Best of Christmas Podcasts

This year marks the 3rd Annual Best of Christmas Podcasts – a yearly listener/fan/podcaster and Christmas fanatic acknowledge of Christmas podcasts.

Offered in association the with Christmas community anchored by, this effort aims to clear through the clutter of hundreds of podcasts to identify the best of the very best.

Nominations for this year’s survey are now open. The nominating period closes on July 31, 2023.

After a brief review process, finalists will be named by category and the voting will begin. Voting takes please during peak Christmas podcast season. Voting closes on October 31st and winners are announced shortly thereafter.

There are several audiences where votes are solicited:

  • Online right here on and
  • Offline via public and phone surveys between the close of nominations and the close of voting
  • A review board of Christmas and podcast experts are also polled
  • Christmas Podcasters are invited to take a special poll

Nominations and voting activity are promoted via scheduled social media posts and Christmas community websites.

We encourage podcasters to promote this event as well. The better the listener support the more votes we can receive.

Podcaster Survey

The Christmas Podcaster Survey is open now to collect thoughts and opinions from Christmas podcasters about the best Christmas podcasts online.

This is part of a new feature to be released at later during the month of October.

Rather than release just another podcast list that resembles a popularity contest the feature is consulting with a variety of groups about what makes a good Christmas podcast and which of the hundreds of Christmas podcasts online are really “the best”. Christmas podcasters themselves are a very important group in the collection of this information.

If you are a Christmas podcaster please share your opinions via the survey below before October 12th, 2021. Please share this post with other Christmas podcasters you know. We appreciate your help. The most podcasters who respond the better the report will be:

This section below is about YOUR podcast. Please give us your opinions.

Please check all that apply
Please check all that apply
The Bugle of

The Christmas ChroniclesThe Christmas Chronicles came around so successfully in 2018 for Netflix that it shook the modern thoughts of Santa Claus.

I mean, Wyatt Earp as Santa? Who wouldn’t love that?

Kids loved Santa’s easy going manner, his willingness to allow kids in the sleigh and they just knew he had a dimple under that beard that wasn’t so snowy white. (Women loved Santa Kurt too, but for very different reasons).

In fact, when it comes to new and different Santas children and indeed the world seem to be pretty accepting.

Santa has been played over and over by the likes of Kurt Russell, Ed Asner and Tim Allen without so much as an objection.

But while actors playing Santa seem to be endlessly interchangeable the sequel featuring Santa Claus seems to be more difficult to get away with.

Ask anyone who has watched The Santa Clause 3 or the endless stream of bad remakes of Miracle on 34th Street. Once the magic is made it is simply difficult to duplicate.

That’s the problem with The Christmas Chronicles 2. In fact, kids are seriously ticked at Netflix for their sequel.

How do we know this?

Because kids are writing in to Santa himself to tell him about it. I kid you not.

One of our many Christmas endeavors is the effort that actually started it all for us, Since 1991 we have through Santa Update tried to tell the story of Santa, the North Pole and elf life. It has not only connected us with the world at Christmas it has provided a steady stream of feedback from the kids.

They have opinions and they tell them to Santa. We are constantly surprised by the things children say to Santa but one of the biggest things we never saw coming was their opinions about The Christmas Chronicles 2. “I do not like the new Christmas Chronicles. Can you fix it?” writes one frustrated kid to Santa via “You are not very cool in this one, Santa”, says another.

So what’s the problem?

Well, apparently it’s the story. Kids just can’t follow it.

While the visuals are as strong as ever in the new Christmas Chronicles kids cannot seem to get into the story. It’s too convoluted.

There are two other very interesting opinions that have surfaced, too: they have a problem with Mrs. Claus and her deadly cookies, and those elves just ain’t right.

Why should we care about film critic kids?

When we started The North Pole Podcast a few years back it was really more of an extension of our North Pole Radio News offerings at Santa Update. The response from the kids, however, has been outrageous. Like most podcast listeners they don’t leave reviews. But unlike podcast listeners everywhere they do unload on The Big Guy.

We noticed a real change in how we were perceived through their comments to Santa. It was both humbling and encouraging at the same time — a weird kind of feedback and one that we see we are lucky to receive.

We tend not to give children much credit because they are kids. We should be better than that.

Kids are honest – sometimes even brutally so. When it comes to Christmas, they do not care for things being shaken.

Therein lies an interesting and unique bit of Christmas that is true for all ages: people accept new things about Christmas but don’t mess with what they already love.

We see this in other parts of Christmas all over the place.

For example, when Hallmark earlier this year nixed their line of ornaments themed by Gone with the Wind people came unglued.

No, not because of the political debate around it all. In fact, they did not want the politics anywhere near their tradition of collecting those ornaments. They just could not stand to see 40-years of a tradition laid to waste in an instant.

We see Christmas messed with endlessly. And we see the reaction when that happens.

A couple of years ago when the brouhaha erupted over Baby’s It’s Cold Outside it was hard to tell whose reaction was more absurd and over-the-top: those complaining about the song or those complaining that for 70 years the song was just fine.

So the kids aren’t alone.

We all tend to see things associated with Christmas with our heels dug in. “Don’t mess with Christmas” seems to be a universal theme.

Those are words of merry wisdom forever for our times.

The Bugle of

I received an email from a frustrated fellow Christmas podcaster trying to understand why his December stats for a recent episode were so weak.

It’s December. It’s a Christmas podcast. What’s the problem?

I understand this entirely. It took me many, many years to understand what the Christmas community online does in December.

What makes this difficult for me to honestly discuss this right now is the fact that my own podcast has never seen a December like this one. It’s just crazy.

BUT. There’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye.

