4:47 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Baking With A Two Year Old: Holiday Biscotti Now Known As 'Christmas Pirate Cookies'

Two year old Owen Carlson, wearing his special cape, mixes up some "Christmas pirate cookies," aka biscotti, with his dad, NHPR's Brady Carlson.
Brady Carlson, NHPR

This month for Foodstuffs I’ve been talking with New Hampshire bakers about what they do at the holidays. This week, it’s my turn. And I’ve got a very special baker working with me - my two year old son, Owen, who has a special message for you:  “Hello, people! I’m making cookies people!’

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All Things Considered
5:25 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Here's What It Would Take To Be Santa Each Christmas

It is perhaps the greatest scientific conundrum of our time – how does Santa do it all, getting all those toys under the tree for kids each Christmas?

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Gerald Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'

Gerald Dickens
Credit Thomas Cogley / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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NH News
7:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Why New Hampshire's Tiny Christmas Tree Industry Thrives

Manson Donaghey says there's more to Christmas tree farming than planting and cutting trees.
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

New Hampshire’s Christmas tree farms are mostly very small operations—even by Granite State standards.  

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North Country
4:29 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

The Christmas Tree That Got Away

Sean, Lois & Sam look for their ribboned tree.
Sean Hurley

For the last 3 years, NHPR's Sean Hurley and his family get a $5 permit to cut down their Christmas Tree in the White Mountain National Forest and every year, as Sean explains in this audio postcard, they run into the same problem. 

We walk beside an ice snagged brook looking for the balsam fir we tagged with a purple ribbon the month before.  My wife Lois leads us along, interpreting the wildlife signs as we go.

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Word of Mouth
5:08 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

What's Your Most Revered And Most Reviled Holiday Ditty?

One of Virginia's favorite Christmas songs.
Credit Affendaddy via flickr Creative Commons

Maybe it’s the repetition, or maybe the obligatory cheeriness, but there’s something about hearing holiday songs that you don’t like that rankles much more deeply than other assaults on the senses.  We asked listeners to share their favorite seasonal tunes on our Facebook page, along with the ones they hate.

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Word of Mouth
4:51 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Why Is There A Dearth Of New Holiday Songs?


The song, “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey was released in 1994, and has become a Christmas standard, consistently topping the billboard holiday charts. Despite the sleigh load of holiday albums released every winter, there hasn’t been an original holiday single with the staying power of Mariah Carey’s hit for nineteen years.

So, has our culture stopped welcoming new holiday songs? Has our Christmas carol quota been met?  Chris Klimek, is here to weigh in, his article for Slate:  “All I Want For Christmas Is A New Christmas Song,” pretty much says it all.

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Word of Mouth
11:55 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The Story Behind "The Christmas La La Song"

Credit Sherwin Sleeves

Christmas songs can quickly puncture the spirit of the season with deep rancor. NHPR’s Sean Hurley found this out for himself, when he decided to compose a new Christmas carol. Sean's song, “The Christmas La La Song” was picked up by Sirius XM shock jocks Opie and Anthony. We’ll let Sean pick it up from there. And a reminder that these are the kind of radio personalities that love to inflame…

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Word of Mouth
11:54 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band Presents "Creole Christmas"

Credit Shannon Brinkman /

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, one of New Orlean’s most legendary bands, will be rousing the crowds at The Music Hall in Portsmouth this Saturday with its “Creole Christmas” show… a joyful mix of Christmas tunes, jazz standards, and original music that busts out of the nutcracker and King Wenceslas mold. 

Ben Jaffe is creative director and sousaphone player for the band and joined us from the road.

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Word of Mouth
10:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Scrooge Visits Christmasville, USA

Luminaries, Wassail Weekend, Woodstock, VT
Sean Hurley for NHPR

What happens when a veritable Grinch is confronted by unbridled Christmas spirit? Last year we sent favorite contributor Sean Hurley to visit a town Time Magazine dubbed one of America's "most Christmassy":

Is there a better place to celebrate Christmas than Vermont, where the air has a fragrance of pine needles and the ground is (most likely) dusted with snow? For the past 25 years, Woodstock has hosted Wassail Weekend, a pre-Christmas festival that is rooted in 19th century Norse culture and traditions. While the city itself is a sight to see during the holiday season, Wassail Weekend brings a distinctive parade of more than 50 horses and riders adorned in holiday costumes and period dress, as well as wagon and sleigh rides, a wassail feast and tours of the city's most notable historic buildings ... It's everything you imagine Christmas to be, but so much more. -Time Magazine

He was, perhaps, a bit of a Scrooge about it.

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Folk Show Performances
9:21 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Live In Studio: The Christmas Revels

Lotus Wight, Pete Sutherland and Sheesham Crow of The Revels
Credit Kate McNally

Lotus Wight, Pete Sutherland and Sheesham Crow of The Christmas Revels recently joined Kate to perform live in NHPR's studios.

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Word of Mouth
12:55 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

What's Your Favorite Ornament?

Our Digital Director's favorite ornament!
Rebecca Lavoie

It’s kind of the season for objects and artifacts of sentimental value. Consider the Christmas ornament: we trundle them out every year and unpack our memories. Whether it’s the tacky bulb from your childhood Christmas tree, your grandmother’s crèche or your child’s first handmade snowflake, we’d like to see yours. Post a picture--and even a story--of your most treasured holiday ornament on our Facebook page, wordofmouthradio, or tweet it to us @wordofmouth. You can also email your photos to our producers!

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North Country
6:00 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Christmas In Bethlehem: An Audio Postcard

Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR

Saturday night it was the third annual Christmas in Bethlehem celebration in the North Country.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen sent this postcard:

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All Things Considered
2:19 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

A New England Christmas Card From Robert Frost

Robert Frost's handwritten greeting on his Christmas card to
Credit courtesy Dartmouth College

Some Christmas traditions – like trees, and ornaments and carols – seem to be as popular as ever. Others, like the annual Christmas card, aren’t faring quite as well. Last week a columnist for TIME Magazine asked whether Christmas cards are obsolete in the social media era.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Mon December 24, 2012

A Public Story About A Private Gift (Rebroadcast)

Credit Sean Hurley, NHPR

When reporter Sean Hurley heard that one of his neighbors was giving away Christmas trees, he wanted to find out more about this local charity. And what he found was that this man's very public act, letting people wander over his property to pick out and cut down one of the Christmas Trees, was also very private. This story won Second Place in the 2007 Best Feature category from the New Hampshire Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

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