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Christmas Past

Author: Brian Earl

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Christmas Past is a podcast that tells the stories behind your favorite holiday traditions and celebrates Christmas nostalgia
65 Episodes
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Here on Christmas Past, I dig in to the backstories behind Christmas traditions. But what happens when you can’t even verify that the thing you’re researching even is a tradition? That’s what happened when I started looking into the Christmas Pickle. You’ve probably seen pickle tree ornaments, or maybe seen posts about them in your social media feeds. The story goes that it’s an old German tradition. But…the more you dig in, the more you have to wonder. Well, luckily someone else has done the heavy lifting. A trained journalist, no less. Richard Parks III is the host of Richard’s famous food podcast. And last year he dedicated an episode to his investigation of the topic. So join me, Tim Babb from Can't Wait for Christmas and Craig Kringle from Weird Christmas as we explore, theorize, and generally goof around discussing the strange and mysterious phenomenon of the Christmas Pickle. Announcements There’s still time to get tickets for Christmas Land in Los Angeles on December 15. Follow on Instagram @christmaslandexperience A Christmas in July convention is in the works for 2020 in Nashville…and I’ll be there!  Follow on Instagram @christmasinjulyconvention and on Twitter @AJulyChristmas If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details.  Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Music in this episode "Red City Theme" — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive
Christmas Ghost Stories

