Holiday Survival Guide

It’s that time where it seems like as soon as you breathe, there is another holiday dinner where your presence is mandatory. I have gathered my supplies (aka: my podcast subscription) and have made this list of podcasts to see you through the oncoming wave of holidays. This list will be a mashup of genres to get you through all the stages of the holidays. If you just want a bunch of feel-good podcasts then check out my previous list of Podcasts to Brighten Your Day

The Amelia Project

Grab a cup of hot cocoa and prepare to disappear with the help of The Amelia Project. The holiday season can be stressful, and sometimes you just want to fake your own death so you can live in another country. The good news is that The Amelia Project is in that line of business, the bad news is that it is only a podcast.

Archive 81

I have a lot of anxiety, it isn’t debilitating, but it can cause a lot of problems. A coping mechanism that I have is getting lost in stories to calm myself down. Archive 81 is the perfect audio fiction podcast to get lost in. The sound design is a work of art and makes every episode an experience. It is one of my goto podcasts when I just need to escape reality for a while.

Deck the Halls (with Matrimony)

Are the holidays complete without Hallmark moments? That was a rhetorical question, the answer is clearly no. Will I watch Susan fall in love with Tristan, the hidden prince with a tragic past, but a heart of gold? Yes, and you bet your ass I will gasp when his royal lineage is revealed. Deck the Halls is filled with fluff and that delicious angst that comes with miscommunication. My only issue is that there isn’t a single Dolly Parton song in it, but legalities and all that rot. Even without the Dolly Parton cameo, this is a holiday audio fiction podcast that you don’t want to miss.

Done Disappeared

She said, “You lookin for women?” I said, “No, I ain’t lookin for women, what do you mean lookin for women? I can’t hardly understand a word you’re saying with your mouth full of all them beans. Now go on get!”
She said, “I got girls, all kind of girls.” I said, “No thank you ma’am, I walk with the Lord.” and she went trotting on back into the woods.

~Episode 6 Done Disappeared

I have this part saved on my phone for whenever I am feeling down. It never fails to make me giggle. Also, I really enjoy using “No thank you, I walk with the Lord.” for stupid things, for example: when asked if I want some of Susan’s potato casserole, I confuse the hell out of everyone by saying, ” Oh no! No thank you, I walk with the Lord.” Throw in a pious look of disappointment in their behavior, and you have a delightful holiday dinner.

The Far Meridian

The Far Meridian is an audio fiction podcast that is full of hope. Even when everything is terrible, there is still that bit of hope that keeps Peri going. It makes me think of New Year’s Eve/Day. When a year has been filled with one disaster after another, it almost seems to fade away on December 31st. We have hope that the coming year will be better. It’s like we are able to brush ourselves off and get ready to try again. I just really love The Far Meridian, it is just so relatable, especially if you have anxiety.

Fireside Mystery Theatre

Holiday horror needs to be more popular. I want to see The Birds, but with turkeys during Thanksgiving. That was a joke, but now I actually want to see it, hear it *hint hint* Imagine hearing *gobble gobble* and being filled with horror as a flock of turkeys peck people to death. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good Thanksgiving horror story, unless you count Adams Family Values. But If you want some Christmas horror, Fireside Mystery Theatre tells spooky Christmas tales during their “Holiday Haunts.”

Greater Boston

One year in December, I drove to Vienna, VA to see some band play their last concert. I remember driving back to the hotel and just scanning radio stations. I somehow managed to find a radio drama, and I just drove around listening to the story. It was in the early 2000s and way before I got into podcasts, but I always think about that when I listen to Greater Boston. It just fills me with that same sort of feeling, when I can just slow down and enjoy a story. I don’t need to worry about making deadlines, or rushing somewhere, I can listen to a story unfold.

How to Listen to Music in the 22nd Century (HTLM22)

Music. Music music music music Music music music. Music music music. Music. MUSIC music music music, music music music music. Music, music music music music music music. Music music music, music music music. Music music music music!