First of all, there’s this thing called 2020 going on – and it is an absolutely off-the-charts anomaly in time. Nothing should count in 2020. Not your credit rating. Not your taxes. And not your podcasts stats.

Christmas has been a hot thing all year.

When the word “covid” first roll off everyone’s lips for the first time last winter the Christmas lights went back on, the trees went back up and the Bing Crosby tunes crooned again.

Christmas is love, peace and comfort and I can tell you, after years of serving the Christmas audience online, we have never seen a year like this one.

So consider that when you look at how well your Christmas podcast is being received — both good and bad.

But more importantly, there’s another thing going on right now (mid-December) that happens every year.

It’s called Christmas. Ya ever heard of it?

Yeah, it’s a thing.

You see, here’s what we’ve learned: there are really two different kinds of Christmas folks out there.

There are the year round Christmas folks — and this is everyone who loves Christmas for some reason: the music guys, the cookie gals, the light freaks, the collectors, the village people, and all the other little sub-sets of Christmas niches out there.

These guys are your people. They love Christmas. And chances are they listen to your Christmas stuff year round.

Well, I shouldn’t say “year round”. They listen 11-months of the year…and bookmark the 12th month, December.

That means they’ll get to you – because they are year round Christmas folks. They love Christmas and they love you. It’s just that they are busy right now doing all the Christmas stuff they love to do.

The other kind of Christmas folks are seasonal only.

These are the ones who sip their Pumpkin Lattes in August while searching those old movies, TV shows or songs they want to consume. They do love you too. But only when they want to. Fickle bunch.

The seasonal Christmas folks are by far the larger group. They come storming in come fall and then they ditch us to the curb by mid-January. They fall into post-Christmas funks easily and they won’t come back until Starbucks shows their new cups.

I’m not knocking either group, by the way. We love them all. But you gotta understand how they work.

Now, I know what you’re saying — “But Jeff – you put out Christmas podcasts in December!”

And yeah, you’re right. I do.

I just don’t expect anyone to listen to them. Honestly. My December episodes, as timely as I try to make them, just never do well – at first.

I put them out as tradition — cause I’ve always done them. I put them out because they are a part of my Christmas. I love the storytelling, the history and the joy that comes from just talking Christmas. And I put them out to create a record. Believe it or not, there’s great value in old episodes — even it if it just for the sake of history.

2020 is a historic year. Your podcasts, whether you mean them to or not, will reflect that and years down the line you will look at them and say, “remember when?”

But, more than that — your old episodes, and even those done in the dog days of December, hold great value.

After years of doing this and with a great many episodes in the archives I can tell you this: there’s no sweeter connection with a listener you can have than one who sends you an email in response to an episode you did five years ago.

I don’t remember what I said five years ago!

When I get those emails I have to go back and listen to what I said.

And guess what? You learn a lot by listening to your younger self.

You walk away with observations that make you sometimes cringe. “Boy, was I a jerk!” or “Wow, I got that one wrong” or, my fav, “Who WAS that?”

Right now, for no other reason than it’s 2020 that I can see, my older episodes are doing better than the stuff I’ve just released. I can’t explain it. But a lot of people are listening and tuning in to my Christmas past.

That is the reason why you cannot give up on your December episodes. Just let go of your December expectations. There are just too many other things out there to compete with in mid-December that have nothing to do with you and your podcast.

It’s been an unprecedented year. In some twisted ways, it has been a fun year, especially in Christmas podcasting. But don’t get your Christmas knickers in a twist if your December pods don’t explode. They never do.

This project of has been a fun one but we’re only getting started. Sean is doing an exceptional job. YOU are doing an exceptional job.

In this year, Christmas podcasts finally became “a thing”.

We are officially another sub-set of Christmas crazies.

I love that. I think it is the coolest thing ever that so many are taking up podcasting as a means of extending their Christmas joy. Everyone brings something new, fresh and great to the Christmas table. Christmas podcasts are Christmas passions on parade. How fun is that?

I didn’t think it would ever happen. And I do fear that some podcasts are going to go away after this Christmas of 2020.

I sure hope that doesn’t happen.

I hope folks hang in their with their podcasts and continue to look at ever creative ways of bringing Christmas to folks online.

The Christmas folks out there of all types do want and need what you’re offering.

Even if they can’t get to it in December.

Merry Christmas.

The Bugle of

Christmas has marked the passage of history by embedding history into its celebrations. When we talk of history and Christmas together we can sometimes immediately recognize a certain time or event in history that was significant.

For example, when we say “Christmas 1914”, most immediately think of the Christmas Truce. If we say “Christmas 1776” we think of Washington Crossing the Delaware. If we say “Aspenglow” we think of Christmas of 1970.

Ok, so maybe not always.

But we know Christmas 2020 is one of those years. And while most of us would like to forget 2020 we now have on record a library of COVID Christmas music that will never allow us to forget it.

Honestly, we’re talking serious feels here.

I can think of nothing during my lifetime that has brought forth so much diversity in music, crass creation, and Christmas bitterness. It’s an international thing, too (the British humor in these videos is beyond classic). Every genre of music is covered. There are few classic songs of Christmas that haven’t been thoroughly skewered here.

In fact, it makes you think that maybe you haven’t taken all this serious enough. It seems like anyone with a keyboard or a guitar at home — along with some abundant time on their hands – just had to get out their feelings in a burst of sarcasm, sorrow, and honest humor. Some of this is so bad, it’s good — because, well, 2020.

Here are some of the best (or worst) songs of the Covid Christmas:

You know what the sad part of this is?

Our little list here doesn’t even scratch the surface.

