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Weird Christmas Podcast

Author: Craig Kringle

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We explore strange Christmas history, media, and legends alongside new and old fiction, from Victorian ghost stories to an annual flash fiction contest. WeirdChristmas.com is the hub for all your holiday weirdness needs.
49 Episodes
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Please see WeirdChristmas.com for text and info on all the stories and writers.
Craig talks with the ever knowledgeable and jolly Benito Cereno about Scandinavian elves, which you're starting to see more and more places in decorations and movies. All links mentioned on the show, along with info on Benito, can be found at WeirdChristmas.com at this link: https://weirdchristmas.com/2023/12/23/nisser-and-tomtar-scandinavian-elves-with-benito-cereno/ If you’re feeling generous, you can leave a donation at Ko-Fi.com. It’s probably Christmas-time (ish) when you’re reading this, so remember the spirit of the season is giving. And I’m trying not to turn on the guilt machine, but I would like to pay my hosting fees. heh heh Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!  
The best show of the year: 19 stories of Christmas Weirdness from the annual Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest. Please visit WeirdChristmas.com to get information on the authors and to read the stories again. If you want to support the contest and help make more and bigger prizes for the writers next year, please visit Ko-Fi.com/weirdchristmas to donate any amount.
I talk to Earl Fontainelle of the SHWEP (Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast). We try to trace down any textual evidence that would connect the origins of Christmas to ancient pagan sources, namely the Mithras cult and Emperor Constantine’s Sol Invictus cult. Listen here, on your favorite podcast app, or at the Podbean site.   The SHWEP   The SHWEP Oddcast   Music:   "Scriaben Christmas Time is Here" by Kurt Knecht "Christmas is a Pagan Holiday" by Matt Potako   If you’re feeling generous, you can leave a donation at Ko-Fi.com. It’s probably Christmas-time (ish) when you’re reading this, so remember the spirit of the season is giving. And I’m trying not to turn on the guilt machine, but I would like to pay my hosting fees. heh heh   Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!  
Benito and I discuss the traditions surrounding the Mari Lwyd, getting into similarities with other European wassailing and hobby horse traditions. A recording of the Mari Lwyd rhyme in action by the BBC. Benito's Links: Benito’s Christmas history videos Benito’s writing at Gumroad Apocrypals podcast Friends ‘Till the End podcast Progressively Horrified Music: "Here Comes the Mari Lwyd" by The Eugenes "Mari Lwyd" by Colorama If you’re feeling generous, you can leave a donation at Ko-Fi.com. It’s probably Christmas-time (ish) when you’re reading this, so remember the spirit of the season is giving. And I’m trying not to turn on the guilt machine, but I would like to pay my hosting fees. heh heh Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
SURPRISE CHRISTMAS IN JULY PODCAST! I never quite got this show finished during the season, so my humble apologies. All is now well. Thank you to Meghan Arcuri for talking to me about Charlotte Riddell! Her collection of Riddell’s stories will be out very soon. And here are some links to her work, which I encourage everyone to check out: A Little Purple Book of Sharp Wit by Charlotte Riddel, ed. Meghan Arcuri Arcuri’s stories: “Because You’re Mine” “Green with Hunger” “Am I Missing the Sunlight” in Borderlands 7 Her bio: Meghan Arcuri is a Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author. Her work can be found in various anthologies, including Borderlands 7 (Borderlands Press), Madhouse (Dark Regions Press), Chiral Mad, and Chiral Mad 3 (Written Backwards). She is currently the Vice President of the Horror Writers Association. Prior to writing, she taught high school math, having