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

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?


Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Round Up - July 31st through August 20th 2021

These are the new episodes that dropped the weeks of July 31st through August 20th.

The Total Christmas Podcast – July 31st“The First TV Yule Log.”

Christmas Podding Podcast – August 1st“Why No One Should Ever Send a Merry Christmas Test.”

Tis the Podcast – August 2nd“You Ate Baby Jesus and His Mother Mary! (The Curb Your Enthusiasm and I’m Sorry Christmas Episodes)”

The Merry Little Podcast – August 4th“Christmas of the 20th Century – Part 1.”

The Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe Christmas Podcast – August 4th“Come in and Know Me Better Man!”

Santa by the Minute – August 4th“Minute 69 – Practically Paradise.”

The North Pole Podcast – August 4th“Reindeer are Elves.”

Tis the Podcast – August 5th“’Another Christmas Story’ – Chapter 26 – Hark the Herald Angels Sing – as Read by Adam Parker Sibun of ‘Merry Britsmas.’”

Tis the Podcast – August 5th“’Another Christmas Story’ – Chapter 27 – Joy to the World – as Read by Sean Sotka of ‘The Christmas Podcasts Podcast.’”

Christmas Time in the City Podcast – August 9th“The Return of the Christmas Time in the City Podcast.”

Christmas Clatter Podcast – August 10th“Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy.”

Sounds of Christmas Podcast – August 10th“2021 Coming Attractions.”

Santa by the Minute Podcast – August 11th“Minute 70 – Oh, That’s Puce.”

Jingle Jank Podcast – August 11th“Who Sang it Better? Round 3 (with Tony Dixon)”

Tis the Podcast – August 12th“’Another Christmas Story’ – Chapter 28 – The First Noel – As Read by Robert Nickerson of ‘Behind the Bells.’”

The Sleigh Bells and Mistletoe Christmas Podcast – August 13th“Utah Reindeer.”

The Total Christmas Podcast – August 14th“Those Christmas Lights.”

Christmas Podding Podcast – August 15th“What’s Determining Where You’ll Be Spending Christmas This Year.”

A Cozy Christmas Podcast – August 15th“Christmas in Ireland.”

Totally Rad Christmas Podcast – August 16th“80’s Christmas Food Trends (w/ Glen Warren)”

Totally Rad Christmas Podcast – August 16th“Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting (w/ Art Kilmer)”

Santa by the Minute – August 18th“Minute 71 – Nightmare Elf.”

Tis the Podcast – August 19th“’Another Christmas Story’ – Chapter 29 – Run Rudolph Run – As Read by Manny Torres of ‘Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad.’”

Totally Rad Christmas Podcast – August 19th“The Simpsons vs Bob’s Burgers (w/ Parker James)”

Holly Jolly X’Masu Podcast – August 20th“Misia’s ‘So Special Christmas.’”

Tis the Podcast – August 20th“The Start is Not Nearly as Important as the Finish (2006’s Last Holiday)”

Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Round Up - October 3rd-9th 2020

Here’s our Christmas Podcast Round Up for the week of October 3rd to the 9th, 2020:

New to Christmas Podcasts: NetfliXmas Podcast. Two comedians, Scarlett Alexandra and Holli Cuomo, host this comedy film review podcast. They lampoon Christmas Netflix originals and all the movies you love that are available on streaming services. Just 2 wild and crazy gals having a great time talking about Netflix Christmas movies.

New Christmas Podcast episodes:
10/3 – North Pole PodcastSanta, the North Pole and the Virus
10/3 – A Cozy Christmas PodcastBilly’s Santa Claus Experience (And Other Things That Go Wrong)
10/3 – Total Christmas PodcastThe Energy Carol
10/4 – Christmas Hall of Fame PodcastPodcast Bio: James Stewart
10/5 – Totally Rad ChristmasDoogie Howser, MD (w/ Chris, Brian and Jon)
10/6 – Christmas ClatterDo You Hear What I Hear: Motown
10/7 – Santa by the MinuteMinute 28: A Rocky Road to Prophecy
10/7 – Netflixmas PodcastThe Holiday Calendar, feat. Trumaine Bradley – Snowflakes, Too Much Advice and That’s NOT Helen Hunt?
10/8 – Totally Rad ChristmasBatman and DC Comic Pt. 1 (w/ Thom Crowe)
10/9 – Sleigh Bells Mistletoe PodcastLegend of Santa Animated Movie

Sean’s featured podcaster this week is Glen Warren of Seasons Eatings Podcast

Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Round Up - September 26th to October 2nd 2020

Christmas Podcasts Round up for the week of September 26th to October 2nd:

New to Christmas Podcasts this week is the Christmas Hall of Fame Podcast.

Podcast episode drops this week include:

9/26 – A Cozy ChristmasChristmas Shopping with Jack Benny
9/26 – Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe Christmas PodcastChristmas Cures for the COVID Blues
9/26 – Jingle Jank PodcastSanta Claus in Outer Space
9/27 – Christmas Hall of Fame PodcastPodcast Bio: Santa Claus
9/27 – Tis the PodcastWelcome Home, Son
9/28 – Totally Rad ChristmasThe Monster’s Christmas
9/29 – Christmas ClatterI Start Looking at Lamps
9/30 – Merry Little Podcast10th Anniversary of the Merry Podcast
9/30 – Santa by the MinuteMinute 27 – That’s Not Father Time
10/1 – Christmas PoddingWho Should You Spend Christmas with Family or Friends?
10/1 – Weird ChristmasHalloween Podcast Collecting with Eric Hinton

This week’s interview features Gerry Davila from Totally Rad Christmas Podcast.

Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Round Up - September 19th-25th 2020

New to Christmas Podcasts this week: Christmas Podding – Australia’s only Christmas podcast, dedicated to talking through all the big Christmas topics – whether it’s food, gifts, decorating, movies, and plenty more!

Here is your Christmas Podcasts Round Up for the week of September 19th-25th, 2020:

9/17 – Christmas PoddingWhy a Christmas Day Nap Should Be Part of This Year’s Festivities
9/19 – Total Christmas PodcastThe Christmas Movie Quiz Strikes Back
9/21 – Tis the PodcastWhat if We Lose the Things That Make Christmas in Denver So Special
9/22 – Totally Rad ChristmasSaved by the Bell
9/23 – Santa By the MinuteMinute 26 – A Handsome Man Looks Good in Anything
9/24 – Merry Little PodcastScrooge
9/24 – Tinsel TunesHark the Herald Angels Sing
9/25 – Seasons Eatings PodcastWassail
9/25 – Yuletide TVBonus Episode 9 – Call the Midwife
9/25 – Can’t Wait for Christmas PodcastFeeding the Hungry

In this episode we also have a conversation with Chris and Kris from Christmas Time in the City Podcast

Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Podcast
Christmas Podcasts Round Up -- August 22nd-28th 2020

Christmas PodcastsChristmas Podcasts from the week of August 22nd-28th, 2020:

New to
Tinsel Tunes
Total Christmas Podcast
Jingle Jank Podcast

8/22 — Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe Christmas PodcastFlying High with Backcountry Santas
8/22 — Total Christmas PodcastImpressions of a Christmas Carol
8/24 — Tis the PodcastI Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
8/25 — Tinsel TunesSecond Birthday and Winter Wonderland
8/25 — Seasons EatingsSugar Plums
8/25 — Can’t Wait for Christmas PodcastThe Ber Months
8/26 — Yuletide TVAccepted
8/27 — Totally Rad ChristmasCaroleers (with Thom Crowe)
8/15 — Jingle JankSka-Punk Christmas Songs