The Bugle of

Christmas PodcastsChristmas Podcasts Episode Rankings for October 2020 are as follows:

1. Christmas Hall of Fame Podcast – Podcast Bio: James Stewart
2. Christmas Clatter – Do You Hear What I Hear Motown
3. Santa by the Minute Podcast – That’s Not Father Time
4. Tis the Podcast – The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas
5. Seasons Eatings – Sweet Potato
6. Merry Little Podcast – 10th Anniversary of the Merry Podcast
7. Christmas Hall of Fame Podcast – Podcast Bio: Santa Claus
8. A Cozy Christmas Podcast – Billy’s Santa Claus Experience
9. Totally Rad Christmas – Dougie Howser MD
10. North Pole Podcast – Santa, The North Pole and the Virus

Honorable Mention (barely missed the top ten) – Weird Christmas – Christmas Werewolves and Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe – Legend of Santa Animated Movie

The episode rankings this month take into account more than 10,000 downloads and listens via Christmas Podcasts and other platforms, as well as ratings and reviews collected from 35 different apps and platforms.

We will soon be releasing the first of our monthly Best of Christmas Podcasts rankings, which is a monthly accounting of more than 200 holiday-theme podcasts (not just the podcasts featured on

Those rankings will take into account not only the current listenership of every podcast but also metrics involving website best practices, listener experience standards, podcast availability, Christmas community and social media activity, listener ratings, reviews and critical surveys.

Detailed criteria for these rankings are available for podcaster review on the Podcaster Forums of

The Bugle of

The Bugle of ChristmasPodcasts.comAll the world is a-flutter over new Christmas music coming out. And why not? Tis the season starts in a matter of hours after Halloween candy is distributed.

All over social media we’re hearing from fans and Christmas folks alike about stuff from Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and the Goo Goo Dolls — among others of the rich and shameless. I suppose it is okay to hype Christmas music from known artists, if that’s your thing.

But that’s not new Christmas music for the most part.

That’s one or two weak, unfamiliar songs that never get remembered mixed with traditional favorites.

Frankly, the “Christmas album” path for many popular artists have traditionally been a way to make a little bank off their name during years of weak touring income. And has there been a bigger freak show than 2020 for music tours?

Now think about the less-than-popular artists or the unknown or indie artists out there. Imagine what 2020 has been like for them.

One of the traditions of my podcast, the Merry Little Podcast, has been a November episode where we feature the new Christmas work of emerging artists.

I wish they would contact me earlier. That’s my only complaint. But usually during the month of October I get a rush of emails from artists and publicists alike looking to get their new Christmas albums and songs some love.

The vast majority of these folks produce really, really good music. I delight in privately hearing their new Christmas releases in advance and then sharing the best of them on our podcast, websites and radio streams.

In your charitable efforts of 2020 – and I know it’s on the mind of everyone during this miserable year – please remember those indie artists out there.

(Well, and those indie podcasts, too, friends).

These people are not making money. They are spreading good cheer through their artistry.

You can give to them simply by listening.

Not many people think a thing of dropping $20 on a new Meghan Trainor Christmas album. That’s fine.

But if you’re truly charitable this year you don’t even have to spend money. Just invest a few minutes in an artist you have never heard of before (then share it!).

Do you know such an artist? Can you share their links and contact information with us? We would love to find them, listen to them and showcase them in our humble little way.

Please contact us now.

On our podcast we’re dropping the new music episode for 2020 on November 14th. But honestly, we always find more than enough to share over the entire season. And we intend to do it.

It’s a great alternative to sending a Christmas card — send a link to something bright and new instead!

In fact, lets show you how it is done. Here is a great new Christmas music offering coming this year that you won’t read about in the shadow of all the media and hype about the Jonas Brothers. And you’re welcome.

The Bugle of

Christmas PodcastsA few weeks ago we publish our first rankings. Now is the time to disclose our efforts to establish ratings for Christmas podcasts. Ratings are a much more complex thing than mere rankings, which more are less are a competitive measurement of podcast activity.

Early in September 2020 we formed a focus group to analyze Christmas podcasts.

Our goal is to provide a structure rating of Christmas podcasts based on the following criteria:

  • Podcast Availability – is the podcast available on key platforms? How many and which ones? Can the podcast be downloaded and archived? Does the podcast have a website that includes show notes, contact information and links to other places where content from the podcaster can be reviewed?
  • Technical Sophistication – file formats, tagging, audio quality and a host of other technical criteria are reviewed.
  • Content Quality & Relevance – Research into topic discussions, historical documentaries, content creators such as song writers, authors and Christmas experts, networking within the Christmas community for exposure to influencers and producers, are all considered as elements of content quality.
  • Longevity and Seasonality – how long a podcast has been around as well as their year-round production of Christmas content is considered
  • Frequency and Duration – the frequency of publication (especially during off seasons) and the length of each episode are evaluated.
  • Audience Response – Beyond download counts, each podcast is tracked against IAB Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines that measures how long listeners tune in to each episode, whether the listen to an episode in one sitting or over time, if it is streamed or downloaded, etc. These are industry standards used to rank top podcasts overall. By adopting these standards the ratings we provide at will become more relevant.
  • Listener Reviews – A review of the reviews left by listeners on various platforms.
  • Community Engagement – How engaged is the podcast creator with the Christmas community (not just social media or with other podcasters).

Like nearly everything, podcasting for Christmas comes at a different standard.

Just as Christmas movies, music, books and websites are unique compared to their non-holiday counterparts, we believe Christmas podcasts are similarly set apart.

Our goal with this endeavor is to provide a solid reference point for the Christmas community seeking entertainment in Christmas podcasts. We do not believe these ratings are needed to identify “the best” of Christmas podcasts but rather to inform about how they differ. We want to provide a resource that separates Christmas podcasts for their varying qualities so that listeners can make informed choices.

