10 episodes

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

Merry Little Podcast Merry Podcast

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7, 23 Ratings

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

    The Victorian Christmas, Part III

    The Victorian Christmas, Part III

    The Victorian Christmas is defined by many diverse things over a 60-year period of the 19th century. In this episode of the Merry Little Podcast we explore the struggle the media had in defining the very face of Christmas during the Victorian Era – Santa Claus.
    Moore’s poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, made very clear who Santa was and what he looked like. But from the start of the century to the end, Santa evolved into two really different looking men — thanks to the media, to product producers and merchants who all laid claim to him.
    This episode explains why and how that happened.
    We also delve into Christmas for the American slave, the song O Little Town of Bethlehem, and we share the names of great Christmas influencers of the century that we don’t hear much about any more – namely the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
    This episode also touches on the emerging 19th century trend in recognizing Thanksgiving as an official holiday. Although Thanksgiving had enjoyed better than 200 years of celebration in the United States it really came together with Christmas in the mid-19th century as part of one very meaningful season for Victorian celebrants. Thanksgiving, too, brought its share of superstars to the 19th century Christmas table.
    This episode happily features the brilliant work of Tom Mucenieks with his song titled Jingle Bells: Sad Christmas. See his links at:
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2HRnNnK8o
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toms.mucenieks/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toms.mucenieks2
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/toms_mucenieks
    Episode sponsor – Christmas Hall of Fame:

    The Victorian Christmas, Part II

    The Victorian Christmas, Part II

    The Victorian Christmas is a complex thing. In this merry episode we pull back the layers to expose great music, great events and great traditions of the time. Not surprisingly much of it has survived and it influences our Christmas today.
    For example, one of the great traditions of the era was sleigh rides. This was another holdover tradition from the 18th century but one that seemed to gain steam and attention in the quickly evolving media in the 19th century. That tradition gave rise to music associated with sleigh rides, most notably the song Jingle Bells. We explore the history of Jingle Bells and dispel the myth that the song only became popular after the advent of sound recordings.
    That’s just not true. The song was a hit out the gate and it quickly became a favorite of Christmas. We explain how that is true and why it matters in this episode.
    Curious enough, so much of the music of the Victorian Christmas was centered at Church. Even the very secular song of Jingle Bells debuted in a church. Churches were central to the celebration of Christmas in the 19th century. We explore why that is true and why it is important.
    Dovetailing with all these religious and cultural things of the 19th century was the overarching theme of the Magi. The Magi were a popular theme in song, in worship, in art, in stage plays and especially music. All of these is discussed in depth.
    There is a lot to learn about this time in Christmas history. And we’re not done yet. Part three discusses the rockstars of the 19th century and how all of them had ties to Christmas.
    We’re pleased to feature the music of the Gardiner Sisters in this episode and we’re grateful for their gracious contribution. Please visit them at this link to hear more of their music.
    We are grateful as well for our sponsor of this episode, Magic Christmas Ornament.

    Christmas Community Online Part 1

    Christmas Community Online Part 1

    In this special edition of the Merry Little Podcast we get a little personal.
    We often get asked about the Merry Forums and what makes it so special. This episode gives you a look into that world.
    Added in 2004, the Merry Forums has been a gathering place for people online to celebrate Christmas together. In this episode one member of our forum family, BallCoach is what he goes by, asked if part of Christmas in July he could include a few personal conversations between him and other forum members.
    That’s clue #1 about the Christmas community online. Folks are always stepping up — always contributing in creative ways.
    I didn’t have a thing to do with this at all — other than putting it up here. In this conversation BallCoach talks with BradMac, a man we affectionately have dubbed Da Mayor of MyMerryChristmas.
    What you are going to hear is pure Christmas between two guys who have known each other for years yet have never met in person.
    It’s all Christmas. I guarantee you’ll smile, you’ll laugh — you may even shed a tear as they do what everyone on the Merry Forums does best: they share Christmas.
    Thanks to BallCoach and BradMac for sharing this with us. This is the first in what we hope are several conversations that BallCoach has for Christmas in July.

