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Updates about new and special programming and changes to NHPR's program schedule.

NHPR Holiday Programming 2023: A celebration in songs and stories

Artwork by Sage, age 11, of Bethlehem, NH. Sage is one of three winners in this years NHPR Young Artists contest. Her piece will be featured as one of NHPR's 2023 holiday card designs.
Artwork by Sage, age 11, of Bethlehem, NH. Sage is one of three winners in this years NHPR Young Artists contest. Her piece will be featured as one of NHPR's 2023 holiday card designs.

Turn your dial to NHPR and join us this holiday season for special festive programming.

Enjoy well-loved national programs such as A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas eve, and Tinsel Tales, stories from the NPR archives that speak to the meaning of Christmas.

NHPR will feature locally produced holiday favorites that you may recall from years past and some brand new additions including Check This Out - Holiday Book Show on Christmas Day and Live from the Word Barn on New Years Eve.

You can find the full holiday schedule for NHPR below.

Thursday, Dec. 7

Hanukkah Lights 2023 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

NPR presents Hanukkah Lights, an hour-long special celebrating the Jewish festival of lights through original stories read by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. Now in its 32nd year, this NPR holiday tradition will brighten the season by revisiting four favorites from the archives and presenting a new story that feels both timely and timeless.

There’s a tale about a mother’s menorah collection that grew and grew. In another, listeners experience the reunion of childhood friends from Iran and the power of enduring friendship. There’s a story about a cynical college student whose chance encounter changes his perspective about family and Hanukkah. A different chance encounter has teenage cousins meeting in a science lab after a family rift kept them apart. And a lost and lonely immigrant searches for a sense of belonging.

Friday, Dec. 22 

Jazz Piano Christmas from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! The Kennedy Center and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the annual sell-out event featuring jazz-infused renditions of the season’s most-loved music. This year, we spotlight remarkable pianist, vocalist, and actress Melvis Santa—whose eclectic Afro-Cuban style has made her one of the most electrifying artists on the scene—in addition to internationally acclaimed Cuban composer and jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

Live from the Word Barn with Rick Ganley - Holiday Edition, Rock My Soul from 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 24

 A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (APM) from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m

Listeners are encouraged to join a worldwide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal “classical” music (anthems - both a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns). The broadcast, an NHPR listener favorite, is presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys, and performed in the acoustically and architecturally renowned King’s College Chapel, in Cambridge, England.

Yule Log Old Time Radio Show from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

NHPR's Rick Ganley and Sean Hurley team up for an old-timey hour of Christmas stories and memories. Sean will share his favorite “winter essays” and heartwarming family stories. This special - broadcast each year on NHPR for the holiday season - will become one of your family's favorite holiday listening traditions!

An Afro Blue Christmas from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a-cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements of traditional holiday songs plus new compositions…music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

Check This Out : Holiday Book Show from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

From New Hampshire Public Radio and the Howe Library in Hanover, New Hampshire, Check This Out is a new 7-part literary series where host Rachel Barenbaum dives deeply into the works of emerging and diverse authors. Join Rachel for a conversation with local librarians talking about their favorite books of the years.

Live From the Word Barn - Holiday Edition- Rock My Soul from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Folk Show - Stocking Stuffers Edition from 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.

A Folk Show tradition - “The Stocking Stuffer” edition gives audience members a chance to request songs for their loved ones, with a mix of holiday and listener favorites. Join host Kate McNally and her devoted base of listeners for a holiday special rich in community and connection.

Monday, Dec.25 

An Exchange Tradition: Gerald Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

On Christmas Day, we listen back to a seasonal favorite, our 2005 conversation with Gerald Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens's great-great-grandson and an actor. He toured America with his one-man performance of "A Christmas Carol," and we speak with him about the legacy of his namesake and the magic of "A Christmas Carol." He also performs a handful of scenes from his show.

The New London Barn Playhouse Presents 'A Miracle On 34th Street' from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Miracle on 34th Street is based on the classic 1947 film starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. When a department store Santa claims he’s the real Kris Kringle, his case gets taken all the way to the Supreme Court, and one little girl’s belief makes all the difference in the “miracle.” Recorded live with Foley effects (sound reproductions) and holiday carols, this special radio rebroadcast of Miracle on 34th Street will melt even the most cynical of hearts. Produced by the New London Barn Playhouse - the oldest, continuously operating Summer Stock theater in New Hampshire, and a longtime NHPR trade partner.

NPR Tinsel Tales - Episodes 1 through 4 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

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, all summoned up in memorable stories from the NPR broadcast archives.