This is needed because Christmas podcasts are exploding in number and popularity.

By focusing on the criteria above (and more) and sharing that information we believe we can better steer the Christmas consumer to the Christmas content they want.

Who is the focus group?

They are Christmas experts who run websites and social media channels. Some are an authority in podcasting overall. A few are Christmas manufacturers, educators, or authors. Some are even Christmas industry journalists, and significantly engaged Christmas enthusiasts.

More than 60 individuals have been recruited to this effort.

We will NOT be disclosing the names of those involved or their individual responses to the polling. We are determined to gather their feedback without fear of influence.

Their job is to go and experience your podcast as a listener. They will download your episodes, read your notes, watch your social media chatter and keep up with your content.

Then they will record their experience and share it with us, using the criteria above. Our collective goal is to come up with a simple, solid rating of your podcast.

This is not work for just anyone. This is work for someone who is closely connected to Christmas online or in a business pursuit who just happens to NOT be a Christmas podcaster themselves.

If you are such an individual or know of one whose feedback to this effort would be of value, please contact us. Please do not submit names of any Christmas podcaster, they cannot, of course, be considered or involved in this effort.

While this will be an ongoing effort the initial evaluation period goes through January 2021. We will not post gathered ratings until after than time. Ratings will be upgraded on a quarterly basis thereafter and as new podcasts are released.

What Can a Podcast Do Now?

Naturally all podcasts will want to rate well in this survey. What can a podcast do now to ensure that?

  1. Put out your own, unique stuff.  What makes your podcast great is YOU.
  2. Look to where you can easily improve now and actually do it as this season progresses. If you are an established podcast, it would be wise to consider all the above and show movement.
  3. Ask questions. Join the podcaster community here on Christmas podcasts and become involved in these efforts.
  4. Ask your listeners for reviews on your website, here on CP, and wherever they listen to your podcasts. Get reviews. The voice of the fan carries more weight than anything else.
The Bugle of

Top Ten Christmas EpisodesWe are pleased to announce our first Christmas Podcasts ranking of the most listened to episodes for the month of September 2020. They are:

1. Merry Little Podcast – Scrooge
2. Tinsel Tunes – Hark the Herald Angels Sing
3. Yuletide TV – Call the Midwife
4. Can’t Wait for Christmas Podcast – Feeding the Hungry
5. A Cozy Christmas Podcast – Christmas Shopping with Jack Benny
6. Jingle Jank Podcast – Santa Claus in Outer Space
7. Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe Christmas Podcast – Christmas Cures for the Covid Blues: Facebook Fun
8. Seasons Eatings Podcast – Wassail
9. Christmas Podding – We Reveal the #1 Christmas Food of All Time
10. Christmas Hall of Fame Podcast – Podcast Bio: Santa Claus

Given that September 2020 was our first full month of operation the following should be kept in mind:

– We have a database so far of more than 200 total Christmas episodes, resulting in thousands of “listens” and “downloads” each week. In time, our rankings will be published on a weekly basis. This ranking for the month of September 2020 is based on metrics that were absolutely verifiable.

– Our rankings are based off tracking from our server and from a host of aggregators. While we track as closely as we can we do not claim these rankings are yet comprehensive against the entirety of Christmas podcast episodes available online during the same time frame. (Not yet…but in time…)

– We can only track those podcasts we feature. We have many more prominent Christmas podcasts yet to index.

– With each passing week we are adding more podcasts to our podcast directory. The churn greatly affects the statistics we collect.

– Other factors such as when a new episode drops, where it is available and how it is promoted or featured through-out the Internet will affect the rankings.

– The ChristmasPodcasts Podcast is excluded from all rankings in an effort to not affect the statistical pool of the podcasts in the database.

– As time goes on the rankings will improve as greater tracking and a more complete database of Christmas podcasts is built.

While we see rankings as a fun aside to the Christmas Podcast universe we strongly encourage podcast listeners to rate and review both the podcasters and each individual episode. That can be done here at and just about anywhere that you regularly listen to podcasts. We know podcasters live for listener feedback and are responsive to listener requests.

We are excited about this project. We are grateful to those podcasters who are helping to establish as a year round Christmas podcast authority serving the Christmas Community online.

If you have a podcast to feature on Christmas Podcasts please submit it to Sean for review by going to this link.

The Bugle of

Once upon a time there were maybe three or four Christmas podcasts to listen to. I think it is fair to say that Christmas podcasting has just exploded the last couple of years.

I’m frankly surprised it took this long for it to catch on.

Running a Christmas community for as many years as I have has taught me that Christmas is so very diverse and people love to talk about whatever their Christmas love is.

Christmas Podcasts just extend that great, never-ending conversation. I think those who are podcasting Christmas are showing that now in huge ways.

Once-up-a-time I was told my website could never be successful because Christmas is too narrow and too seasonal a niche. Well look at Christmas online now – and look at how Christmas podcasting is changing that perception.

I wish I had time to listen to all the podcasts we showcase here on Christmas Podcasts. But, honestly, nobody has that kind of time. We are reaching a saturation point where listeners are going to have to discriminate to get to the Christmas they want. Isn’t it great that they have so many choices?

But how do you react to that as a podcaster? What are you doing to reach out to your audience to keep them listening? How do you position yourself and your podcast to capture new listeners?

Aren’t listeners what it is all about for your podcast? Just what makes for a “good” Christmas podcast?

That is a subjective question if all I’m talking about is Christmas content. Christmas content is your strength, your passion. Whatever your Christmas angle is that thrust you into podcasting why people listen to you.

