192 episodes

Behind every Christmas tradition is a story, often a forgotten one. Every year as we put up a tree and pour the eggnog, we’re continuing generations-old narratives, while being mostly unaware of their starting chapters.

Join Brian Earl to explore the fascinating stories behind the most wonderful time of the year. It's equal parts nerdy deep dive and warmhearted celebration. Think: NPR meets Clement Clarke Moore!

Christmas Past is one of the longest running Christmas podcasts, now in its seventh season.

Vanity Fair says: "With excellent production, engaging narration, and short, digestible running times, Christmas Past is perfect to put on while decorating your tree or preparing Christmas dinner."

Brian's new book is out now from Lyons Press and Recorded books! Get your copy today, wherever books are sold. And remember...it makes a great gift!

Christmas Past Brian Earl

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 615 Ratings

Behind every Christmas tradition is a story, often a forgotten one. Every year as we put up a tree and pour the eggnog, we’re continuing generations-old narratives, while being mostly unaware of their starting chapters.

Join Brian Earl to explore the fascinating stories behind the most wonderful time of the year. It's equal parts nerdy deep dive and warmhearted celebration. Think: NPR meets Clement Clarke Moore!

Christmas Past is one of the longest running Christmas podcasts, now in its seventh season.

Vanity Fair says: "With excellent production, engaging narration, and short, digestible running times, Christmas Past is perfect to put on while decorating your tree or preparing Christmas dinner."

Brian's new book is out now from Lyons Press and Recorded books! Get your copy today, wherever books are sold. And remember...it makes a great gift!

    Backstory — Aluminum Christmas Trees

    Backstory — Aluminum Christmas Trees

    They were a symbol of the Space Age and then, quickly, they were a relic of the past. Aluminum Christmas trees burst onto the Christmas scene in the late 1950s and reached peak popularity during the 60s. And then...they were gone. But a new generation is discovering the kitschy, retro charm of this uniquely American invention. 
    Mentioned in This Episode The Wonderful World of Evergleam by Theron Georges
    Theron Georges's Aluminum Christmas Tree displays
    Music in This Episode "Dunder" — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive "Acoustic Motivation" — Coma Media, via Pixabay "O Christmas Tree - O Tannenbaum - Piano Christmas Carol" — JuliusH, via Pixabay "Silent Night" — Zakhar Valaha Music, via Pixabay “Shades of Spring” — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech "This Christmas" — Hot Music, via Pixabay Buy the Christmas Past Book! Order your copy today. And remember...it makes a great gift!
    Amazon
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    Share a Christmas memory
     Be on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 
    Keep in touch
    christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com
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    • 13 min
    Backstory — Christmas Trees

    Backstory — Christmas Trees

    It's the universal symbol of the Christmas season: a tree (typically a fir) adorned with ornaments and lights. But...what does any of that have to do with Christmas? The Christmas tree has a long history. But only fairly recently has it become especially common in homes at Christmas time. 
    Music in this episode "Eternal Hope" — Kevin MacLeod, via Youtube Audio Library "O Christmas Tree - Ernst Anshutz Christmas Piano Music" — Lesfm, via Pixabay "March" — Kai Engel, via Free Music Archive "Ambient Piano" — Balance Bay, via Pixabay "Greensleeves" — Lesfm, via Lesfm.net "Christmas Atmosphere" — Lesfm, via Pixabay Buy the Christmas Past Book! Order your copy today. And remember...it makes a great gift!
    Amazon
    Barnes & Noble
    Books-a-Million
    IndieBound
    Share a Christmas memory
     Be on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 
    Keep in touch
    christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com
    Facebook page
    Facebook group
    Twitter
    Instagram
    Website

    • 17 min
    2022 Season Kickoff from the Great Dickens Christmas Fair

    2022 Season Kickoff from the Great Dickens Christmas Fair

    We're officially kicking off the 2022 season of Christmas Past with a Thanksgiving family gathering, a return to a beloved Bay Area tradition, and a visit to the Cratchit family in London. Cozy up by the fire and welcome the festive season with the entire Christmas Past family.
    Many thanks to Denise Lamott, Therese Porter, Kevin Patterson, and everyone at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair for making this episode possible.
    Music in this episode "The Winter Fall by PrabajithK" — Mild Relaxation, via Pixabay
    "Relaxing Piano Music" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech
    "Peace and Comfort" — Dee Yan-Key, via Free Music Archive
    "This Christmas" — Hot Music, via Pixabay
    Buy the Christmas Past Book! Order your copy today. And remember...it makes a great gift!
    Amazon
    Barnes & Noble
    Books-a-Million
    IndieBound
    Share a Christmas memory
     Be on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 
    Keep in touch
    christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com
    Facebook page
    Facebook group
    Twitter
    Instagram
    Website

