the funeral of a loved one and we'll tell their stories. Each life is unique, so these stories in simple and great ways carry supreme value not because they may be unusual but because they involved people we love. How much more special is that when you combine the stories of family with the celebration of Christmas? ~ Family History is a Thing ~ The pursuit of family history is one of the most popular Internet hobbies [https://householdquotes.co.uk/ultimate-genealogy-guide/] online. FamilySearch.org claims more than 200 million visits [https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/familysearch-2019-year-in-review/] a year as they continue to add billions of new records online of ancestral research value. Across the globe as millions work to find their roots through hard data of names of people, places and dates of life transitions there is one component that can hardly been indexed and cataloged and searched online: personal stories. I'm no different than anyone else. This episode is as much about creating a family record of a few of our simple Christmas stories as it is a means of creating a podcast for you, Merry Listeners. These podcasts, after all, are a personal archive me and some day, after I'm pushing up daisies, they will no doubt be of value to people who might call me their ancestor. So this is an episode of personal history -- of Christmas celebrated. What can you do to preserve your family stories of Christmas [https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/tis-the-season-for-family-history-christmas-traditions/]? After all, not everyone has a podcast, right? ~ How to Get Family History in Christmas Recorded ~ Of course there are many ways. But the hardest part does not seem to be the creative effort it requires. It's actually just the time and effort to just make a record. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Use the season to create the record. When family is gathered "roll tape!", as they say. Set up the video camera or flip on the phone and just start talking. 2. Give family history as a gift. It can be as simple as a frame picture or photo album to copies of an old journal. These personal gifts tend to not only be long-remembered and cherished but they also spur good discussion and memory sharing in families. 3. Involve the young and the old. Storytelling is an art that has never gone out of fashion. Add that element to your holiday meals and gatherings. There are a billion ideas out there. But the honest truth is that once you share and create records they tend to take on a life of their own. We just need to get them started.

27m
Classic Christmas Movies that Suck
14/10 2020

Classic Christmas Movies that Suck

Classic Christmas movies are those that get watched year after year. We all have our favorites. And we all have those that maybe we can do without. In this merry episode we take on some truth-telling about some classic Christmas movies that everyone knows and most like but movies that nonetheless really suck. Is such a thing possible? We think so and yes we go there. Lest you think I'm just a Christmas movie Grinch consider that complaining about Christmas movies is something of an art on the Internet. There are a lot of people out there who cannot stand certain Christmas movies. I know it's shocking. When it comes to bad Christmas movies most publications play it safe and make lists of B-grade Christmas movies like this one [https://www.vice.com/en/article/3k94mj/whats-the-worst-christmas-movie-on-amazon-or-netflix]. Not us. We go there -- to the Christmas big leagues. We're talking genuine Grade-A top flight CLASSIC Christmas movies that suck. It is an interesting thing to think about. Christmas movies are really like no other kind of movies. There will always be diversity of opinion when it comes to any movie, Christmas or otherwise. But like hanging stockings or drinking eggnog, there is a tradition of having to endure replays of the same bad Christmas "classics" year after year. We note in this episode about the growing trend of Christmas podcasting and how many new podcasts are out there. The great majority of them pursue movies as their topic. But would any of them really take on this topic? Movies are a sacred cow of Christmas that we think needs some tipping. For many of this old Christmas films we grew up with them. As kids, maybe we did not know they were bad. I can recall seeing A Christmas Story with my family when I was a teenager. We all thought it was a great movie, especially because it was a movie we saw with my Dad in a theater - a rare event. Even more rare was that he enjoyed it so much. We thought he was taking us because it appealed to us. We were surprised -- and I think he was surprised -- at how much he laughed at it. Of course, my father was a child of the 1940s. It makes sense it would connect with him. Imagine my shock years later when discussing that movie with a friend. She was a young school teacher at the time. When I brought the movie up she immediately frowned. "That's a terrible movie," she said. "No child should ever see on a screen an image of Santa sticking his boot in a child's face." It never occurred to me that was a bad scene or that it would affect someone. But I saw her point. Movies in general are things we will never agree on. But Christmas movies, for whatever reason, seem to get a pass in many ways. In this episode we take a look a Christmas movies that play every year that should have been forgotten long ago. Will we bring up one of your favs? Do be shy in commenting what you feel -- that is what makes this discussion always so interesting.

