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. I believe that The Cinnamon Bear sparked within me a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction.

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: Get Rich Slowly is here to help. Every night between now and Christmas Eve, I will post a new episode in this spot.

Here are the episodes posted so far:

The Cinnamon Bear, episode one: “Paddy O’ Cinnamon”
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. (11:18 — 2.59mb mp3 — originally broadcast 29 November 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode two: “Weary Willie”
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. (11:44 — 2.59mb mp3 — originally broadcast 30 November 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode three: “Crazy Quilt Dragon”
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. (11:51 — 2.71mb mp3 — originally broadcast 01 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode four: “The Inkaboos”
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. (11:46 — 2.70mb mp3 — originally broadcast 02 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode five: “Weasley the Wailing Whale”
Crazy Quilt comes to the rescue. The children escape to the Root Beer Ocean, where they see the Silver Star floating on the waves. (12:25 — 2.84mb mp3 — originally broadcast 03 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode six: “Samuel Seal”
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. (12:43 — 2.91mb mp3 — originally broadcast 04 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode seven: “Presto the Magician”
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. (12:26 — 2.85mb mp3 — originally broadcast 05 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode eight: “Candy Pirates”
Judy and Jimmy are captured by Captain Taffy and his Pirates. They take the kids to the Magic Island and loan them a rowboat. (11:55 — 2.73mb mp3 — originally broadcast 06 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode nine: “Roly-Poly Policeman”
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! (12:21 — 2.83mb mp3 — originally broadcast 07 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode ten: “Professor Whiz”
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. (12:10 — 2.79mb mp3 — originally broadcast 08 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode eleven: “Fee Foe the Gentle Giant”
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! (12:41 — 2.91mb mp3 — originally broadcast 09 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twelve: “Rhyming Rabbit”
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. (12:34 — 2.88mb mp3 — originally broadcast 10 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode thirteen: “The Wintergreen Witch”
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. (12:25 — 2.85mb mp3 — originally broadcast 11 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode fourteen: “Queen Melissa”
Crazy Quilt suggests that they all visit Melissa, the Queen of Maybeland, who can tell them how to fix the Silver Star. (12:16 — 2.81mb mp3 — originally broadcast 12 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode fifteen: “Snapper Snick”
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. (12:08 — 2.78mb mp3 — originally broadcast 13 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode sixteen: “Oliver Ostrich”
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. (12:26 — 2.85mb mp3 — originally broadcast 14 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode seventeen: “Muddlers”
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. (12:22 — 2.83mb mp3 — originally broadcast 15 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode eighteen: “Cocklebur Cowboys”
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 (12:18 — 2.82mb mp3 — originally broadcast 16 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode nineteen: “Wooden Indian”
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. (12:19 — 2.82mb mp3 — originally broadcast 17 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty: “Flying Hat”
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. (12:10 — 2.79mb mp3 — originally broadcast 18 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty-one: “Snowman”
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. (11:59 — 2.74mb mp3 — originally broadcast 19 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty-two: “Santa Claus”
Santa Claus welcomes Judy and Jimmy and introduces them to Jack Frost who repairs the Silver Star only to have it vanish again. (12:08 — 2.78mb mp3 — originally broadcast 20 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty-three: “The Bad Dolls”
The Bad Dolls have stolen the Silver Star. Santa orders out the Tin Soldiers to capture the Bad Dolls and return the Silver Star. (12:39 — 2.90mb mp3 — originally broadcast 21 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty-four: “The Parade”
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. (12:30 — 2.86mb mp3 — originally broadcast 22 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty-five: “Captain Tintop”
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. (12:30 — 2.87mb mp3 — originally broadcast 23 December 1937)

The Cinnamon Bear, episode twenty-six: “North Pole”
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. (12:09 — 2.78mb mp3 — originally broadcast 24 December 1937)

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.


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