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

Merry Listening from NHPR

New Hampshire Public Radio is offering an extra helping of cheer around the holidays with programming centered on getting into the spirit of the season.

This year, the airwaves will feature some familiar classics as well as some newer offerings from the Capitol Steps and a holiday music round-up featuring NHPR’s Rick Ganley and Emily Quirk.

See NHPR’s full list of special programming below:


Holidays by Request with Rick Ganley and Emily Quirk

For the second year, Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley and Producer Emily Quirk team up for two hours packed with holiday tunes, including your favorites—send them an e-mail to put in your holiday requests:

  • Saturday, Dec. 22, 8-10 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 24, 7-9 p.m.

The Exchange: A Christmas Carol

This 2005 interview between Laura Knoy and Charles Dickens’s great-great-grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens, gets listeners in the Christmas spirit each year. Dickens chats about his one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol” and the legacy of his namesake.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, 9-10 a.m.

The Yule Log Old Time Radio Show

An NHPR favorite every holiday season, Rick Ganley and Sean Hurley recount old-timey Christmas tales of a Santa Clause-clad professional wrestler, a Christmas tree that got away and a holiday song attacked by shock jocks. 

  • Monday, Dec. 24, at 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 11 a.m.

The Folk Show Holiday Special

It’s a Happy Holidays special with a folksy twist. Join Kate McNally for a night of reverie featuring festive folk tunes.

  • Sunday, Dec. 23, 7-10 p.m.


Joy to the World: Holiday in Pink

From NPR, Ari Shapiro of All Things Considered hosts this jubilee from the internationally acclaimed Pink Martini orchestra. Hear holiday songs from across the globe in this multicultural musical extravaganza.

  • Friday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m.

All Songs Considered for the Holidays

NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share seasonal nostalgia and are joined by special guests John Legend, Aloe Blacc, Lucius and others.

  • Friday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m.

Happy(ish) Holidays from Terrible, Thanks for Asking

From American Public Media (APM), this special episode of the delightfully morose podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Host Nora McInerny shines the twinkling lights on the melancholy rather than the merry and gives listeners some perspective on why many people feel more like a Grinch than a Santa during the holidays.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m.

Selected Shorts Gift Set 2018: Tough Love for the Holidays

Written word comes to life as actors perform the works of established and emerging writers. Tradition and humor mingle in the stories presented in this unique Public Radio International (PRI) holiday program, with guest host Robert Sean Leonard.

  • Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Straight from the Chapel of King’s College in Cambridge, England, Pipedreams Host Michael Barone serves up this part spoken-word, part musical broadcast from APM as the King’s College Choir performs the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service of Biblical readings and music.

  • Monday, Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-noon

Carols and Cheer

From APM, contemporary artists and ensembles fill the airwaves as Host Scott Blankenship shares his favorite carols for the Christmas season.

  • Monday, Dec. 24, at 2 p.m.

Welcome Christmas!

Old and new come together in this APM offering as choral ensemble VocalEssence performs Christmas favorites, and the world premiere of two winning carols from the Christmas Carol Contest hit the air.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 10 a.m.

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series—intimate performances held at Host Bob Boilen’s desk—helps you celebrate the season with holiday music from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson and many others.

  • Monday, Dec. 24, 9-10 p.m.

Tinsel Tales

The perennial NPR tradition continues with the most requested holiday stories from the voices of NPR talent old and new. Fill your home with features from David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk, Audie Cornish, Nina Totenberg and many more. From funny to touching to insightful, these tales are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, noon-4 p.m.

All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

This hour-long special from APM brings to life the story of the nativity with beautiful choral music by Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirby, Jessye Norman and a variety of choirs.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 7 p.m.

A Chanticleer Christmas

The 12-man choral ensemble Chanticleer presents an a cappella-style Christmas concert. Brian Newhouse hosts this one-hour program filled with holiday classics and new favorites. From APM.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 9 p.m.


Candles Burning Brightly

Mindy Ratner brings Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights, to the airwaves as she dives into the meaning, traditions and music of this holiday celebration. From APM.

  • Sunday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m.

Hanukkah Lights 2018

NPR’s Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz chat with authors and share all new Hanukkah stories.

  • Sunday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m.


An Afro Blue Christmas

Howard University’s vocal ensemble Afro Blue and guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut perform holiday songs with African American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes in the mix. The group puts their personal twist on traditional songs with unique arrangements and new compositions.

  • Friday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m.

A World Café Holiday

Straight from the World Café archives comes holiday hits from big names like Jack Johnson, Carole King, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, and The Oh-Hellos. From NPR.

  • Monday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m.

The Earth is Our Home for the Holidays and Always

Storyteller Jay O’Callahan with singer Denny Breau and hip-hop artist Tem Blessed share their tales of living on Earth, hitting on some universal themes of the season—love, kindness, good food and the value of imagination. From PRI.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m.

Festivo Alt Latino: Cantigas in Concert

Experience the choral traditions of Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Cuba and Puerto Rico with the vocal stylings of Cantigas. The D.C.-based group brings their eclectic mix of songs to NPR’s Studio 1 for a fresh take on holiday festivities.

  • Friday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m.

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn

A 15-year tradition from PRI, Brian O’Donovan’s Christmas-themed “A Celtic Sojourn” continues to delight audiences with traditional Celtic tunes that play on the spirit of the season.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 8 p.m.

A Season’s Griot

Acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson shares stories and traditions from Africa in this nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. From PRI.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 8 p.m.


Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday

This irreverent look back at the political happenings of 2018 features songs from the Capitol Steps’ latest album, “Make America Grin Again”. No matter what your political views, the Capitol Steps will keep you smiling as you wave goodbye to 2018 politics.

  • Monday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m.

Sound Opinions: Best Albums of 2018

Sharing tracks from their lists, PRX hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss their choices for top albums of the year and hear from listeners on their favorites from 2018.

  • Monday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m.

Toast of the Nation

A New Year’s Eve tradition since the 1970s, this NPR special keeps revelers swinging to spirited jazz music, with each segment stopping in a special venue throughout the nation.

  • Monday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

New Year’s Day from Vienna 2019

Hear waltzes and polkas from the Vienna Philharmonic as it plays from the Golden Hall of Musikverein in Vienna. It’s an NPR New Year’s tradition well worth a listen.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Word of Mouth: 2018 Wrap-Up

Word of Mouth producers send off 2018 with a reflection on some of their favorite stories that they've worked on throughout the year and the ones that stuck with them from proucers and reporters around NHPR .

  • Saturday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, at 8 p.m.
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