The history of writing letters to Santa has some strange surprises in store for us.
In this episode we hear from Gus Ruiz from the US Postal Service, Nancy Pope from the Smithsonian Institution's Postal Museum, and a Christmas Memory from Kenny in Ontario.
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For centuries, gingerbread has been connected with all kinds of celebrations and holidays. And what could be more Christmassy than a gingerbread house? In this episode, we look at the history of gingerbread and the somewhat mysterious origins of the gingerbread house.
We'll hear from my mom, who made a gingerbread house every year when I was growing up. We'll also hear from Melissa Ferrar from San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, which builds a life size gingerbread house annually.
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We're finishing off the series about Santa with a look at what happened to the legend when it reached America. The Santa we know today is largely an American invention, based on the Dutch legend of Sinter Klaas. Dr. Bruce David Forbes joins one last time to tell us about the American contributions that put the finishing touches on Santa.
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Continuing where we left off in part 1, we continue exploring the legend of St. Nicholas. This time, we look at how many cultures left their own imprint on the legend as it spread across Europe.
Once again, I'm joined by professor and author Dr. Bruce David Forbes. We also hear our first Christmas memory of the season from Hope in Massachusetts. You can submit a memory by recording a voice memo on your phone and sending it to christmaspastpodcast at gmail dot com
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We're kicking off the 2016 season with a 3-part series on the evolution of St. Nicholas to Santa Claus. Most episodes this season are for the whole family, but this series is just for the grownups.
In this episode, I cover the life of the historical St. Nicholas, a 4th century bishop from Myra (modern day Turkey), and the legends that followed his death.
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