But that’s not what I’m talking about when it comes to making a good Christmas podcast. That’s the stuff that makes a Christmas podcast great and unique – and that is what you do best as a podcaster. What I’m talking about are all the little tiny details that have to come before the Christmas stuff.

It is the boring and tedious stuff you need to think about before sitting in front of that microphone. I call it the listener experience. And you do need to worry about it.

Now, who am I to bring this up?

Well, I’m your customer.

You see, yes, I have a Christmas podcast and we just celebrated our 10th anniversary. But at the end of the day I’m just like everyone else out there. I want to hear stuff other than my own (don’t you?). I’m a Christmas fan.

But who do I choose and why would I choose them?

Sorry, but it’s like buying bread. Packaging matters. Taste matters. Price matters. Shelf placement matters. Availability matters. On-sale matters. Quick checkout matters.

Only it is podcasts that we’re talking about.

So headlines matter. Show notes matters. A website matters. Which social media channels matters. What it looks like on my phone and my computer matters. Even how files are named matters.

Helping run has taught me a lot in just a couple of months about how many Christmas Podcasts are just blowing it when it comes to the customer experience.

We will soon be publishing a regular ranking of Christmas podcast episodes (yes, we know how many folks are listening). We are also surveying listeners about their “customer experience” when they choose and listen to Christmas Podcasts.

Wouldn’t you like your podcast to do well with these things?

Here’s where you can work to improve the customer experience:

  1. Look at your feed. – Your feed is your product. It’s everything. It has your logo, your show summaries, and your critical links.

    When we add a new podcast here to our site we use your feed to represent you. We use your feed for every episode. With many podcasts we have to go in and add information because the feed is missing it.

    Little things like how you name your episode affect the look of your feed. A download titled “episode16.mp3” means nothing to someone who has downloaded your podcast.

    Learn the art of tagging your podcast file with all the critical data of your podcast: the episode title, the name of the podcast, when it was produced and, yes, even your podcast logo.

    When it is downloaded – and it usually is to a phone – you want them on their screen to see what they are listening to. How do you tag an mp3 file? Here’s a great piece of freeware that makes it quick and simple.

  2. Learn to write. – Text is the currency of the Internet. Even podcasts – or, I should say, especially podcasts – need to have strong text support in everything. You need the right kind of formatting of your show notes. You need to follow web publishing standards of length, keywords and SEO practices. Why?

    Because text is how new people find you. They cannot index the great content of your audio file. You need stronger headlines, better summaries, and tagged articles, links and audio files. This is a ton of work.

    But it is vital to “good customer service” and just being found on the Internet.

  3. Google your podcast regularly. – Like search engines or not, it is how the world finds you. You will be shocked to search your podcast and find it in places where you never submitted it. Apple, Google, Spotify and a few others are the big guns and everyone seems to submit to those places. So how do you get listed at these other places?

    Honestly, most other aggregators out there just scrape them from Apple Podcasts. No problem, right? Wrong.

    You need to go to those places and look at what they are doing with your feed. Apple takes your feed and strips out nearly everything except your logo and your notes. (I have problems with Apple because of that, but that’s another topic).

    These other guys do weird stuff and you need to occasionally go there, look at your podcast on their interface and if there is something you don’t like – fix it. Keep the listener in mind.

    You should also link back to everyone out there that features your podcast. You might not like their site, you might not ever use them yourself to listen to the podcasts you prefer and that doesn’t matter. It’s just good business.

    Also, get good stat software to track where your podcasts are listened to. You might be surprised at what you find.

    This is easiest to do if you have a website and your core files are served from it. Knowing where the listener is listening to you goes a long way in telling you not only how your podcast needs to be formatted but also just who your listener is.

  4. Get a good logo – Your logo needs to be with every episode, as noted above. Take a look at the logos on the directory page here at Christmas Podcasts. Which stand out to you and why?

    I like this one from Yuletide TV – it’s simple, quick to identify and strongly brands that podcast:

    Yuletide TV Podcast

    Other good examples are Christmas Clatter and Total Christmas Podcast.

    Remember, this logo has to look good on every size of screen. That’s why Apple requires a logo sized 1400 x 1400 minimum.

    We still don’t have that size logo for every podcast we feature. We cannot find them anywhere.


    Because podcasters aren’t using those large size image files in their feeds or websites.

    And it is hurting them and ticking off customers who can’t see who they are listening to.

  5. Make it so your podcast can be downloaded – this seems kind of obvious but many new podcasters don’t get this. They think that people listen to their podcasts via an app, like maybe they do themselves.

    But listeners get their podcasts in the own time and in their own way. Many like to download podcast episodes so they can hear them on the go – in their car or out in the wild, etc.

    They download, frankly, because they know they will be without an internet connection or a signal. Some just like to collect podcast episodes. It doesn’t matter why they do it, they just do it. Make it so they can download your podcast.

  6. Get a website. – Most podcasts don’t have websites. But the most popular podcasts do. Why? Because having your own dot com gives you a better everything – a better feed, a better identity and, frankly, a better podcast.

    A podcast website does not need to be complicated. But it gives you permanency. It makes you more professional. Even your email address from your own domain looks better than, know what I mean?

    Apple, Google and Amazon are cluttered with dead podcasts. A website that you update and that you use to expand upon your offering proves to people you are alive.

    It also makes your podcast move up in the rankings everywhere. We’ll share more about this critical element in other features later.

    There are many ways to get your website set up. We will be glad to help you.

  1. Diversify your guests – Podcasts are great for getting new takes and opinions. There’s been a trend in the past year of podcasters interviewing podcasters on Christmas podcasts. There’s nothing wrong with this.

    But you know what? After a while it looks weird – like you can’t find anyone else to talk to. If your podcast features other podcasters every other episode, what does that make your podcast – to the listeners?

