Because I love The Cinnamon Bear so much, I post this exact same article every year on the 29th of November. If you have young children — and even if you don’t — I encourage you to listen to these old radio broadcasts with your family.
Holiday traditions don’t have to be expensive. Some of the best traditions don’t cost anything at all.
When I was a boy, Christmas meant The Cinnamon Bear. During the weeks before Christmas, a Portland radio station (KEX) would broadcast a fifteen minute episode of this story every night.
The Cinnamon Bear chronicles the adventures of Judy and Jimmy, and their fantastic trip through Maybeland as they search for the missing Silver Star that belongs atop their Christmas tree.
I loved the cast of characters and the exotic locales: the Root Beer Ocean and the Inkaboos, the Wintergreen Witch, the Looking Glass Valley, the Crazy Quilt Dragon. And, of course, I loved Santa Claus and the North Pole.
Because of the vagaries of copyright law, most old-time radio broadcasts are now in the Public Domain. The Cinnamon Bear is freely distributable. Some radio stations still broadcast the show every year. But don’t worry about hunting for it: I’ve gathered all of the episodes here for you to download.
Collected below is every episode, in order. The program is meant to be heard once per day between November 29th (that’s today) and Christmas Eve. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid, and modern parents tell me their children love it, too. Enjoy!
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #1: “Paddy O’ Cinnamon”
[Originally broadcast 29 November 1937 — 2.59mb, 11:18]
Judy and Jimmy write letters to Santa. The Silver Star Christmas ornament is missing and the kids go up to the attic to find it. They meet Paddy O’Cinnamon (The Cinnamon Bear) who tells them the Silver Star was taken to Maybeland by the Crazy Quilt Dragon.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #2: “Weary Willie”
[Originally broadcast 30 November 1937 — 2.59mb, 11:44]
Paddy O’Cinnamon shows Judy and Jimmy how to de-grow so they can follow the Crazy Quilt Dragon to the Lollipop Mountains. They climb into Paddy’s Soda Pop Airplane and fly through the tunnel.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #3: “Crazy Quilt Dragon”
[Originally broadcast 01 December 1937 — 2.71mb, 11:51]
Feeling remorseful for drinking their Soda Pop and stranding them in Looking Glass Valley without fuel, Weary Willie has the Stork fly them out on his back. They catch Crazy Quilt but he drops the Silver Star in the Root Beer Ocean.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #4: “The Inkaboos”
[Originally broadcast 02 December 1937 — 2.70mb, 11:46]
While they try to find the Silver Star, Judy and Jimmy are captured by the Inkaboos. King Blotto is insulted and sentences them to die in the Immense Inkwell.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #5: “Weasley the Wailing Whale”
[Originally broadcast 03 December 1937 — 2.84mb, 12:25]
Crazy Quilt comes to the rescue. The children escape to the Root Beer Ocean, where they see the Silver Star floating on the waves.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #6: “Samuel Seal”
[Originally broadcast 04 December 1937 — 2.91mb, 12:43]
Wesley the Wailing Whale swallows the Silver Star. Samuel Seal recovers the Silver Star from Wesley, only to have Penelope the Pelican carry it off.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #7: “Presto the Magician”
[Originally broadcast 05 December 1937 — 2.85mb, 12:26]
Judy and Jimmy meet Presto the Magician. He pulls Penelope the Pelican from his hat, but she has dropped the Silver Star on the Island of Obi.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #8: “Candy Pirates”
[Originally broadcast 06 December 1937 — 2.73mb, 11:55]
Judy and Jimmy are captured by Captain Taffy and his Pirates. They take the kids to the Magic Island and loan them a rowboat.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #9: “Roly-Poly Policeman”
[Originally broadcast 07 December 1937 — 2.83mb, 12:21]
Judy and Jimmy are on the Magic Island, where the Roly-Poly Policeman has taken their Silver Star for his uniform. But before the kids can get to him, Crazy Quilt Dragon runs off with the Silver Star again!
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #10: “Professor Whiz”
[Originally broadcast 08 December 1937 — 2.79mb, 12:10]
Paddy O’Cinnamon, the Cinnamon Bear has disappeared. Judy and Jimmy are chasing Crazy Quilt Dragon to get their Silver Star. Professor Whiz tells them about the Wintergreen Witch. They follow Crazy Quilt into the Picture Forest, where they meet Fraidy Cat.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #11: “Fee Foe the Gentle Giant”
[Originally broadcast 09 December 1937 — 2.91mb, 12:41]
Fee Foe the Gentle Giant shows Judy and Jimmy the Goody-Goody Grove and invites them for lunch. They start to follow Crazy Quilt when it suddenly gets very, very dark!
