Holidays

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11 Festive Holiday Podcasts To Get You In The Spirit

Yes, there is Christmas murder. You're welcome.

I am a podcast addict. I subscribe to well over a dozen, and there's nothing I love more than just hanging out and listening. They are such a good way to chill out when running or cooking or even taking a shower. Themed podcasts are some of my absolute favorite, and many shows have holiday episodes or limited series. The best holiday podcasts run the gamut from true crime to old-fashioned radio shows to shows that are a bit more R-rated.

Podcasts are great because no matter what you're looking to listen to or hear about, there is a good chance a podcast exists for you. No, not all of them are child-friendly, but that's why the universe brought us headphones and nap time. My personal favorites are all adult shows — Pod Save America, Scissoring Isn't A Thing (SIAT), You And Me Both by Hillary Clinton, Off Book! The Improvised Musical Podcast, and Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. On the weekend, I love Serial and Our True Crime Podcast because I guess I save murder for Saturdays? But at the holidays, I want it to be all Hanukkah and Christmas all the time. And I've found the best of the best of holiday shows and episodes that really fill the need for some great holiday content.

1
Our True Crime Podcast — Episode "12 Nightmares Before Christmas"

Our True Crime is a podcast juggernaut among crime podcast lovers. Their "12 Nightmares Before Christmas" series is mostly "Christmas Intro," but it's designed to just take your brain away for a few hours, and that's exactly what it does. (Not in a Dahmer way, though.) Jen and Cam, as usual, are hilarious and bring the most bizarre cases to their audience.

They said on the podcast it's a "morbid version of the 12 days of Christmas" because day one has one murder, day two has two, and so on for 12 days. Heck yeah.

2
Christmas Old Time Radio

This pod is fun for the whole family. 100 episodes in length, it is nothing but Christmas-themed old radio performances, and they are absolutely delightful to listen to and experience. Radio — the original full cast podcast?

3
Girl Tales: A Hanukkah Story
Girl Tales

Girl Tales is a feminist podcast for kids, which already sets it apart. And holy cow, it's original, 45-minute musical about Hanukkah is amazing. Appropriate for all ages, and honestly, everyone can appreciate it. It's one of a kind, written, composed, and produced by Megan Bagala.

4
My Dad Wrote A Porno: My Dad Wrote A Christmas Porno Series

I'm sorry, what you need in your life is three Brits talking about Christmas-themed porn. It is gut-bustingly hilarious, and totally worth it. It's legit the funniest Christmas podcast out there. Is it appropriate? No. Do I care? Also no. Does it sound more proper in their fancy accents? Of course.

5
A Girl And Her Mother In Law — "On Christmas, We Get Drunk"

This woman and her mother-in-law have a very unique relationship, and they talk about anything and everything on their pod. This episode is truly entertaining, but for more holiday content, you can see "I Got A Sex Toy For Christmas" parts one and two, as well.

6
BBC World Service — "The First Kwanzaa"

This is a wonderful explanation of a holiday that many of us are aren't as familiar with as we should be. It's told in a typical BBC style, with tons of research that manages to be engaging and entertaining.

7
The First Degree — "A Murder On New Year's Eve"

This is one of the scariest episodes I've heard on this pod, and you'll be thinking about it for months. Isn't that wonderful? It's all about a murder in Fillmore, California, and a grisly murder that took place on New Year's Eve in 2003.

8
Biscuits & Jam — "Dolly Parton's Christmas Wish"

OK, so technically, this is the Biscuits and Jam podcast, and only one episode, but it's mother lovin' Dolly dang Parton, so throw some butter on your biscuit, turn your Alexa all the way up, and listen to Dolly talk all about music, Christmas, and being the best person ever.

9
It's A Wonderful Lie

You know those family "newsletters" people send out with their holiday cards? We all know they're mostly bull. (Mine are purposefully so. This year, we trekked to the moon via the L train, according to my reporting.) This pod tears them apart in 12 episodes. All of them are kooky and fun.

10
Selected Shorts — "Rites and Rituals"

Hosted by David Sedaris, this episode discusses three different stories read by Regina King, Zadie Smith, and David Ivey. It's beautifully rich storytelling with gifted readers and an exceptional host.

11
Terrible, Thanks For Asking — "Happy(ish) Holidays"
Terrible, Thanks for Asking

Hosted by Nora McInerny, TTFA is a podcast about real-life stories from real-life people that answer the question, "How are you?" in a real, honest way. So they don't always have a happy ending and some are downright devastating, but they are also beautiful renditions of resilience and perseverance. There are several episodes titled "Happy(ish) Holidays" that include stories about holidays people would rather forget, reminding all of us what really matters this season and beyond.