I had to get that out of my system, as the first draft of this blurb had “music” too many times in it. How to Listen to Music in the 22nd Century is a fun audio fiction podcast about music. It’s really adorable, and I like to listen to it when I need a break.

Jarnsaxa Rising

Families can be difficult, they can support you when no one else will, and they can try to create an army to take over all nine realms. It seems like the gods always have the most dysfunctional families no matter the pantheon. In Jarnsaxa Rising, we get to see how the Aesir aren’t as perfect as we were lead to believe, in fact, they’re assholes.

King Falls AM

Who knew that some of the people over at King Falls AM could sing? I listen to this episode every year. I love musical episodes, I really do. The singing starts after a curse is cast by a racist witch.

Munchen, Minnesota

I just love Christmas horror, almost as much as I love rom-coms. It’s weird I know, one moment I’m cooing at the boyfriend dashing through the airport for love, and the next I am salivating over the thought of a child being snatched by Santa’s evil brother. Munchen, Minnesota gives me that holiday-themed horror I crave. Be sure to wrap up real tight and seal up your fireplace because Santa won’t be the only one using them.

Off Book!

First, I need to put it out there that I NEED more musical podcasts. You don’t even have to sing well for me to enjoy a musical, I love most of Bob’s Burgers musical episodes. So this is me telling you that I demand more musical audio fiction podcasts. It’s surprising that I don’t have any sort of background in theater with how much I love it. I love musicals. Off Book! is an Earwolf podcast where Zach and Jess make an improvised musical with a guest. Most of them are delightful, there are a few that don’t deliver. But it’s one of the few musical podcasts I know of, and if the holidays aren’t a time for musicals, then I don’t want to be alive.

Return Home

I ask this question all the time: why do so many Christmas episodes rhyme? There are so many poems dedicated to this season, but I’m not sure of the reason? If you have yet to groan, then I think that you should try Return Home. Listen as Johnathan, Buddy, and Ami deal with all sorts of cockamamie. This is started really playful, but it is quickly becoming painful. I haven’t had to rhyme like this in quite some time. I don’t even remember the rules and am coming across as quite the fool. Yeah, I’m done. Go listen to Return Home and listen to the Christmas episode, they are much better at rhyming than I am.

If you haven’t listened to Return Home here’s episode 1… have fun.

Time Trip!

I really love Time Trip! It’s a silly story about time travel, but there are a lot of lessons that we can learn from Pte. Trip Timeskipper. The finale of season 1 is so perfect. It’s so sweet and touching. I have decided that I will be relistening to Time Trip! every year because it makes me think about how I treat people, also it is delightful and makes me laugh.

Uncanny County

There is one episode of Uncanny County that I just love. It is so touching and fills me with that holiday spirit. “The Last Wigwam Christmas” is just a sweet story about travelers finding just what they need when stopping at Wally’s Wigwam Motor Lodge.

Wolf 359

You could listen to Wolf 359 during any season, but it just fits so perfectly with winter. Maybe it’s because 2018 feels a little like the Hephaestus, broken but somehow still here. Let’s be real, 2018 should’ve ended 100 years ago, but here we are stuck in a year that never ends. Maybe by the time you get to episode 61 this year will have finally ended. Maybe. But even if it doesn’t, at least we can listen to the emotional story of how Doug Eiffle drives everyone on a crumbling space station batty.

Wooden Overcoats

I can hear you asking, “Alex, how can you include an audio fiction podcast about two competing funeral homes in your holiday survival guide?” I will answer that with a question of my own. Why do we tell children that a drunk stranger watches them all year and then breaks into their houses to leave gifts or coal? Wooden Overcoats is a delightful audio fiction podcast that’s good for any holiday. Fall and Winter are associated with death, so I think it’s fitting to include a hilarious podcast about morticians.

I hope you can find some audio fiction podcasts to help you survive the holidays. If you have a podcast you like to listen to during the holidays, let me know in the comments below.

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