Why the Tax Man is My Santa Claus

Why the Tax Man is My Santa Claus

As a high school senior I was lucky enough to enjoy a part time school schedule that allowed me to work a lot of hours. The plan was to save up as much as I could for college. It worked, too. But the biggest shock of my life came in the spring of my freshman year when it came time to do my taxes. I received what to me was a huge sum of money back from the tax man – a little more than $700. Naturally, being young and without the limits of my parents that money was goneRead more

We Three Kings

We Three Kings

We Three Kings purports to tell the story of the Magi — perhaps one of the least understood elements of the Nativity Story. While scripture is short on detail of exactly who the Magi were that does not mean the imagination does not run wild and creative when we celebrate their role in Christmas. In this fun video the “three kings” take over the organ…and put on quite a show: The show here is the annual Christmas concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which always features an organ solo of some type. That small moment in the spotlight is alwaysRead 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

Over the River and Through the Wood

Over the River and Through the Wood

“Over the River and through the wood” is a phrase endeared to many that evokes the memory of Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. Many know it as a poem first, many more know it as a Christmas song. Christmas was never it’s original intention. It was always, from its title forward, meant to be a tribute to Thanksgiving. It was written by an extraordinary woman named Lydia Maria Child in 1844 – decades before Christmas and Thanksgiving became federal holidays. Despite that fact, the poem was based on a nostalgic longing for the Thanksgiving holiday celebrations of her New England youth.Read more

Pumpkin Pie Poetry

Pumpkin Pie Poetry

The Thanksgiving of old America included a serious reverence the people of the 18th and 19th centuries had for pumpkin pie. Said the editor of the Philadelphia Ledger in 1837 “that he should like to be thrown into a pumpkin pie as large as Lake Superior, only deeper, and obliged it eat his way out.” Some historians and foodies would have you to believe that pumpkin was a staple of the early American diet. But don’t you believe it. There was nothing normal or routine or regular about it. It has been, from the very beginning, a harvest food foreverRead more

The Thanksgiving History You Never Hear

The Thanksgiving History You Never Hear

Modern media is flooded each Thanksgiving with tales of the myths and distortions of America’s most widely celebrated holiday. That is the most amazing thing about Thanksgiving. It is full of ironies and falsehoods and ignored facts. On one extreme you have those who cling to the Charlie Brown version of Thanksgiving. This is what most of us were taught in grade school – that the pilgrims walked off the Mayflower, made nice with the Indians and enjoyed a festive meal. On the other extreme you have those who say the Thanksgiving at Plymouth of 1621 never happened at allRead more

A Christmas Story of 1887

A Christmas Story of 1887

Editor’s Note: This Christmas story originally appeared in a Columbus, Ohio newspaper on December 24th, 1887. It was subtitled ‘As Compared to the Ordinary Christmas Day’. It is shared here in its complete form, with punctuation, spelling and vocabulary exactly as it was printed in the original. Such humorous stories were very common in local newspapers of the era. What was funny then is just as funny now. For more about Christmas of the 19th century, take a listen to the latest episode of the Merry Podcast. It was the 24th of December; from a force of circumstances that renderRead more