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10th Anniversary of the Merry Podcast
30/9 2020

10th Anniversary of the Merry Podcast

This special episode marks our 10th anniversary of the Merry Podcast. What better way to celebrate International Podcast Day? Given the harshness of our times  in 2020 we thought the best way to celebrate this milestone would be to take a look back at some of the best moments of the Christmas community online. In other words, we're not making this episode about us - it's about YOU! If you're down, weary, worried, concerned, fed-up, or depressed this episode is for you. You will smile. You may laugh a little. You could even shed a tear. But you'll feel better. You WILL feel the Christmas Spirit. In this episode we get another great conversation with Ballcoach, one of our cherished members of the Merry Forums of MyMerryChristmas.com [https://mymerrychristmas.com/forum/]. He delivers once again a great conversation that's all Christmas - showcasing in no small measure just what Christmas community online means. Then we take a look back at Merry Podcast history. The world has changed a lot in just a decade - and so has the Merry Podcast. We discuss some special podcast contributions that have come from our members, including a great Christmas memory surrounding one of the classic songs of Christmas. And speaking of music, there's plenty in this episode to enjoy that will uplift and inspire. We take a look as well at the community efforts of Santa's Sleigh [https://santassleigh.org] - our coordinated little crowd-sourced outreach to folks in need. Can it really be 10 years already? Look at the Christmases we have had!

0m
The Christmas Hall of Fame
28/4 2020

The Christmas Hall of Fame

The Christmas Hall of Fame launched in 2019 to give the true Christmas enthusiast a voice and a place to memorialize the best of Christmas. In this merry episode of the Merry Little Podcast we discuss how the Christmas HallRead more

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Christmas in Crisis
18/4 2020

Christmas in Crisis

The world we knew is now a thing of the past. Whatever you call this thing — a pandemic, the Coronavirus, COVID-19 — it seems to have changed everything. Does that mean it has changed Christmas too? While the answerRead more

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Christmas Eve
5/11 2019

Christmas Eve

Which is bigger for you? Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? In this merry little episode we take a longer look at Christmas Eve and why it is what it is. Why do we celebrate the night before in a bigger way, in many cases, than the day of Christmas? For some, there is no bigger day of the year than December 24th. What is the magic of those hours — especially at night? In reality and in fiction when it comes to Christmas it is Christmas Eve that is bigger. Every Christmas people hang their stockings, sing of Jesus, gather families, eat special foods and celebrate Christmas — all in the hours before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Why do we do that? Christmas Eve is where the real blending of Christianty and Paganism comes together. There’s magic in the darkness. And there has been for thousands of years. This episode is sponsored by:

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The Christmases of World War II
23/6 2019

The Christmases of World War II

They were years of change and uncertainty. For Christmas, they were years that made Christmas a whole new thing. They were the years of 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944. How could these war years make Christmas different? That’s the topic of this podcast episode which features the stories and letters of real folks who experienced all that Christmas was about at that time. What would you do, as a young man or young woman aged 19 or 20, away from home for the first time at Christmas with the knowledge that you might never return? What would you do if you just didn’t know when you would ever be able to return home for Christmas? What would you do if you were a parent to one of these young people now spending Christmas in harm’s way? How would you feel not knowing if they could ever spend another Christmas with you? These were the realities for millions of people during these years. No wonder Christmas was different during this time. And no wonder Christmas was different thereafter, too.

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Christmas Before Christ
21/12 2018

Christmas Before Christ

Long before the Babe of Bethlehem was born Christmas was celebrated. In this episode we explore the spiritual and very real celebration of Christmas about Christ…before Christ. Historians, dependent upon physical evidence and validated truth, are quick to dismiss anything Christmas related before Christ as Pagan. We say not so fast. The evidence of Christmas before Christ about Christ is abundant. There were witnesses aplenty and in this episode we discuss their story and the evidence they left behind. Of most curious interest is the case of the Shepherds, those famous night time guardians who so joyously spread the news of Christ’s birth. We know now these were not men of ignorance. They knew about Christ long before the Angels showed up. We also talk of others who knew as well. It is time this part of the Christmas story is shared.