earned her B.A. from Colgate University—with a double major in mathematics and English—and her masters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley. Please visit her at meghanarcuri.com, facebook.com/meg.arcuri, or on Twitter (@MeghanArcuri). Readers who were so gracious and generous with their time this year, as well as being totally patient and not complaining at all when I ghosted them: Tessa Dustin Pari Ileana Reyes Charles Gillingham Jenny Rowe Tony Dixon Seb Tim Hulsizer Amy Jessamy Thomison Bumper music for this episode: Usual opening: “O Holy Night” by Tiny Tim, “Christmas Doesn’t Last” by Make Like Monkeys, “Santa Claus Boogie” by Hasil Adkins, “Space Age Santa” by Ross Christman Featured opening/bumper: “Bad Boy Naturally” by Make Like Monkeys Bumper/closing: “Christmas in July” by the Brutalligators Spooky piano Christmas music (as always) by Myuu. If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
I chat with Thomas Ruys Smith, editor of Christmas Past: An Anthology of Seasonal Stories from Nineteenth Century America and Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of East Anglia. Links from the show: Christmas Past: An Anthology of Seasonal Stories from Nineteenth Century America [publisher] [Amazon] Thomas Ruys Smith's author website Bumper music: Usual opening: “O Holy Night” by Tiny Tim, “Christmas Doesn’t Last” by Make Like Monkeys, “Santa Claus Boogie” by Hasil Adkins, “Space Age Santa” by Ross Christman Featured opening/bumper: "Christmas Past" by Holodelic Bumper/closing: "American Christmas" by Chris Dudley If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
It’s out later than I would have preferred, but like the inevitability of New Year’s following Christmas, it is here. To read the stories, get bio information and links on the authors, and for all other show notes, please check out WeirdChristmas.com. Results: Overall Winner: “The Fight” by Elizabeth Guilt “Weird Cards” Category Winner: “If the Suit Fits” by Michelle Christophorou “There Was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard” Category Winner: “A Churchyard Carol” by Dan Fields “Stocking Stuffer” Category Winner: “The Power of Presents and Spidersilk” by Daniel Ausema Honorable Mention (in no particular order): “The Second Coming” — Michelle Christophorou “Married to Christmas” — Dustin Pari “The Christmas Room” — J.D. Wilson “Saving Cinterland” — JJ Mokrezewski “The Messenger” — Jens Hieber “A Christmas Burial” — Gary Ballard “Spirits of Christmas” — D.P. Blanchard “A lock of hair, a baby tooth, a toenail” — Eleanor Luke “Red Nose” — Thomas Lawrance “The Last Holiday” — John Wolf “It’s the Most Dreadful Time of the Year” — Paul Lewthwaite “How Santa Got Schooled” — Kate Sherrod “O Holey Night” — John Possidente “The Yew’s Embrace” — Jen Rowe “War’s End” — Adam Gottfried “Carton Holiday” — Ibiteye Overcomer “Christmas Spirits” — Laurie Peterson “Piss Pistol” — Brandon Case “Grandpa?” — Jonathan Saint Please help support the contest, the podcast, and Weird Christmas website by buying a “coffee” (a gift in increments of $3) at Ko-Fi.com (click here). For even more support, please consider joining my Patreon page (click here) where for $2 or $5/month, you’ll have access to extra content and bonuses like physical postcards mailed throughout the year. With more support, I can offer more and bigger prizes for the contest next year. A big thank you to my volunteer readers this season: my work buddy Lisa and LW Salinas (@sithwitch), both of whom stepped in at the very last second. Otherwise, almost all the authors wanted to read their own work this year, which was fun! Bumper music: Usual opening: “O Holy Night” by Tiny Tim, “Christmas Doesn’t Last” by Make Like Monkeys, “Santa Claus Boogie” by Hasil Adkins, “Space Age Santa” by Ross Christman Special opening: “A Little Too Late for Christmas” by The Crux Outro: "White Christmas" by the Ventures Bumpers: here, here, here, here, here, lots of dark piano Christmas music and Theramin stuff. Contest results from previous years: 2020, 2019, 2018.