    There has been a long running debate about whether a “good” podcast even needs a guest.

    I get that because on my podcasts I almost never have a guest or co-host. Wanna know why?

    Because podcast guests are unpredictable.

    Many are great but some like to hard sell or to control interviews to get their agenda out.

    If you track how long listeners actually listen to your podcast you know it can vary based upon how listeners respond to the guest.

    I don’t know a single podcaster who does not put a lot of work into their interviews.

    It can be frustrating to a podcaster to have an episode go south just because the pod guest was a dud.

    I get that. That’s one reason why I’m very selective about who comes on my podcast. It affects perceptions of the podcast.

    At the same time, what does it say to the listening public who enjoy Christmas podcasts if they hear the same podcasters interviewing/collaborating with other podcasters all the time

    They aren’t going to tell you it’s too much. They just won’t listen any more.

There are many outstanding resources out there that speak to these and other critical items of podcast excellence. We’ll share more of those resources in the months ahead.

But point #1 is the listener. And getting the basics down for them is step #1.

If those bases are covered then the focus can then really be on the Christmas content you’re best at producing.



The Bugle of

Christmas PodcastsChristmas podcasting was born of efforts made in Christmas radio, years ago — at least for us at

We first launched Merry Christmas Radio in 2005, which morphed into Kringle Radio a few years later. (MCR has now returned this year with a Christmas classics/oldies format).

Those early years in Christmas audio were so much fun.

With friends from the Merry Forums we built playlists together. As time allowed we had volunteer DJs who would bring their own flavor of Christmas through hosted shows of their own. Even today we have volunteers of who lend their voices and other talents to the 50-hour Tracking Santa Show heard round the world every Christmas.

Christmas radio, at the end of the day, is an unacknowledged bit of Christmas community magic.

Our radio results were much like what you see here on a diverse offering of Christmas from all over that is joyous, festive and fun – and uniting.

It was our Christmas radio efforts that gave me the gall to try podcasting in 2010, ten years ago come October.

I did my own radio shows but they were only playlists. There was no “me” in any of it because, well, I’m shy, timid and scared in front of a microphone.

The Merry Podcast was born out of a request from a few loyal users of our website. It was done in the name of exercise, they told me.

They wanted something Christmas that was portable. The Internet and her radio streams did not exactly “broadcast” in those days, but audio files could be played on iPods and Mp3 players.
I was encouraged to give it a shot and was told, hey, just make them radio shows for Kringle Radio.

And that’s how the Merry Podcast got its start – by combining Christmas music, history and storytelling that was, above all, intended for radio and for a few who wanted portable Christmas audio.

We went merrily on our way for several years, not worried about getting ourselves “out there” on iTunes or via social media.

We were just Christmas content creators who did this out of a love of Christmas through a world we had created for ourselves online long, long before Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook.

Then came the ugly legal wrangling of radio online. Within a short time the licensing and operational costs of Internet radio became too prohibitive for most folks to afford, especially non-commercial operations such as ours.

Out of necessity we closed down Merry Christmas Radio and took Kringle Radio, and the Merry Podcast with it, behind a pay wall.

To try to keep something of a public audio offering we developed the Merry Little Podcast, what was then a stripped down and shorter version of what we once offered.

That’s been a few years now.

We have since lawyered up. We learned the new rules. We survived.

And now we’re thinking of going back…back to the future!…by combining again Christmas podcasts with Christmas radio once again.

But, with the explosion in Christmas podcasting online, conditions have changed. The opportunity is so much greater now than it was before — thanks to you, our fellow podcasters of Christmas.

Our podcasts and our radio streams originate from our own dedicated server. Licensing is still a thing but we’re still broadcasting commercial-free. And we want to keep it that way.

How is that possible?

Well, the answer is love – in the form of donations from users who generously keep us afloat.

I would tell you that radio and podcasts ARE the most expensive part of our operations.

I don’t regret paying those royalties, by the way.

It’s just costly and hard to do when your goal isn’t to commercialize Christmas.

But we’re doing it. And I think we are helping to bring a better Christmas online because of it.

So now that is up and running – and getting some love – I have the thought of taking it to the next level by introducing a Christmas radio stream featuring Christmas Podcasts and, more importantly, Christmas podcasters.

Christmas Podcasts Radio would offer commercial-free Christmas radio featuring podcasters – natural DJs, if you ask me – presenting their own radio shows that would feature their podcasts, their music and their expanded take on Christmas in, say, 1-hour shows scheduled at certain times.

Mash up several podcasters participating coupled with other strategically positioned bits of Christmas audio content, broadcast here and on the websites of podcasters, and radio collectives everywhere, and what have you got?

Well, in my view, another new level in Christmas online. It would be entirely unique. Fun! Festive! All Christmas offered like nowhere else!


If we get the response we hope for, we’d like to launch this before Thanksgiving 2020. Yes, just weeks away.

What would be required?

We would need:

1. A name and a time for your show
2. A commitment for show frequency
3. Several shows ready in advance
4. A 1-year commitment to the project
5. Personalization of your podcast directory page here at ChristmasPodcasts as a radio partner
6. Willingness to add your voice to promos, radio drops, idents, etc.
7. Your ideas, your suggestions, and your passion for Christmas, podcasting and radio

We would offer:

1. All expenses paid for licensing and royalties (crowdfunded, of course)
2. Hosting of the radio stream
3. Embed code to put the stream on websites
4. Promotion of your radio show on our sites, forums, social media and other radio streams

What could this do for you and your podcast? Well, we will leave that up to your imagination.

If you’re interested in being a part of this project, please input your information below.

To pull this off, we’re going to need at least 10 committed podcasters/radio show hosts.