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Awful, No Good, Very Bad Christmas Music
12/12 2018

Awful, No Good, Very Bad Christmas Music

Everyone, it seems, is a Christmas music critic these days. The Christmas season of 2018 has been marked with those emphasizing what they don’t like about Christmas music.  Headlining the news has been the new debate about an old song, Baby It’s Cold Outside. Some are calling it the date rape song.  This despite the fact the song is better than 70 Christmases old.  Politics and movements aside, it should be pointed out that bad Christmas music is a thing. And it has always been a thing.  In this merry episode we go down that road — and share — some awful, no good, very bad Christmas music with you.  You’re welcome. And Merry Christmas. 

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New Christmas Music 2018
27/11 2018

New Christmas Music 2018

Great new Christmas music is hard to come by even though we are treated to more Christmas music each and every season. In this merry episode we do some of the dirty work for you and serve up some new music we think you’re going to love. This episode features four great songs — just the tip of the Christmas music iceberg that is the 2018 season. Will we do another episode like this? Stay tuned! First up is a merry little tune called Crazy for Christmas by the Cooter Boys. Get their song here. We also feature the snazzy works of Rehya Stevens, from her new album Celebrate. The song we feature on this episode is called A Christmas Song. Rehya is an old soul that gives a lot of warm feels with her original stuff. In fact, that’s the charm of this album. It’s orginal Christmas stuff. The merry shines through despite the fact the songs are unknown. Or perhaps because of that fact. Also in this episode we are thrilled to hear the vocals of Emi Sunshine in a bluegrass tune telling a story of Santa’s reindeer. EmiSunshine has been attracting national attention since she was about nine years old, appearing at music festivals throughout the world, as well as on NBC’s “The Today Show,” “Little Big Shots,” the Grand Ole Opry and elsewhere. Recently, several of her songs were used in the Elvis Presley documentary “The King.” I won’t spoil the story. But it takes not just a song to tell the story but also an all-new award winning children’s book by Grant Maloy Smith. The book is a first release for Smith but as a recording artist his 2017 album “Dust Bowl – American Stories” was

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The Legend of the Christmas Stocking
10/11 2018

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking

The Christmas stocking and the orange so many of us find in the toe of it every Christmas morning is a source of mystery to many. What is legend, what is myth, what is truth? There is a cruel rumor going about that for whatever the truth is about the Christmas stocking St. Nicholas had nothing to do with it. That is, of course, poppycock. There would be no Christmas stocking without St. Nicholas. This merry episode dives deep into where the Christmas stocking comes from and it explain the orange in the toe — once and for all. It is, at the end of the day, a fascinating story of legend. A story worth retelling again and again. That is, after all, how we got the Christmas stocking in the first place. We should keep it going.

0m
Christmas Pranks
11/10 2018

Christmas Pranks

Christmas pranks have a way of making the season memorable. From the stocking stuffed with lumps of coal to Christmas trees hung upside-down, the season is full of opportunities for the merry and young at heart. In this merry episode we scratch the surface of some of the great pranks in Christmas history — some dating back as much as four hundred years. Pranks can be simple — or they can be elaborate. Do you remember the Legend of the Christmas Pants? Back in 1964, Larry Kunkel’s mother thought he’d appreciate a nice new pair of moleskin pants. He didn’t. Living in Minnesota, the pants were prone to stiffness in the freezing weather of the winter months. So Larry pawned the pants off on his brother-in-law, Roy Collett, as a gift the very next Christmas. But Roy didn’t care for them either. So he returned the favor and the pants the following Christmas. For years the brothers exchanged the unwanted pants — but did so in cleverly packaged ways. One year the pants came wrapped in a three foot galvanized pipe. Another year it was put into the glove box of a 1974 Gremlin…which was then crushed into a three foot cube. Thus goes the tale of one of many classic Christmas pranks. Pranks can be elaborately planned affairs or spontaneous whims of inspiration. Often, it is an idea taken to an extreme for laughs all around. Pranking is an old, long standing tradition of Christmas and this episode merely introduces the idea. Look for this topic in depth as part of a new episode of the Merry Podcast over at the Merry Forums.