Christmas Ghost Stories

2019-12-0400:23:48

Nowadays our Christmas stories are mainly warm and cozy. They’re about reunions and homecomings. Romances and magical journeys and visits from St. Nicholas. But not so very long ago, and especially for the Victorians, Christmas stories could also send chills down your spine and make you think twice about things that go bump in the night.  In this episode, professor Tara Moore tells Brian about this creepy part of Christmas history. Plus, Brian reads the ghost story, The Strange Christmas Game. Links The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, by Tara Moore Music in this episode "The Snowgarden" — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive "Nouvelle Noel" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech "Relaxing Piano Music" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech "Undercover Vampire Policeman" — Chris Zabrieski, via Free Music Archive "Dance for One" — Dexter Britain, via Internet Archive
Barbara Hinske is an attorney turned full-time novelist. Her 2016 novella, The Christmas Club is the basis for the 2019 Hallmark Channel movie of the same name. In this Ber Months Bonus episode, Brian and Barbara discuss writing, Christmas stories, Hallmark movies, and much more. Music in this episode "Deck the Halls A" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech Announcements There’s still time to get tickets for Christmas Land in Los Angeles on December 15 A Christmas in July convention is in the works for 2020 in Nashville…and I’ll be there! If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details. Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above
It's Christmas Past's first live show! Join Tim Babb from Can't Wait for Christmas and Brian Earl for an hour of games, music, and conversation, recorded outside the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. This is the first time the Dickens Fair has hosted a live podcast recording.  About the fair The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind holiday adventure into Victorian London -  an elaborate party with hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 120,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and Christmas shops. It's a twilight evening in Charles Dickens' London Town - a city of winding lanes filled with colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamplit shops are filled to overflowing with Christmas gifts. The Dickens Christmas Fair is a treasured Bay Area tradition since 1970 and a splendid way to celebrate the holidays. Special thanks This live show wouldn't have been possible without the hard work and boundless Christmas spirit of Denise Lamott of Denise Lamott public relations, and Kevin Patterson, the director of the fair (who appears in this episode). Thanks also to the wonderful musicians who appear in this episode: The Coventry Carolers, The Brothers Luper, and The Paddy West School of Seamanship. Announcements There's still time to get tickets for Christmas Land in Los Angeles on December 15 A Christmas in July convention is in the works for 2020 in Nashville...and I'll be there! If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details. Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above
At the turn of the 20th century, the idea of kids writing letters to Santa Claus was still new. Post offices, newspapers, and charities publicly disputed how to handle the letters. It was a logistical and public relations problem, which would take a clever plan to address.
John Gluck was a workaday customs broker who dreamed of bigger things. So when he heard that the Postal Service needed help with letters to Santa, he came forward with a plan to get the letters into the hands of donors. With a little help from a troop of boy scouts, John Gluck and his Santa Claus Association did the (seemingly) impossible.
What happens when a charitable endeavor starts looking more and more like an elaborate con? As Gluck sought to expand operations, he started playing fast and loose with the facts in order to raise money and hobnob with the rich and powerful.
During the Great War, fraudulent wartime charities abounded in New York City. When the district attorney started a sweeping investigation, John Gluck found himself in his crosshairs. But that was just the beginning of his troubles.
You'd think that Gluck couldn't make things worse for himself...but you'd be wrong. He finds himself the subject of more investigations, and gets himself into hot water with the state Attorney General. But this isn't the end of the Santa Claus Association. But...that is coming.
In the early 20s, John Gluck wanted to reinvigorate the Santa Claus Association to its original glory, with the help of some high profile endorsements.But along the way, he crossed the one man who figures out the stunningly simple way to shut down Gluck once and for all.
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode. Your favorite Christmas radio station may have you thinking that there are only about two dozen Christmas songs (mostly from the 1940s and 50s) worth listening to. Nonsense! In this episode, I share some new music worthy of your next Christmas playlist.  Announcements There's still time to get tickets for Christmas Land in Los Angeles on December 15 A Christmas in July convention is in the works for 2020 in Nashville...and I'll be there! If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details. Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above Follow Christmas Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out all the bonus Christmas content at christmaspast.media Links The Wynotte Sisters on Facebook The Predicates' music video Music in this episode "Deck the Halls A" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech "Christmas in Suburbia" — The Wynotte Sisters, contributed by the artist "Christmas Imagination" — Trio West, contributed by the artist "Midnight Christmas Lullaby" — The Predicates, contributed by the artist "Santa's Sleighin' It" — Chrissy Blazier, contributed by the artist "Deck the Halls" — Rue Royale, via Free Music Archive
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode. This week, I read the classic short story by Hans Christian Andersen: The Little Match Girl.  Announcements Brian and Tim Babb from Can't Wait for Christmas will record a live episode on November 24 at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco There's still time to get tickets for Christmas Land in Los Angeles on December 15 A Christmas in July convention is in the works for 2020 in Nashville...and I'll be there!  If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details. Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above Follow Christmas Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out all the bonus Christmas content at christmaspast.media Music in this episode "A Little Powder" — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive "Relaxing Piano Music" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode! This week, I'm taking you inside Christmas Con 2019.    Announcements If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details.  Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above.  I’m doing a live show this year at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco in November. I’m teaming up with Tim Babb from Can’t Wait for Christmas for a fun and very Victorian hour or Christmas spirit. I'll be at ChristmasLand on December 15 in Los Angeles! It’s an immersive Christmas movie experience that'll give you "all the  feels.” Follow them on Instagram @christmaslandexperience. Follow Christmas Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out all the bonus Christmas content at christmaspast.media
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode! This time, I have the honor of sharing an audio piece by Chantelle from All Things Christmas. Learn all about Christmas in Japan! And then, check out Chantelle's blog and YouTube channel.  Announcements If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details.  Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above.  I’m doing a live show this year at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco in November. I’m teaming up with Tim Babb from Can’t Wait for Christmas for a fun and very Victorian hour or Christmas spirit. I’ll be appearing on a podcasters panel at Christmas Con in Edison New Jersey on November 9, but tickets are sold out. I'll be at ChristmasLand on December 15 in Los Angeles! It’s an immersive Christmas movie experience that'll give you "all the  feels.” Follow them on Instagram @christmaslandexperience. Follow Christmas Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out all the bonus Christmas content at christmaspast.media
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode! This time, I read you a forgotten Christmas short story, "The Christmas Present" from 1922. Announcements If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details.  Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above.  I’m doing a live show this year at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco in November. I’m teaming up with Tim Babb from Can’t Wait for Christmas for a fun and very Victorian hour or Christmas spirit. I’ll be appearing on a podcasters panel at Christmas Con in Edison New Jersey on November 9. The Christmas Past iPhone app is coming! More details soon. ChristmasLand is happening on December 15 in Los Angeles. It’s immersive Christmas movie experience that'll give you "all the  feels.” Follow them on Instagram @christmaslandexperience. Follow Christmas Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out all the bonus Christmas content at christmaspast.media
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode! This time, I read you the classic Christmas story, "The Gift of the Magi."  Announcements If you leave a review I’ll send you a Christmas card containing a Christmas Past sticker. Write me at christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com for details.  Send your Christmas memory for the 2019 season. Record yourself on your phone’s voice recorder app and send it to the email address above.  I’m doing a live show this year at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco in November. I’m teaming up with Tim Babb from Can’t Wait for Christmas for a fun and very Victorian hour or Christmas spirit. I’ll be appearing on a podcasters panel at Christmas Con in Edison New Jersey on November 9. The Christmas Past iPhone app is coming! More details soon. ChristmasLand is happening on December 15 in Los Angeles. It’s immersive Christmas movie experience that'll give you "all the  feels.” Follow them on Instagram @christmaslandexperience. Follow Christmas Past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out all the bonus Christmas content at christmaspast.media  
It's June 25, and that means we're exactly halfway to Christmas! The occasion has come to be known as Leon Day, but nobody's really sure how that all got started. But one thing's for sure: many crafters recognize it as the day to get started on their Christmas crafting. In this episode, I get some insight from Holly, a crafter from Missouri. We also hear from Mary in Ireland, who shares some of her memories about celebrating "halfway to Christmas." Also, just like last year, this summer episode also includes a midyear check-in and special announcements about the upcoming season of Christmas Past. You'll definitely want to check it out, because 2019 is going to be the biggest and best season yet! For even more info about Leon Day, check out this article I recently wrote for All Things Christmas. Mentioned in this episode Christmas Clatter Christmas Book Review Can't Wait for Christmas Great Dickens Christmas Fair Music in this episode “Comfort and Joy”— Philip Wesley, via Feels Like Christmas "Golden Hour" — Podington Bear, via Free Music Archive "Wish Background" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech Rate and review Christmas Past on Apple Podcasts, and I'll send you an official Christmas Past sticker and a handwritten Christmas card to say thanks!
Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018

