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Tinsel Tales 2011: NPR Christmas Stories

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
December 22, 2011

Christmas is a time of traditions, and over the years, NPR has created a few traditions of its own. In this hour-long special: Wistfulness, joy, doubt, hope — all the emotions we feel at this time of year, are summoned up in memorable stories from the NPR broadcast archives.

NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Perhaps you remember these tales fondly — or maybe you’ll fall in love with them for the first time.

Santa Claus, Private Eyeby the Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco

Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre presents a Christmas drama Sam Spade would have loved. Santa grants one last Christmas wish, then closes the case on another year.

Pass the Fois Gras: Christmas Menu Hard to Digestby Firoozeh Duma

Forget the picturesque tree and perfectly arranged presents. Christmas means blending old customs with new traditions, even if the result is messier than a bag full of carrot jam.

A ‘Silent Night’ That Brought Healingby Steve Banko

On Christmas Eve, 1968, Steve Banko was lying in a military hospital after being wounded in a battle in Vietnam — and he wasn’t sure that he wanted to live. But the sounds of Christmas carols floating over the hospital’s PA system helped change his mind.

The Christmas Clubby Bill Harley

Commentator Bill Harley was a great saver, but he had a lot to learn about spending. As a young boy, he discovered the true spirit of giving.

All I Wanted for Christmasby NPR staffers

NPR’s Jesse Baker speaks to a variety of National Public Radio staffers about their childhood holidays and the presents they most wanted.

Christmas Gift Records from the Ban-Smo Label

Still shopping for the hard-to-please music lover? Here are some unique recommendations of fun tunes sure to awaken the holiday spirit. These hits are great to listen to while wrapping presents, hosting a holiday party or enjoying the fireplace with friends and family.

The Night Before Christmas, Latin StyleRead by NPR’s Claudio Sanchez

The poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” which may or may not have been written by Clement Clarke Moore, was published in 1822 and set the modern image of Santa Claus. NPR’s Claudio Sanchez presents a different version of the poem — one with a Latin accent.

The Designated Celebratorby Melinda Shoaf

Holiday gatherings mean long hours for Melinda Shoaf: polishing silver, hanging decorations and cooking dinner. But the Memphis homemaker believes that her friends and family deserve a good celebration.

Christmas Truce

Historian Douglas Brinkley recounts the Christmas Truce of 1914, in which German and British troops in World War I spontaneously celebrated Christmas together on the front lines.

Wolf Christmasby Daniel Pinkwater

Weekend Edition’s ambassador to the world of children’s literature reads his Christmas tale about a family of wolves who peer out of their home in the woods to watch humans celebrate Christmas. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

One Response to “Tinsel Tales 2011: NPR Christmas Stories”

  1. Carol Miller says:

    How beautiful to hear Douglas Brinkley recount the 1914 Christmas Truce, and I wondered as a listened what chorus that was singing "Silent NIght" towards the end of the segment? Many thanks for the stories. Carol Miller

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