Talking with Christopher Philippo, editor of Volumes 4 and 5 of the Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories. Chris' Goodreads site Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, Volume 4 (the American stories) [Amazon] Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, Volume 5 [Amazon] Links to the poems and other goodies from the show are at WeirdChristmas.com. If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
Al Ridenour is back after talking to us last year about Krampus, but this time to help unpack the lore and traditions around the Perchten, Krampus-esque goblin-ish creatures tied to both Krampus and Frau Perchta. Links mentioned on the episode: Bone and Sickle Podcast Ep. 80 "America and the Old, Dark Christmas" Ep. 58 "The Hellish Harlequin: Phantom Hordes to Father Christmas" Ep. 38 "Frau Perchta the Belly-Slitter" Ep. 17 "Christmas Ghosts" Ep. 15 "Saint, Devil, Sugar-Bread, & Whip: Krampus and Nicholas" Al Ridenour's page Book The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas by Al Ridenour (link from the publisher) Bumper music: Usual opening: “O Holy Night” by Tiny Tim, “Christmas Doesn’t Last” by Make Like Monkeys, “Santa Claus Boogie” by Hasil Adkins, “Space Age Santa” by Ross Christman Special opening: "Kramperl, Kramperl, Besenstiel" by Die Pagger Buam Bumper/Closing: "Frau Perchta" by Waldtraene If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
Happy Thanksgiving! We dive deep into the history of Christmas murder ballads with my friend (and cohost from the ReReading Wolfe Podcast) James Wynn. I'll get links to all the songs from the episode up here shortly. But for now, here are links for James: ReReading Wolfe Podcast RRW on Twitter Our Xmas episodes of RRWolfe: 2020 (we discuss 3 stories), 2019 (we read one story) Bumper music: Usual opening: "O Holy Night" by Tiny Tim, "Christmas Doesn't Last" by Make Like Monkeys, "Santa Claus Boogie" by Hasil Adkins, "Space Age Santa" by Ross Christman Special opening: "Joy to the World" by John Fahey Closing: "Stagger Lee" by Grateful Dead If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
La Befana, Perchta, Holda, and so many more! We chat with the always encyclopedic Benito Cereno about all the Christmas witch folklore in Christmas history.   Links:   Benito's Christmas history videos Benito's writing at Gumroad Apocrypals podcast Friends 'Till the End podcast Progressively Horrified   Music:   "La Befana" by Make Like Monkeys "Perchta" by The Champagne Drops "Christmas Witch" by ChatterBox "The Christmas Witch" by CountD If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a "coffee" ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I'll send you a sticker!  
Full text of all the winners are at WeirdChristmas.com along with bios, information, and links for all the authors. All fiction copyright 2020 by the authors. Please visit WeirdChristmas.com for full information.
Sometimes when you have a podcast, you talk to people who interest you and you don’t worry so much about how it relates to the show or your topic or what your hard-won audience really cares about. So you put out a show that’s all about really, really narrow interests you have. This is half that. The other half is about an amazing book about whether or not you should believe in Santa. Links from the show: Does Santa Exist: A Philosophical Investigation (buy on Amazon) Eric’s blog Eric’s Wikipedia page…because that’s cool Eric on Twitter (which is loads of fun) I’m sure I forgot something Music from this episode: “Science Christmas Carols” “A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer >>>>> If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
“…And scary ghost stories of Christmasses long, long ago!” Ghost stories from previous years if you’re in a spooky mood: 2019, 2018, 2017 Next year, we should break open this boys’ club with a tale from this… Links from the show: Full text of the story, “Between the Lights” A bit about Benson Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, Vol. 4 by Christopher Philippo. Our narrators this year: Christohper Stanley (@allthosestrings, author of The Lamppost Huggers which has a a couple Xmas ghost stories of its own) Kitty Pereira (@itskittypereira) Sean from Xmas Podcasts Podcast Jim Moon of Hypnogoria (loads more ghost stories here), who also helped us out last year Alexandra White (@alexandradw23) OldManFreakBoy (Check out his radio shows of Christmas music here: 1, 2, 3, 4. Dr. Calighoulie (Tony Dixon, IG: @tonydixon_art) Kristy Smith (Twitter/IG: @kristynotkirsty, FB: @kristynotkirsty74) fthgurdy Dustin Pari (@dustinpari, DustinPari.com, Ghosthunters guy.) Fr. Stephen Vrazel (@KeytarCatholic) >>>>> If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