If we can’t get that, we’ll either pull back from the effort or at best delay it until we can staff this.

I believe this could be very popular and well accepted. But like most things Christmas online, I think it will take the collective to pull it off.

Who is with us?

Yes, we may actually have to talk!
The Bugle of

Christmas CreepIt’s a funny thing. For years and years now we have seen this thing in the media about “Christmas creep”.

All through the month of July people talk up Christmas without complaint. But the minute August 1st rolls around you begin to see the news media complain about things like Christmas trees at Costco.

I don’t know why they focus on stores. But they do.

They don’t like to see the truck back up to Hobby Lobby. They can’t stand that the garden center at Walmart starts to sprout plastic snowmen next to the Back to School stuff.

The American media even complains at the John Lewis Department store in the UK that opens their Christmas shop on the same date every year – August 25th.

They make a big deal about it opening four whole months ahead of the big day.

They cannot do that this year – because, you know, COVID.

Christmas has been hot all year.

When the lockdown began it seems the Christmas lights went up last spring. Many have just kept them up – all summer long.

Some have set up their Christmas trees, redecorating for Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and Fourth of July. Some are even sporting Back to School trees, evidently the most festive out-of-season tree yet.

But if you try to Google “Christmas Creep” right now you’ll find no complaints. None. Not one.

In fact, most retailers are claiming to be prepping for Christmas earlier than ever, because, you know, COVID.

Amazon is hinting they will finally do Prime Day in early October.

Target, who only last year promised no Christmas before Thanksgiving, says they are decking the halls and offering Christmas specials in October because “2020 is no time to have a crowd”.

Retailer after retailer are all saying they will close on Thanksgiving but what will that matter if they can cash in on Christmas before Halloween?

All in the name of, you know, COVID.

It seems as if it is okay to talk about Christmas in August and September this year.

We are relieved to finally have a year like this.

Christmas is less fun when you have to complain about decorations, music and good will before the pumpkins are even picked.

So we, the Christmas podcasting community, have a real opportunity – because, you know, COVID.

What are we going to do with it? Will we let this opportunity pass?

And what will we talk about? Will we use this unusual season to endlessly spew about another Brady Christmas television reunion?

Will we pontificate on Hallmark’s 900th movie release of this season?

Will we interview other podcasters because we think people actually care when we do that?

Should we talk what’s hot and what’s not in a year in Christmas when people just want to feel good and normal again?

How can we know what will reach the masses at such a time as this?

During a year like this does Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party matter? At a time like this does Max Headroom’s Greatest Christmas Hits really strike a sentimental chord?

(Wait, wut? You don’t remember who Max Headroom was?)

Is this really the year to discuss the bullying of Rudolph, the sexism of 75-year-old Christmas songs or the real purpose of fruitcake?

Just what is important at this time of crisis and discord? What kind of Christmas really matters?

How can we, as Christmas proponents, champions and advocates, really serve the Christmas-loving listeners we have?

I beg of you, my Christmas friends, to please see this year for what it is.

Folks are stressed. They are mentally taxed.

Some have had a really rough go beyond what we might see in our own world. Unemployment. Loss of income. Illness. For many, there has been tremendous loss – some of life and loved ones.

The stress of a year of election drama and now street violence and ongoing uncertainty is overwhelming for people.

Yes, I hear you. Yes, the escapism that can be Christmas is quite real. We’ve seen it all year long.

Christmas PodcastingBut now, as we gratefully head into the Ber Months, a time when blessings are counted and hope shines anew, what can our few humble podcasts provide that will help heal, provide light and give hope?

Over the coming 20 weeks or so we all have a choice: we can be just another competing voice in the noise or we can participate in a miracle.

We can add light or cast shade.

We can help – or merely be bystanders.

I hope we can find ways in our Christmas offerings this year to make a difference. I hope we can reach out, find someone to serve or a cause to embrace, and make a sad situation somewhere a little less sad.

You know, because COVID.

The lessons of Christmas are all in practicing it. We can’t just stand by and just talk about it. We have to practice it. What better year to do that than this one?

How can your podcast do that?

That’s my challenge to you as you work right now on your plans for the weeks ahead.

By Jeff Westover of and The Merry Little Podcast

The Bugle of
Tabernacle Choir Christmas

Kristen Chenowith performed with the Choir for Christmas 2018

Word was sent out today of the cancellation of the annual Christmas concert of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. The announcement does not come as a surprise but that does not mean there is not severe disappointment. Such is life in the year of Covid.

I have been lucky to live local to the Tabernacle Choir since they first started doing the annual Christmas concert.

Of course, millions have known about the concerts because they get picked up by PBS and aired nationally every Christmas. I have conversed with many who have enjoyed it on television but to be honest with you there is nothing like the excitement that going to the event generates.

As an adult, a music lover, and a Christmas freak the excitement of going to the event is as close as one comes to the excitement you feel as a kid on Christmas Eve.

Salt Lake City is not the huge metropolis of most of America’s busiest areas. But it is not a small city and the downtown area around Temple Square is usually decked to the nines every Christmas.

Going there to share space with hundreds of thousands of others and then to sit in a hall with more than 21,000 others gives it all a buzz you would expect at Christmas. But given also that there is usually snow in December and the bazillion of lights around town and especially around Temple Square — well, the setting bleeds Christmas.

What many outside of Salt Lake do not realize is that the concert is free.

You have to get the free tickets and there is usually a frenzy to claim them when they become available in October. They are usually snapped up within minutes and they become the hottest ticket in town rather quickly. You would think that the stars they bring in to headline the event would drive ticket demand but that’s not it. Honestly. It’s the music. It’s the magic. It’s the buzz of Christmas.

