Christmas Past

The fascinating stories behind your favorite Christmas traditions

Christmas Day 2016

image of vintage hand lettering of the phrase Merry Christmas

For the final episode of 2016, we celebrate Christmas Day with Brian’s family and take a look back at the 2016 Christmas season.

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful first season of the podcast! I hope to be back again next year with more stories from Christmas Past.

Things will slow down on social media after today, but I’m not going anywhere, you can always find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or drop me a line at christmaspastpodcast at gmail dot com

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!

Music from this episode

Deck the Hall A — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech

Episode transcript

Brian Earl 0:02
Merry Christmas. It’s all led up to this day. The 2016 Christmas season reaches its high point today. Me, I’m the kind of guy who likes the season a little more than the actual day. But I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing and whoever you’re doing it with that today is a special day of very merry christmas surrounded by the warmth of family and friends and good food and laughter and Christmas cheer. By the time this episode arrives in your podcast feed, I’ll be on the East Coast with my family, and we’ll hear more from them in just a minute. But first, let’s take a quick look back. This podcast tells the stories behind holiday traditions. And the running theme is that Christmas is constantly evolving. The term new tradition might sound like an oxymoron. But traditions are forming around us now just as they have been for millennia. Think of recent additions like the Elf on the Shelf, the Hallmark channel’s Countdown to Christmas, ugly sweater parties. So did 2016 make any contributions, things will look back on decades from now? Let’s take a look. After all, starting tomorrow, Christmas of 2016 belongs to Christmas past. The top toys this year were Hatchimals which I’d never heard of anything Star Wars, no surprise there and Pokemon video games. We got lots of new Christmas albums, including ones from Pentatonix Kylie Minogue, and the wonderful wonderful Elizabeth Chan. For movies, we got office Christmas party and collateral beauty neither of which I’ve seen, and neither of which I probably will. And also nothing new from Netflix as far as original holiday content goes unless I missed something. But hey, we got that Bill Murray special last year, which I just adore and probably watched about a dozen times. Ugly sweaters are still popular. Although I’ll be honest, I’ll be glad when that little fad fizzles out. Also, the hipster nativity set is now a thing. You can get it on Amazon. And you can also find Christmas selfie props, things like Santa’s beards on a stick that you hold in front of your face while taking a selfie. And hey, I heard there’s this new Christmas podcast that came out in 2016. It looks at Christmas traditions. And speaking of which, in last night’s Christmas Eve episode I told you about a tradition my family used to practice but hasn’t done in decades. Until now. When we take time to reflect on what we’re thankful for.

Brian’s brother 2:29
I am thankful for my beautiful wife Lisa, and my handsome little son Brody.

Brian’s sister in law 2:34
It will be really fun to see all the joy in my son’s face as he wakes up in the morning to celebrate Christmas

Brian’s sister 2:42
that I have a great family, a great job that I actually enjoy

Brian’s brother 2:46
that this time of year. I’m particularly thankful that I have so many people to share the holidays with

Brian’s niece 2:52
I love my parents really much and I’m thankful for that they care for us

Brian’s nephew 2:56
thankful for my dad and mom and my sister. I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for my toys, and I’m thankful for the holidays

Brian’s sister in law 3:08
for my family in Mexico. Even with distance, I always have their love and support

Brian’s brother 3:13
our surprise, I have a daughter who is about to come meet us in six weeks. And I’m also thankful that my wife is allowing me to make a full time career out of writing.

Brian’s sister in law 3:23
We are having a daughter soon it was unexpected. But it’s just something we’re very excited about

Brian’s mom 3:29
The faith that I have sustains me every day. My life is so peaceful and content. So I couldn’t be more grateful than that.

Brian Earl 3:39
That was in order. My brother Chris and his wife, Lisa, my sister Jen, my brother Richard and his daughter, Emma, son, Liam and wife, Jacqueline, my brother Michael and his wife, Erica, and my mom. As for me this year, I’m thankful for my new job. I design software for a living and I started a really exciting position a few months back. And I’m thankful to live in California with my beautiful wife and my very silly Labrador Retriever. And I’m also thankful for you. Yeah, you. I mean it. I created Christmas past this year, because I love Christmas. And I hope that comes through when you listen to these episodes. This was my first attempt at podcasting. And I really had no idea what I was doing. I remember telling my wife that I didn’t even know how I would know if the podcasts were successful or not because I had nothing to compare it to. And I finally decided that for this first year, just getting everything out there on iTunes and getting the website set up. And the social media stuff rolling. That would be enough. And hey, if I happen to get a few listeners who weren’t friends or family members, that would be an added bonus. I really wasn’t prepared for the response. It was overwhelming. The show was even written up in the Financial Times. And the thought that someone somewhere it could be curled up by the Christmas tree with a mug of hot chocolate. Getting into the spirit with Christmas pass. That just tickles me to death. You have no idea. So to everyone who shared a Christmas memory, everyone who followed me on social media, everyone who listened and reached out to say hi, everyone who told a friend about the show. Thank you. I’m thankful for you. And I also get the feeling that you wouldn’t mind if I came back next year with more stories from Christmas past. Starting tomorrow, things will slow down on social media, but I’m not going anywhere. You can still find me on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, and I’ll keep posting stuff throughout the year. Of course, you can always drop me a line at Christmas Past podcast@gmail.com now this is Brian Earl signing off for 2016 and wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017 and of course, a very Merry Christmas.

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