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The Deeper Meaning of Christmas Ornaments
2/10 2018

The Deeper Meaning of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments get flung on trees without much thought. Many buy them in packs reminiscent of soda or beer. Most ornaments in use today are so plain and so ordinary that they receive little notice at all. But did you know there was once quite the art to the humble Christmas ornament? Once upon a time a Christmas ornament was only used with great thought. It was carefully and often meticulously hand crafted with a single purpose in mind. Ornaments once were singular in design and heavy in symbolism. In this episode of the Merry Little Podcast we explore how ornaments reveal some of the deeper symbolism — and at times hidden meanings — of Christmas. We also explain why ornaments are older as a tradition than you think and why it was so much a part of the ancient celebration of Christmas. Ornaments don’t HAVE to be meaningful. And they don’t have to be religious. Over time they have come to symbolize family unity, occupations, political beliefs, team loyalties, and preferences in the arts. Regardless of how they were used — they meant something.

0m
The Wildly Popular Custom of Christmas Greetings
20/9 2018

The Wildly Popular Custom of Christmas Greetings

There is a rumor going around that nobody sends Christmas cards any more. Some say the days of stamping envelopes and receiving cards are done. Don’t believe every rumor you hear. In this merry episode we explore the ancient — and still wildly popular — custom of Christmas greetings. Of course, the average historian will take you back to the 1840’s to give you the history of Christmas greetings. That’s dumb. Christmas greetings actually go back way before Christ. In fact, they are among the oldest of Christmas traditions. Better still: greetings are a tradition that continues to grow in popularity. This fascinating trip back in Christmas time just might restore your will to buy, write and stamp cards for sending.

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Great Moments in North Pole Radio
13/9 2018

Great Moments in North Pole Radio

A light departure this time around as we explore some great moments from North Pole radio. Not everyone can listen to the great broadcast coverage of Santa’s flight on Christmas Eve. That is why now and then we package up a few highlights. They are a lot of fun and they set a great mood for those just itching to get a little Christmas going. The North Pole trusts their news to nobody. They do it completely themselves. For hours before Santa launches the sleigh until he returns home they provide a steady stream of news coverage from the North Pole. Through gracious arrangements with SantaUpdate.com and Kringle Radio, we provide just a glimpse of their merriness right here on the Merry Little Podcast. These selected news segments give you another view of Christmas and of Santa in particular. It’s a fun listen and a great departure from the usual fare. Let the kid in you loose as you enjoy a little news from the North Pole!

0m
Christmas in the 60s
6/9 2018

Christmas in the 60s

Christmas in the 60s is not as fondly remembered as Christmases of previous decades. We think that perception should change. The 1960s were incredible years in many ways. Politics shifted, music morphed, movies changed, and society itself seemed at times to unravel. They were turbulent and violent years. They were years where the worst of us seemed to star on television every night. Christmas did get caught up in all that. But did Christmas change, as the times did? After all, in the 1960s Bing was still a bright Christmas star. So too was Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. We still had Christmas trees, mistletoe and Santa Claus. But we had aluminum Christmas trees, soul Santa and Christmas-in-space. We think Christmas got better. Yes, indeed, Christmas did change. It grew, became more diverse — and yet, Christmas of time and tradition, also stubbornly held on. It was a time of great Christmas contrasts. In this merry episode we explore how Christmas old and new collided during the turbulent 1960s and we wonder what lessons we can take away from those days now. In many ways, it is fair to say we have not learned enough — or maybe done enough — about the things that divide us. This episode cannot touch on it all, of course. We take a long look at A Charlie Brown Christmas…and share a piece of the Merry Podcast episode #63 featuring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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