'Twas the Night Before Christmas

In this episode of MarketFoolery, host Chris Hill shares a few holiday wishes and thoughts on seasonal music, before turning the show over to the late, great Louis Armstrong.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Dec. 24, 2018.

Chris Hill: It's Monday, Dec. 24. Welcome to MarketFoolery! I'm Chris Hill. Just me in studio. A few quick words before we get to something that we have done for the last couple of years.

How are you doing? What are you doing now? Are you like me and you're doing some last-minute Christmas shopping? Good luck with that! Good luck to both of us, for that matter! Maybe you're on the road. Maybe you're traveling to get home or doing your usual Monday thing. However, wherever, whenever you get around to listening to this show, maybe you're commuting or at the gym working out, or for a run, or walking the dog, doing stuff around the house, doing some chores, prepping a meal, something like that, running errands, maybe you're getting ready for bed. I've gotten that before. I'm always curious what people are doing when they're listening to this podcast. And over the years, I've definitely gotten a couple of those. "I listen when I'm getting ready for bed. You help me nod off." All right! All right, I'll take that! I appreciate that, as long as you're not nodding off while you're driving. I don't want to help with that.

Whatever you're doing, I hope you're well. I hope you're having a good Christmas Eve! I hope the holiday season's going well for you. The holidays can be great. They can also be a struggle for any number of reasons. Sometimes that's work. Sometimes that is health-related. Sometimes you have someone in your life, it could be a friend or family member, who's struggling, and you want to help them. Sometimes what you want for Christmas is to just wave the proverbial magic wand for someone in your life or for yourself. As I think we all know, magic wands are definitely in short supply.

But if you reach out and you let them know you're there, or if you're the one who needs the magic wand, and you reach out and let the people in your life know that you need a little bit of help, when you do those things, a lot of times, you don't need a magic wand, because helping each other, even in small ways, can sometimes feel like magic.

I mentioned the other day that in a couple of weeks, we're going to hit the eight-year mark on doing this podcast. I will talk more about that at the appropriate time. But whether you have been with us for all eight of those years, or you just started more recently, thank you for listening! Thank you for letting us keep you company while you're doing whatever it is that you're doing!

If you just started listening in 2018, then the holiday music that we've been doing all month is probably new to you. We started that four years ago because, as I've said before, when radio stations flip the holiday music, it's the same 50 songs. And they're fine, but there's just so much great music out there that people are missing. And when people like you email or hit us up on Twitter to say, "Thank you for that song!" Or, "Thank you for the Dropkick Murphys!" "I didn't know Twisted Sister had a Christmas album. I didn't know that. "You played 'Aires de Navidad' at the end of the episode, and that's my jam."

When we get those messages, we love it! It makes us happy. But you need to know that that's entirely the work of Dan Boyd. That is producer Dan Boyd. I suggested one or two here or there, but Dan is really the one who drives that bus.

Again, if you want the list, and a few of you have emailed for the list, just drop a note to marketfoolery@fool.com. We'll send you the list. Heck, we'll even send you the list of the songs we did last year.

All this started for us in 2015, when Dan and I realized that we had something in common, and that was our disdain for the utter lack of imagination on the part of radio station program directors who flip the holiday music and do not allow for anything new or creative, or God forbid, edgy. That's when it started on this podcast.

In my own life, it actually started when I was a kid. I would come home from school, and my mom would always have Christmas music playing. Some of it was fantastic. Some of it I wasn't crazy about when I was a kid. But it definitely expanded my universe of what Christmas music and holiday music in general could be. We had the classics. We had your Bing Crosby, Andy Williams. I'm not knocking those guys. But we also had Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, and this vast array of holiday music that you unfortunately don't hear on the radio.

When I think about this time of year in my childhood, it's not so much the gifts that I got when I was a kid that I think about. It's more about how this time of year felt. I grew up in Maine. When you're in Maine, [laughs] and it's December, and you come into the house in the afternoon or the evening, you're coming in from the cold and the snow. I was fortunate enough to come into a warm house where there was almost always some delicious smell coming from the kitchen. My mom is a great cook, but she really loved to bake, and December was prime time for an above-average number of baked goods, particularly cookies and sweet breads. And there would be the music playing. Those are the Christmas memories that last for me.

My mom is 88 years old. The first record she ever bought was when she was 12 years old. If you're a younger person, go ahead and find someone old in your life and ask them what a record is. My mom went down to the record shop with some money she had saved up, and the first record she ever bought was a Louis Armstrong record.

So, it's Christmas Eve. No investing today. No stock talk. We're going to be back later this week with a little bit of that, but it's Christmas Eve. On behalf of everyone at The Motley Fool here in the United States, and from our offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., on behalf of everyone, I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.

We'll leave you with the late, great Louis Armstrong reading Clement Moore's classic poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas."

Louis Armstrong: This is Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, talking to all the kids, from all over the world, at Christmastime.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;The children were nestled all snug in their beds,While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap‍ --When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.Away to the window I flew like a flash,Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,With a little old driver, so lively and quick,I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:'Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!'As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,With the sleigh full of toys‍ -- and St. Nicholas too:And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roofThe prancing and pawing of each little hoof.As I drew in my head, and was turning around,Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;A bundle of toys was flung on his back,And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:His eyes‍ -- how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.He had a broad face, and a little round bellyThat shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;A wink of his eye and a twist of his headSoon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,And laying his finger aside of his noseAnd giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight‍ --

'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.'

A very good night. And that goes for Satchmo, too. Thank you.

Chris Hill has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends TWTR. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.