Part of what made it special for us is that when you see members of the choir or the orchestra in these videos you are seeing many of our friends. They volunteer to do what they do and they do it with such grace and class.

My children grew up with going to this event as a family almost every single year. Back in the day to get tickets all you had to do was devote time off work and just go stand in a line for several hours to get the tickets you needed.

About 80,000 tickets overall are usually available for the 4-performance event but in a market with 2 million people right there those free tickets are high demand.

Somehow we always made it and on those years we could not score the tickets we would go down through the snow and the lights to Temple Square anyway and tried the standby line. No matter what it was always a don’t-miss Christmas thing for us to do as a family.

How powerful was it?

Well, watch this video below from the 2012 concert. It’s not even a Christmas song (though millions know Les Misérables). And Alfie Boe? Who here in the backwater world of Utah had ever heard of him? But what a thing to take my children to. Every year there were surprises like this one (seriously, watch it):

I was there when this happened. I can tell you there wasn’t a person in that hall who was not on the edge of their seat and who did not immediately rise and cheer at the song’s conclusion. That video now has nearly 6 millions views and it is famous worldwide.

But for as great as that song was, there was another part of the concert that does not get the notice it deserves. Here is that video:

Can you imagine seeing and hearing all this in one night — oh, with another 40 more minutes or so of Christmas music thrown in?

As I contemplate those past Christmas events now I realize how lucky we were to attend them. My children have a very high standard to live up to with their children as a result of growing up with this. It thrills me to see my grandchildren now growing up with a love of Choir music, opera, classical and pop Christmas music that my children learned through these Christmas concerts.

Sadly, there won’t be much of this for Christmas 2020 going on. I cannot even keep track of the number of cancellations I’m seeing.

But guess what?

The music doesn’t have to stop. And neither does the storytelling.

That 2nd clip above of Tom Brokaw telling the story of the Candy Bomber is a great example of what the Tabernacle Choir does with their concerts. Along with the music superstars like Natalie Cole or Gladys Knight or Kristin Chenowith that they bring in yearly they also bring in a guest narrator or storyteller.

And it runs the gamut. From Walter Cronkite to Hugh Bonneville the Choir has had some impressive storytellers over the years.

Storytelling this year is a void that will have to be filled by Christmas podcasters. That’s what we do with every episode.

Do our Christmas podcasters out there realize what an opportunity there is for us in 2020? We can fill the storytelling and music void.

It is a huge challenge to rise to.

We’re working on some new projects that will help us get out there more with music and the voice of storytelling this Christmas.

Interested in being a part of it?

Contact us if you want to play along. You will not regret it.

The better part of listening to Christmas music and storytelling is getting to produce it. We are going to have some fun.

By Jeff Westover of and The Merry Little Podcast

The Bugle of

By Jeff Westover of and The Merry Little Podcast

The Bugle of ChristmasPodcasts.comChristmas Podcasts is pleased to announce the opening of their news blog called The Bugle.

Not to toot our own horn, so to speak, but The Bugle is born of the idea that not everything in Christmas podcasting has to be voiced. We can still convey our thoughts of both Christmas and podcasting in the written word.

In fact, we are encouraging all Christmas podcasters out there to scratch out a post or two now and then. We know that many Christmas podcasters don’t even have blog spaces to call their own. So we’re offering ours.

Plus we know there are bound to be Christmas thoughts that just are never going to fit within the confines of even the best Christmas podcast. Now we have a way to get that out there.

And getting it out there is what The Bugle is all about — blaring Christmas here, on social media, on The Merry Forums of MyMerryChristmas and wherever else we can get folks to link to it.

You see, sometimes Christmas stuff is going to come up when you least expect it.

For example, this week, during the rancid political debates of the 2020 presidential campaign the so-called War on Christmas — all but declared dead just a few years ago — has flared to life over the controversy of mail-in voting.

Here’s the fear: Post Offices have already slacked in their deliveries in 2020, as most businesses have, due to Covid-19.

But the back-and-forth of the political parties relative to the post office allegedly destroying sorting equipment, cutting back on staff or losing funding has all brought into question the ability to deliver Christmas cards and packages this Christmas. It’s a WAR ON CHRISTMAS cry far from the usual and brought forward by the different parties (as if they really care about Christmas, right?).

Well, we gotta talk about this.

Regardless of what the politics are and who you believe (which is not what this post is about and it is not somewhere we really want to go) if you use the mail to do any of your Christmas this affects you.

What about letters to Santa, fer crying out loud? I mean, look at this:

War on Christmas


This is really bumming some people out – even more than the ugly election ever could.

Well now, I’m not going to fit this into one of my podcasts. First of all, it’s too depressing. Second of all, why?

But I’m not afraid to spew here about it.

I’m a big user of the mails for spreading Christmas cheer. Of course, we manage a few active Christmas exchanges at that depend on the mail. And of course, especially in this year of Covid, we’re all using e-commerce to buy soap, food, and, oh yeah, everything Christmas.

Isn’t it odd that the convenience of online shopping has all of a sudden become a giant inconvenience due to the force of Covid?

I don’t know about you but my average Amazon Prime order that is supposed to come in two days is taking now about a week. (And that’s a big improvement over earlier this year). So for Christmas, I have to buy and ship earlier.

Now I have to revise this year again.

Not sure I’m up to licking stamps in October, if you know what I mean.

What does this Christmas dilemma have to do with Christmas podcasts? I haven’t the foggiest, Rudolph. But I can tell you that Tim Babb did an episode in honor of the USPS. So don’t tell me the Christmas podcasting community isn’t in touch.

What are you going to do? What’s your plan? How do you see this all panning out?

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

We can do that at The Bugle. Isn’t the written word wonderful?