Bruce, how could you?

Bruce, how could you?

Bruce Willis is all over the news this week after he declared that Die Hard, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is not a Christmas movie. This has roiled the ranks of movie fans everywhere because it is one of the classic debates of both Christmas and movies. Let me share with you a true story, a story that takes us back more than 30 years ago before Die Hard was made. Even though I have been writing about Christmas since we began here in 1991 I’ve only shared this story once, last year during an episode of Tim Babb’sRead more

Tis the Season for Christmas Weirdos

Tis the Season for Christmas Weirdos

Once upon a time The Atlantic wrote of our merry website “they’re weirdos”. It was a swipe at the year round celebration of Christmas and of those who “took Christmas to the hobbyist” level. What other holiday, they asked, has such a following? Indeed. The groupies of Christmas are many: there are the Christmas light fanatics, the professional Santas, the Christmas radio geeks, the year-round Christmas music freaks, the Christmas collectors, the Christmas historians, the Christmas foodies, and the Christmas organizers. There are so many sub-groups that embrace the specialties of Christmas we cannot even begin to enlist them all.Read more

Why White Christmas is the Greatest American Christmas Song Ever

Why White Christmas is the Greatest American Christmas Song Ever

White Christmas is the greatest American Christmas song ever written. Many know the tune but few know the story of who wrote it. The world has quietly marked the 130th birthday of the song writer whose contributions to the 20th century songbook cannot be understated. His life, especially in regards to his family, was filled with heartbreaking tragedy. He was born Izzy Baline in 1888, the son of Russian Jews struggling to make it in a country filled with persecution against Jews. He lost his father when he was only 8. That made his life of poverty more difficult thanRead more

Ending Christmas Too Soon

Ending Christmas Too Soon

In a world where “Christmas Creep” has become a thing nary a word is said about the abrupt end of Christmas. Ending Christmas each year happens without warning and absent of ceremony. I was aghast to see on Facebook a friend who had tossed their tree to the curb on the evening of December 25th. Being charitable, my first thought was “maybe it was really dry”. No. They bragged about it! “We are the first to de-Christmasify the house on our street.” they said. To them it was an accomplishment – a badge of honor, a gold star ripped from theRead more

88 Keys + 500,000 Lights + Three Ships = Christmas

88 Keys + 500,000 Lights + Three Ships = Christmas

Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys replays an old favorite from a long ago solo-album and gives it a fresh spin with, oh, half a million Christmas lights. Take a look and a listen: I Saw Three Ships is an old English carol that makes almost no sense. How can three ships sail into Bethlehem when it is so far away from any body of water? Some believe the song is actually a nod to the Three Wisemen. Regardless, it’s a Christmas tune and it has long belonged to Jon Schmidt who takes it to bouncy new heights in thisRead more

The Story of Porky Pig, Blue Christmas and a Dude Named Seymour Swine

The Story of Porky Pig, Blue Christmas and a Dude Named Seymour Swine

For many years we have been asked for the back story of Porky Pig’s Blue Christmas. In case you haven’t seen this masterpiece, here it is: Editor’s Disclaimer: It seems that no matter what we post we receive contrary opinions and plenty of emails of complaint about the politically correct this or that of Christmas. Porky Pig doing Blue Christmas is going to unleash those demons in force. For the record, we DO NOT CARE, on this one. This is just plain funny. Porky Pig, of course, is a world famous Looney Tunes character who dates to the 1930s. He’sRead more

O Holy Incredible

O Holy Incredible

We have discussed the classic Christmas song O Holy Night before. We rarely feature it because it represents one of the most difficult of all Christmas songs to sing. It remains beyond the range of many contemporary artists. But what happens when you mash-up O Holy Night with Ave Maria? Any accomplished singer would call that a challenge. Part of that has to do with the arrangement of the song, which often soars to heights that are just out of reach for…mere humans. Even in choir settings the music is usually a challenge. O Holy Night is a sacred, emotionalRead more

Silent Night by Home Free

Silent Night by Home Free

Silent Night is a simple song. It tells a simple story. It features a simple tune. It offers simple harmonies. That is why so many modern versions of Silent Night drive me crazy. It is just so often very over done (Look up Beyonce on YouTube — it’s an ear-bleeder). That is why I like this more subdued traditional take just released by Home Free: What I like about Home Free is that they take sacred songs seriously. There is nothing remotely secular about Silent Night. We love secular Christmas music and feature a lot of it but sacred ChristmasRead more

Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells

The story of Carol of the Bells is hardly as well known as the song itself. It has been re-interpreted over and over by a variety of artists — most recently by Lindsey Stirling: Stirling, who seems to command you watch as much as listen, captures the original spirit of Carol of the Bells simply by making it more about the music than of Christmas. Such was the case originally with Carol of the Bells. The song was composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914, who crafted the piece based on traditional Ukrainian folk chants that welcomed the NewRead more

The House of Seven Santas

The House of Seven Santas

Editor’s Note: On December 1st, 2017 seven Christmas podcasters came together to share the 1912 short story The House of Seven Santas. MyMerryChristmas.com participated by providing the concluding segment of the story as can be heard via the player below. https://mymerrychristmas.com/mlp/mlpepisode22.mp3 To start at the beginning, please visit the Christmas Past Podcast hosted by Brian Earl to hear Part 1 of the story. Then jump to the Can’t Wait for Christmas Podcast with Sir Tim Babb, to hear Part 2. Part #3 belongs to the merry movie crew at Tis the Podcast — Anthony, Julia and Tom. Joseph Wade ofRead more