In the summer of 2004, my friends Matt and Rebecca Fillingham gave me a copy of a Christmas album they made together as husband and wife.

Being perpetually nine-years-old in my mind, my 25-year-old self listened to it and instantly replied, “I want to make a Christmas record, too!”

That fall, beginning in early October, I recorded ten Christmas songs that went on to comprise a Christmas LP titled All is Calm, All is Bright. I recorded, mixed, and mastered it in 45 days. I spent the majority of that time huddled in my basement in Springfield, MO. It is worth noting that the ceiling in the basement was only 6 feet above the ground. I could stand, but I dared not attempt to hop, skip, or jump. I released the album on December 3rd, 2004 to a small and perplexed public.

The following summer, I tinkered with my Christmas album like a musical mad scientist, remixing and remastering the whole thing, and adding songs to it. (I promise this is going somewhere.) I uploaded the resulting new version of the album to that fall, and shortly thereafter received a message from someone in Wisconsin named Becki Hertig on Facebook. She and her twin Katie had heard my music and loved it (for whatever insane reason). Keep in mind, I had only uploaded anything to because I wanted the whole world (i.e. 7 more people) to hear my remixed, remastered Christmas album, which was my musical pride and joy.

The rest, as they say, is history. Becki is now my wife, and we now have a daughter named Evie, who is almost 8-weeks-old. So in a roundabout way, I met my wife because Matt and Rebecca Fillingham made a Christmas album together. I met her because I was just obsessive enough to sit down and record for 45 straight days, like an inexcusable maniac, in the cold, dark isolation of an overcast autumn.

I added more songs to the record over the years and then compiled a new version of it titled, Stalking Stuffers: Coal for the Stocking in Your Soul. Download the 17-song record using the widget on the right of your screen, or go here. Failure to download it will result Santa Claus filling the stocking of your soul with coal.

Read Stubby’s review of Stalking Stuffers here. ¬†