2018-12-2400:06:014

In a few short days, Christmas of 2018 will belong to Christmas Past. So in this final episode of the 2018 Christmas season, Brian looks back at some of the news and trends that defined this year's Christmas. There's also a little year-end wrap up for the show and the world of Christmas podcasts in general.  Thank you all for being part of the 2018 season of Christmas Past! Everyone who listened, told a friend, shared a memory, participated in the Facebook group, and engaged on other social media.  I wish you all a very merry Christmas! Music in this Episode "Deck the Hall B" - Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech
Christmas Memories 2018

Christmas Memories 2018

2018-12-2200:23:47

It's my favorite episode of the Christmas season: the one dedicated to you sharing your favorite Christmas memories and traditions. Thank you to everyone to shared a part of their Christmas with us in this episode!    Music in this episode "Night Light" - Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive   Visit http://christmaspast.media for more Christmas fun!
NORAD Tracks Santa Claus

NORAD Tracks Santa Claus

2018-12-1900:10:32

In 1955, a misplaced phone call unwittingly created an annual Christmas tradition. It's a story shrouded in a bit of mystery, a lot of Christmas spirit, and a sworn duty to ensure Santa’s safe passage through open airspace. Find out why NORAD tracks Santa on Christmas Eve.    Music in this episode "Escape"— Chris Holmes, via Free Music Archive "A Little Powder"— Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive "Rabbit Hole"— Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive "Western Greb"— Chad Crouch, via Free Music Archive "Wish Background"— Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech
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Comments (5)

Karen Kretschmer

my grama used to read this to me along with the other fairy tales. haven't heard it in a long time. thanks.

Nov 25th
Reply (1)

Amber Fixler

any mention of Jesus?

Dec 24th
Reply

Andrew Holmes

excellent show . love listening to it here in England very entertaining and informative.

Dec 16th
Reply

Katie Larson-Morin

I found this podcast shortly after Christmas 2017 and really enjoyed each episode. It helped to mitigate the after Christmas blues. Looking forward to listening before the holidays next Christmas (2018).

Jan 11th
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