David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk — these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. It may be you'll remember these tales fondly, or it may be you'll fall in love with them for the first time.

Lynn Neary hosts NPR's Tinsel Tales.

Civics 101 - Is Santa a Criminal? from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00p.m.

Today on Civics 101 from NHPR, we answer this question from a listener, "Is Santa a criminal?"

We get to the bottom of the myriad actions of the jolly old elf, and whether he could reasonably be tried for civil and criminal violations, including but not limited to trespassing, breaking and entering, voyeurism, stalking, surveillance, burglary, tax evasion, bad labor practices, emotional distress, and (in one instance) involuntary manslaughter.

Taking us through this complex web of charges is Colin Miller, professor at University of South Carolina School of Law.

The Yule Log Old Time Radio Show (encore broadcast) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

NHPR's Rick Ganley and Sean Hurley team up for an old-timey hour of Christmas stories and memories. Sean will share his favorite “winter essays” and heartwarming family stories. This special - broadcast each year on NHPR for the holiday season - will become one of your family's favorite holiday listening traditions!

Joy To The World - A Holiday in Pink from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro.

A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Celebrate Christmas with the sound of soaring voices. Stile Antico, the award winning choir from London, pays a visit to St. Paul’s church on Harvard Square for a concert of radiant sacred music for the Christmas season by the most acclaimed composers of the renaissance. Hear the group’s luminous blend of voices sing the intricately woven music of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Hosted by Cathy Fuller of WGBH. Presented by NPR Music.

Jazz Piano Christmas (encore) from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! The Kennedy Center and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the annual sell-out event featuring jazz-infused renditions of the season’s most-loved music. This year, we spotlight remarkable pianist, vocalist, and actress Melvis Santa—whose eclectic Afro-Cuban style has made her one of the most electrifying artists on the scene—in addition to internationally acclaimed Cuban composer and jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

Tuesday, Dec. 26 - Monday, Jan. 1

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

The first of seven 2 1/2 minute segments produced by WXXI to air on each day of Kwanzaa. Each segment focuses on the specific principle of that day, and sheds a bit of light on either the principle itself, or some element of the celebration. Segments will air Tuesday, Dec. 26- Friday Dec. 29 at 7:30 a.m., and the final 2 segments will air Saturday, Dec.30 and Sunday, Dec. 31 at 7:04 a.m.

Friday, Dec. 29

Long Story Short - Love on the Brain from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Long Story Short is not just a storytelling event. It’s an opportunity to share the funniest moments life brings us, the deepest human emotions, and the strangest day of your life with complete strangers. This bare-bones storytelling series, hosted by Beth LaMontagne Hall, is free of pretense and over-rehearsed monologues.

Saturday, Dec. 30

Long Story Short - Love on the Brain (encore) from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Long Story Short is not just a storytelling event. It’s an opportunity to share the funniest moments life brings us, the deepest human emotions, and the strangest day of your life with complete strangers. This bare-bones storytelling series, hosted by Beth LaMontagne Hall, is free of pretense and over-rehearsed monologues.

Sunday, Dec. 31

A Season’s Griot 2023 from 2:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.

A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Fields Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot. 

Best of Live From Studio D from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy a look back at the very best performances from NHPR’s Live from Studio D.

Live from the Word Barn - New Years Eve from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Put your dancing shows on for a New Years Eve edition of Live from the Word Barn.

The Folk Show - Auld Lang Syne Edition from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

On New Year's Eve Kate will feature gems from our 2023 Folk Show Playlists with a spotlight on Kate's many in-studio visits this year.

Toast of the Nation from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's festive jazz you can party to, all night long. Hear sets from Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Hiromi, Sunny Jain and Lizz Wright.

Monday, Jan.1

New Year's Day From Vienna 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The ever popular annual New Year’s Day Concert will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Daniel Barenboim. With this concert it is not only the desire of the Vienna Philharmonic to provide musically definitive interpretations of the masterworks of this genre, but also, as musical ambassadors of Austria, to send people all over the world a New Year's greeting in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. Hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.

Best of Live From Studio D (encore) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy a look back at the very best performances from NHPR’s Live from Studio D.

Before becoming Program Director, Quirk served as NHPR's production manager. During that time she's voiced and crafted the 'sound of the station,' coordinated countless on-air fundraisers, produced segments for Give Back NH, Something Wild, New Hampshire Calling, and developed NHPR's own NHPR Music vertical with features such as Live from Studio D, and long-loved favorites like Holidays By Request.

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