Time to destroy your appetite! I talk to Glen Warren from the Season's Eatings Podcast about weird Christmas food throughout history. Links: Season's Eatings Podcast List of Christmas Podcasts (from Brian Earl's Christmas Past) Holly Jolly Xmasu (Japanese Christmas music podcast) Totally Rad Christmas ("Rudolph's Shiny New Year" episode with me) The Lamppost Huggers by Christopher Stanley (some Christmas horror stories) Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, vol 4 edited by Christopher Philippo Music in this episode: "Christmas Food" by Idito the Chicken and Moonpie Nobot >>>>> If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
As a Thanksgiving treat, enjoy a deep dive down the rabbit hole of Santa history with Tom Jerman, author of Santa Claus Worldwide: A History of St. Nicholas and Other Holiday Gift-Bringers. This is my favorite book of Santa history, and Tom and I covered a lot of ground. Links mentioned in the show: Buy the book! From Amazon From McFarland Publishers Tom's new website A Collection of Santas with new blog posts summarizing topics in Santa history and other treats. Books mentioned: The Children's Friend (1821) Irving's Knickerbocker's History of New York (later version) Glen Warren's Season's Eatings Podcast Music from the episode: "Sankt Niklas war ein Seemann" - Freddy Quinn "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" - Wilf Carter "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" - Chadron Polka Band If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a “coffee” ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I’ll send you a sticker!
I'm not usually your go-to source for new movies. But this one is worth your time. The Christmas Ride is a mumblecore (improvised dialogue) film about a ride share driver getting an emotional gut punch on Christmas day. I talked to the producer/director Stefanie Davis, and I hope you'll check it out. Here's the trailer for a taste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y45euwomp9g&t You can stream it from Amazon (free with Prime) and Vimeo: Stream from Amazon Prime Watch on Vimeo ($4.99 right now...help an indie movie out!) Cool people! Starring Daryen Ratté Writer/Producer/Director Stefanie Davis Bouncy Boxer Media The film's twitter Slacker (Craig's favorite old "mumblecore" movie) Music: "This Christmas Life" by Shane Dawson "Christmas Around the World" by Be Still This Earth And the promo was for Holly Jolly Xmasu -- a podcast all about Japanese Christmas music. You'll be hearing more from Scott soon. :) If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year. You can also buy me a "coffee" ($3 gifts) at Ko-Fi.com. Or PLEASE LEAVE A WEIRD REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS OR YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST APP! Send me a note that you did (weirdxmas@gmail.com), and I'll send you a sticker!
Krampus with Al Ridenour

Krampus with Al Ridenour

2020-10-3101:16:352

Krampus. Seems like I should have done a show on Krampus years ago, but I was waiting for the right person. And that person is Al Ridenour, author of The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil. This is the definitive book on Krampus, and Al fills us in on all the history and celebrations we could want. Links mentioned in the show: The book: The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas Bone & Sickle (Al's podcast) The Krampus episode (Saint, Devil, Sugar-Bread & Whip) Music: Carol of the Krampus by The Courtesan and the Cabin Boy If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year.
Christmas werewolves are a thing. I mean, I don't know if they're REAL real. But people really used to believe they were a thing. So Christmas expert Benito Cereno fills us in on their history Benito's been on the show before, talking about Christmas comics and the Yule Lads. Links mentioned in the show: Benito's werewolf Christmas story, "Two Gifts" Benito's YouTube channel Lives of St. Barbara and St. Nicholas Celebrating St. Nicholas Around the World and more... Apocrypals podcast Benito's site Bone & Sickle Podcast (episode 30: Loup-Garou, Werewolves in France) Music this episode: "Werewolf Christmas" by Timur and the Dime Museum "Werewolf in Christmas Past" by Max Dimartino, Lee Lacey "Meido Krampus Noche" by The Courtesan and the Cabin Boy And check out the Merry Britsmas podcast for all your British Christmas needs! If you’re feeling generous, check out my Patreon page here where you can get all kinds of bonuses throughout the year.  
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