    • 20 min
    2022 Indie Christmas Music Playlist

    2022 Indie Christmas Music Playlist

    Yes, we return to our traditional favorite songs each year. But there's nothing like discovering a new favorite! If you believe that too, then you're in for a treat! Here are seven Christmas songs from independent musicians to make your days a little merrier and brighter sounding. 
    Music in this Episode "Dreaming 'Bout Christmas" — Frank and Friends "Lonely December" — Lunar Spirit "Ugly Sweater Time"  — The Sweaterettes "Christmas Lights Through Car Windows" — Amanda Fagan "Christmas Carols" — The Predicates "Joy to the World" — Amanda Opelt "Silent Night" — Sounds and Scapes "Deck the Halls B" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech Buy the Christmas Past Book! Order your copy today. And remember...it makes a great gift!
    Amazon
    Barnes & Noble
    Books-a-Million
    IndieBound
    Share a Christmas memory
     Be on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 
    Keep in touch
    christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com
    Facebook page
    Facebook group
    Twitter
    Instagram
    Website

    • 35 min
    Two Truths and a Lie: Four Decades

    Two Truths and a Lie: Four Decades

    It's an annual tradition on Christmas Past: The game of Christmas trivia where you have to spot the lie! Join Todd Killian from Christmas Clatter and I as we quiz listeners Ashley and Laura about Christmas in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Play along and put your Christmas spirit and lie detection skills to the test! 
    Music in This Episode "This Christmas" — Hot Music, via Pixabay "Turning" — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive Buy the Christmas Past Book! Order your copy today. And remember...it makes a great gift!
    Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Share a Christmas memory
     Be on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 
    Keep in touch
    christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com Facebook page Facebook group Twitter Instagram Website

    • 50 min
    Interview — Tru-Tone Founder, David Andora

    Interview — Tru-Tone Founder, David Andora

    Those of a certain age remember those classic C7 incandescent Christmas bulbs and the soft glow they produced. Sure, LEDs are longer lasting and more energy efficient, but they're just not the same. Michigan artist David Andora is the founder of Tru-Tone, a maker of LED lights that are indistinguishable from the real thing. I recently spoke with David about the company's unlikely origins, its recent viral success, and a certain music star who was blamed for cleaning out their inventory. 
    Mentioned in This Episode Tru-Tone Website Tru-Tone on Instagram Tru-Tone on Facebook Tru-Tone on Youtube Tru-Tone on TikTok Tru-Tone on Twitter Music in This Episode "This Christmas" — Hot Music, via Pixabay "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech Buy the Christmas Past Book! Order your copy today. And remember...it makes a great gift!
    Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Share a Christmas memory
     Be on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 
    Keep in touch
    christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com Facebook page Facebook group Twitter Instagram Website

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
615 Ratings

615 Ratings

RindyRL ,

A Great Addition to my Christmas Season…

I was looking for something to listen to get me in the spirit of Christmas but also learn new things about this wonderful holiday. I was so excited to find this wonderful podcast and have been loving listening to every episode so far. Thank you for this wonderful podcast Brian. 🎄🛷🎁☃️❄️

notthe3rdbaseman ,

Perfect Holiday Podcast

I came across this podcast a couple years ago and I now look forward to hearing new episodes every holiday season. Brian has the perfect voice and cadence to go with his well-researched podcasts. There isn't really anything out there that is quite like Christmas Past as far as holiday podcasts go. A great balance of nostalgia and history. I like to listen as I walk around my neighborhood at night in late November and early December. Please keep up the great work!

Joe92580 ,

Christmas Year ‘Round!

Just stumbled across this jem of a show, and right in time for Christmas. Also ordered the Christmas Past book, which is fantastic and highly recommended!

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