“With excellent production, engaging narration, and short, digestible running times, Christmas Past is perfect to put on while decorating your tree or preparing Christmas dinner.” – Vanity Fair

Since 2016, Brian Earl has been telling the fascinating stories behind our favorite holiday’s traditions through the podcast, Christmas Past. Inspired by public radio style storytelling, Christmas Past provides a lens through which readers can view Christmas as festive, cheerful, strange, and above all, endlessly fascinating. Think: NPR meets Clement Clarke Moore.

image of a podcaster interviewing Santa Claus

Now in its eighth season, Christmas Past has earned a worldwide audience, 2 million downloads, and hundreds of five-star reviews. It is the all-time highest-rated and most popular podcast about Christmas.

Each short episode of the podcast tells the story behind a Christmas tradition, with the help of a leading expert. Christmas Past has featured historians, CEOs, linguists, botanists, curators, dancers, chefs, postal inspectors, and professional Santa Clauses, to name a few.

Episodes also include Christmas memories recorded and submitted by listeners. Christmas Past aims to surprise and delight the listener into a merrier Christmas by telling an engaging story, revealing surprising histories, and recreating the feeling of reminiscing at a family gathering — all in the time it takes to wrap a few gifts.

Brian has either been interviewed, or the podcast has received mention, in Vanity Fair, Modern Woman/USA Today, The Financial Times, Best Life, Bustle, Huffington Post, Pop Sugar, and many other local and national media outlets (see the Press page for more).

Christmas Past Book

In the fall of 2022, Christmas Past will be available as a book from Lyons Press, and an audiobook from Recorded Books.

About Brian Earl

Brian Earl is a designer, writer, and podcaster living in Silicon Valley. He’s also one of those people who puts up the Christmas tree on Halloween and takes it down on Valentine’s Day. As a Massachusetts native, he has experienced dozens of postcard-perfect New England Christmases.

image of children sitting on Santa Claus's lap
Brian Earl (on the left) meeting a department store Santa in Brockton, Massachusetts. 1970-something

Brian has performed a version of the podcast as a live show in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a speaker at Christmas Con (a Christmas movie fan conference) in 2019, and also at Podcast Movement (the podcasting industry’s largest conference) in 2018. He is a frequent guest on many popular Christmas-themed podcasts and other podcasts.