    The Victorian Christmas, Part 1

    The Victorian Christmas, Part 1

    The Victorian Christmas is one of curiosity for a lot of people today. It is a time in Christmas history with a very long reach. It influences today in everything from music to decorating in the modern Christmas.
    But what exactly is the Victorian Christmas?
    It is a time so big in Christmas history that we just can’t get it all into this episode. This is part one.
    In this episode we explore how Christmas in Germany of the 18th century gave rise to Christmas in the Victorian Era. And yes, we take a long gander at Queen Victoria. The Queen, along with contemporary Charles Dickens, gets a lot of credit for the craze of the 19th century Christmas.
    We have to myth-bust that a bit. Yes, Victoria deserves some credit for popularizing things like Christmas trees and Christmas cards.
    But the truth is that as a child the young Princess Victoria enjoyed a royal Christmas. And so much of what she experienced before she became Queen carried over to when she raised her children under the spot light royalty.
    It should be noted more for what the Victorian Christmas did NOT do for Christmas that many people think that it did. It did NOT give us Christmas trees. It did not give us Christmas greetings. It did not all of a sudden cause Christmas to be celebrated around the world.
    What it did do is pour gasoline on the secular celebration of Christmas. Christmas accelerated in style and influence during the Victorian Era and that’s the story.
    It’s too big of a story to tell in just one episode.
    In putting this together we would point you to some past episodes where we have talked about elements of the Victorian Christmas:
    Giving Dickens the Dickens
    Celebrating 200 Years of Silent Night
    The Wildly Popular Custom of Christmas Greetings
    The Deeper Meaning of Christmas Ornaments
    The Legend of the Christmas Stocking
    We would point you to the following features at MyMerryChristmas.com, too:
    – A Christmas Story of 1887
    – Mourning Dickens and Recognizing Christmas
    – A Prediction of Christmas Future from 1896
    – Santa Claus of the 19th Century
    – A Christmas Social Media Post from 1818
    – The Ghost Story of Mistletoe

    Christmas 1920: One Hundred Years Ago

    Christmas 1920: One Hundred Years Ago

    Christmas 1920 was a transformative time. The war was over and the deadly pandemic had subsided. Life could finally return to normal.
    In this merry episode we take a long look at this epic Christmas of Tinker Toys, Prohibition, Lincoln Logs, Raggedy Ann, and getting a new car for Christmas.
    We also discuss a bit about researching Christmas and the value of having newspaper records now available.
    This look back at Christmas history also includes a tangent about Christmas of 1870 when Congress declared Christmas a national holiday. While we found little in the news archives that talked about that event we did find plenty of 150-year old Christmas opinion that we want to share.
    Also discussed is the 19th century fad of mistletoe. First a poem and later a very popular song known as the Mistletoe Bough is explored. It is a ghost story of Christmas most people do not know about.
    And finally we explore the tradition of Thanksgiving Day parades, which began in 1920, but not with Macy’s in New York City. That leads as well to a discussion of stores in 1920 — and their connection to stories in 2020.
    This is a fascinating trip down Christmas memory lane.

    Christmas of Puritans and Pilgrims

    Christmas of Puritans and Pilgrims

    Christmas of Puritans and Pilgrims is the stuff of legends. Unfortunately, most get what is real about the Puritan Christmas wrong because they believe the media and lazy historians.
    This article, for example, is a good example of the bad history that out there. It is a mix of truth and just stupid assumption.
    It doesn’t help that old images like this are floating around to support their conclusion that Christmas just didn’t happen in New England:

    The very same publications that provide that image also provide the proof that Christmas was celebrated in New England and it had been since the arrival of the Mayflower.
    Consider this: the Mayflower arrived in 1620. The so-called ban didn’t happen until 1659 — nearly 40 years later. What gives? If they had to ban it then Christmas was a problem, right? If they had to ban Christmas, then it had to have been NOT banned for those 39 years, correct?
    So what’s the story? What Christmas a thing for Puritans?
    And what about the pilgrims? What is the difference between a Puritan and a Pilgrim? Did those who were NOT Puritans in America celebrate Christmas?
    In this episode we answer all these questions. We think you will walk away not only with a better understanding of both Puritans and Pilgrims but of the history of Christmas itself.
    If you are American there are good odds that you are descended from someone who came as a Pilgrim in 1607 or as a Puritan in 1620. It is one of the great and positive trends of this weird year of 2020 — the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower. Many are finding out just where their roots are in relation to this great and historic event.
    If you want to understand those ancestors, then come to know their Christmas. It explains a lot about them all as people.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

DKG18927 ,

Brightens my day

In this present state of 2020’s all bad and dangerous news, this podcasts gives a calming and happy break. Thank you for brightening my day.

syd____04 ,

Listen if you love history!

This podcast gas two of my favorite things: history and Christmas. The WWII episode is what made me subscribe. I appreciate learning the origins of my favorite Christmas songs and hearing first-hand accounts of people who lived during that time. Very moving.

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