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #12: “Rhyming Rabbit”
[Originally broadcast 10 December 1937 — 2.88mb, 12:34]
Judy and Jimmy meet up again with Crazy Quilt, who says the Wintergreen Witch forced him to steal the Silver Star. While trying to find their way back to the Wintergreen Witch’s house, they encounter the Rhyming Rabbit.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #13: “The Wintergreen Witch”
[Originally broadcast 11 December 1937 — 2.85mb, 12:25]
The Wintergreen Witch tries to take Judy and Jimmy’s Silver Star and change the kids into mice, but they get away. After their hurried flight, Crazy Quilt sits on the Silver Star and breaks it.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #14: “Queen Melissa”
[Originally broadcast 12 December 1937 — 2.81mb, 12:16]
Crazy Quilt suggests that they all visit Melissa, the Queen of Maybeland, who can tell them how to fix the Silver Star.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #15: “Snapper Snick”
[Originally broadcast 13 December 1937 — 2.78mb, 12:08]
Judy and Jimmy learn that they can only read Queen Melissa’s magic instructions in total darkness, which only occurs in the Wishing Woods. On the way there, the kids meet Snapper Snick the Crooning Crocodile, who swallows the magic instructions.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #16: “Oliver Ostrich”
[Originally broadcast 14 December 1937 — 2.85mb, 12:26]
Snapper Snick explains that he reads by eating and that’s how he is able to read in the dark. Judy and Jimmy learn that the magic instructions direct them to the the Wishing Well. On the way, they meet Oliver Ostrich who eats alarm clocks. Oliver directs them to the Wishing Well — Paddy O’Cinnamon, the Cinnamon Bear, falls in.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #17: “Muddlers”
[Originally broadcast 15 December 1937 — 2.83mb, 12:22]
Judy and Jimmy use their one wish, given by the Wishing Well, to get rescue Cinnamon Bear, and now they can’t fix their Silver Star with the Wishing Well’s magic. While trying to get out of the Wishing Woods, they encounter the Muddlers and the River of Mud.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #18: “Cocklebur Cowboys”
[Originally broadcast 16 December 1937 — 2.82mb, 12:18]
Slim Pickens and the Cocklebur Cowboys of the Purple Plain come to the rescue of Judy and Jimmy, Cinnamon Bear and Crazy Quilt, pulling them from the mud.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #19: “Wooden Indian”
[Originally broadcast 17 December 1937 — 2.82mb, 12:19]
Judy and Jimmy are being chased by Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, a wooden Indian who wants Crazy Quilt’s pelt for his girlfriend Many Happy Returns. Judy trades her looking glass to him instead. After he leaves, they encounter the Wintergreen Witch again in the Golden Grove.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #20: “Flying Hat”
[Originally broadcast 18 December 1937 — 2.79mb, 12:10]
The Grand Wonky arrives in the nick of time to banish the Wintergreen Witch to Looking Glass Valley. While searching for the Singing Tree, they find the Flying Hat and it has a mysterious note attached.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #21: “Snowman”
[Originally broadcast 19 December 1937 — 2.74mb, 11:59]
The mysterious note invites the crew inside where they find chairs just the right size for all of them. The Flying Hat carries them to the Land of Ice and Snow to get the Silver Star fixed. They ask the Snowman how to find Nicki Froodle, as Queen Melissa told them. Nicki turns out to be an Elf, and he takes them to see Santa Claus.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #22: “Santa Claus”
[Originally broadcast 20 December 1937 — 2.78mb, 12:08]
Santa Claus welcomes Judy and Jimmy and introduces them to Jack Frost who repairs the Silver Star only to have it vanish again.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #23: “The Bad Dolls”
[Originally broadcast 21 December 1937 — 2.90mb, 12:39]
The Bad Dolls have stolen the Silver Star. Santa orders out the Tin Soldiers to capture the Bad Dolls and return the Silver Star.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #24: “The Parade”
[Originally broadcast 22 December 1937 — 2.86mb, 12:30]
The Wintergreen Witch appears again aiding the Bad Dolls in defeating the Tin Soldiers. Santa orders out reinforcements while Judy and Jimmy watch the Christmas Parade. After the Parade, Captain Tintop brings back the Silver Star.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #25: “Captain Tintop”
[Originally broadcast 23 December 1937 — 2.87mb, 12:30]
Captain Tintop tells how they defeated the Wintergreen Witch and then the group goes to a grand banquet hosted by Santa Claus. After the banquet, Crazy Quilt runs off with the Silver Star once again.
The Cinnamon Bear, episode #26: “North Pole”
[Originally broadcast 24 December 1937 — 2.78mb, 12:09]
Crazy Quilt heads for the North Pole with Santa Claus, Judy, Jimmy, and Nicki Froodle in pursuit. They catch Crazy Quilt and tackle him to recover the Silver Star. Then they wake up in the attic just in time to decorate the Christmas Tree.
When I was a boy, my brothers and I huddled around the wood stove and listened to the show on AM radio. Now, through the magic of technology, you can download these mp3s, curl up under your electric blanket, and listen on your iPod. Better yet, tuck your children into bed and listen to the story with them. This is a wonderful no-cost holiday tradition.