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This holiday season, NHPR brings you special programs from around the country and around the world - both well-loved favorites and brand new.Tune in and celebrate with us!

Special Programs Celebrating Hanukkah & Christmas

SigurDD via Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, Dec. 7th

9:00 - 10:00 pm:   Hanukkah Lights 2012

A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by acclaimed authors expressly for the show, as read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Sunday, Dec. 16th

6:00 - 8:00 pm:   A Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live in Concert

Live from the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, a Celtic celebration of the season, with top-flight traditional singers and instrumentalists, and a story or two from host Brian O'Donovan.

Friday, Dec. 21rd

9:00 - 10:00 pm:   Tinsel Tales 2

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Saturday, Dec. 22th

4:00 - 5:00 pm:   Tinsel Tales – NPR Christmas Favorites

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Sunday, Dec. 23th

7:00 - 10:00 pm:   Folk Show Holiday Special

Monday, Dec. 24th

9:00 - 10:00 am:  The Exchange - Gerald Dickens: A Christmas Carol

The London Sunday Telegraph once proclaimed Charles Dickens as "The Man who Invented Christmas" and his timeless story "A Christmas Carol", the main reason why. Written in London in 1843, at a time of expanding urbanization and industrialization, and a declining interest in old customs and ceremonies, "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge, Cratchit, Tiny Tim and a host of ominous ghosts, helped its readers find the true spirit of Christmas and look back nostalgically at the old time Christmas traditions of friends, family, fun and frivolity. Gerald Charles Dickens is Charles Dickens's great great grandson and like his famous namesake, an actor, touring America for the past ten years with his one-man performance of "A Christmas Carol". His tour stopped by the Granite State in 2005, and when it did we caught up with Gerald Charles Dickens to talk about the legacy of the Great Great Grandfather, the magic of "A Christmas Carol" and to perform a handful of scenes from his show.

10:00 am - Noon:    Festivals of Nine Lessons & Carols

Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a live stereo music and spoken-word broadcast from the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. The 30-voice King's College Choir performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music. 

Noon  1:00 pm:    Roll Credits: A Hollywood Holiday

During the holidays we unpack, dust off and polish up countless traditions. Some are surrounded by festive foods, others involve preparing and decorating for family, friends and homecomings. Many of these special times include classic movies that take us back to wonderful Christmases past. Lynne Warfel shares music that made great films from “A Christmas Carol” to “Polar Express” come alive with the warmth and sparkle of the season.

7:00 - 10:00 pm:   Handel’s Messiah from Boston

Harry Christophers leads the period-instrument Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus and world-class soloists in Handel's beloved masterpiece live from Symphony Hall in Boston.

10:00 pm - Midnight:     Paul Winter Solstice Concert

Once again on the darkest night of the year, NPR Music presents the illuminating tradition From New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine: the 32nd annual Paul Winter Solstice Celebration, featuring gospel singer Theresa Thomason, Mbira Master Chris Berry and The Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ.

Tuesday, Dec. 25th

9:00 - 10:00 am:    A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico

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.

10:00 - 11:00 am:    Welcome Christmas

The best way to welcome Christmas is Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert from American Public Media.  New for 2012: Bring a Torch! This year's program puts the focus on old French carols, alongside two world premieres in the annual VocalEssence/American Composers Forum Christmas carol contest. The new carols call for the intriguing combination of men's chorus with English horn.

11:00 am - Noon:   Story Of Christmas: A Pageant from Washington National Cathedral

This year's National Cathedral broadcast thus creates a Christmas pageant for radio uniting the beautiful sound of the treble voices in the Britten carols with a Christmas story created by the imagination of children: through the eyes, ears and voices of the young talent. The artistic collaboration of McCarthy and Cahill in this year's program unites some of the finest young talent in America from Washington and New York metropolitan areas.

Noon - 1:00 pm:   Echoes of Christmas

The Dale Warland Singers provided magical performances to listeners across the country for over 30 years and were acclaimed as America's premiere choir. Their signature holiday concert—beloved by public radio listeners nationwide—was the annual Echoes of Christmas program. Drawing upon the archive of their live performances, Dale Warland and host Brian Newhouse create a very special Christmas musical treat.

1:00 - 2:00 pm:   The Great American Songbook Holiday Special 2012

What makes a song last? Join host Philip Furia for a musical exploration of an enduring body of holiday songs, performed generation after generation by musicians and singers in styles that range from jazz to blues, rock to country. Hear the stories behind the songs, and hear familiar artists singing them. The program shows how The Great American Songbook came into being during the first half of the 20th-century through the interplay of the sheet-music publishing industry known as "Tin Pan Alley," the Broadway musical, the emergence of radio in the 1920s, the advent of sound movies, the creation of a jazz repertoire, and developments in the recording industry.

8:00 - 9:00 pm:   Christmas with Morehouse & Spelman Glee Clubs

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

9:00 - 10:00 pm:   Festivo Alt.Latino

Latin American holiday traditions often reflect both indigenous and European roots with distinct characteristics that are often only similar in the language used.
NPR Music's Alt.Latino hosts Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd take us on a Latin American holiday travelogue through the eyes and ears of four very different Latin Alternative musicians who put aside their contemporary sounds and go back to their musical and cultural roots. 
Latin Alternative music is at its core a cultural hybrid of tradition mixed with genres like hip hop, rock, punk and electronic dance music. Contreras and Garsd have assembled a sampling of some of the genre's most creative minds to share holiday music from four very rich Latin American cultures.

Saturday, Dec. 29th

Noon - 1:00 pm:  2012 Third Coast Festival Broadcast, Hour 1

Every fall, we bring the best new documentaries produced worldwide to the national airwaves in a special two-hour program, Best of the Best: The Third Coast Festival Broadcast. The featured documentaries, all winners of the annual Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition, prove just how powerful radio can be. The stories engage, provoke, entertain, and transport listeners, proving that all you need to discover new worlds is a little box and an antenna.  This year's special showcases the winners of the 2012 TC/RHDF competition, interviews with the winning producers, and highlights from our 2012 Third Coast Awards Ceremony hosted by the Kitchen Sisters and featuring the band The Hudson Branch.  Gwen Macsai, host of the Third Coast's Re:sound, and an award-winning writer/humorist, will guide listeners through this two-hour tour of the world's best new documentaries.

4:00 - 5:00 pm:   The Vinyl Cafe: Resolutions

Vinyl Cafe talks about resolution and renewal. They have a story about the time that Dave quit smoking - or tried to quit smoking - and ended up walking hundreds of kilometers along the Trans Canada highway, a story exchange about New Year’s Day, and a few small resolutions of their own.

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