Christmas

The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Gerald Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'

Gerald Dickens
Credit Thomas Cogley / Flickr Creative Commons

We're listening back to a seasonal favorite, our 2005 conversation with Gerald Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens's great-great-grandson and an actor. He has been touring America for the past several years with his one-man performance of "A Christmas Carol," and we spoke with him about the legacy of his namesake and the magic of "A Christmas Carol." He also performed a handful of scenes from his show.

Read more
Something Wild
12:33 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Something Wild: 12 Days of Christmas NH Redux

The Ring-necked pheasant.
Credit Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tis the season for Christmas carols but at Something Wild one in particular captures our attention: The Twelve Days of Christmas.  There are a lot of birds featured in the song but, like so many of our carols, the lyrics are from old Europe and don’t really speak to life in 21st century New England.  So we thought maybe it’s time for an update… a rewrite… a New Hampshire Christmas carol.

We’ll skip over days twelve through eight – those all have to do with crafts people and artisans – and jump right to the important stuff – the BIRDS!

Read more
From the Archives
9:45 am
Thu December 18, 2014

From The Archives: Rudolph Turns 75

Cover page from the original manuscript.

Do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? What was left out of the song was Rudolph's New Hampshire connection.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:04 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

12.17.14: An Icky But Effective Way Of Treating Diseases, A Conversation About Santa, & Good Gig

Credit Amy via flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes considering radical medical treatments require getting over the ick factor. On today’s show, how transplanting fecal matter from one person to another has saved lives, especially for those with antibiotic resistant digestive disorders, such as clostridium difficile, or C-Diff.

Then, Christmas is next week, a festival of lights, decorated trees, parties, and for some parents, the Santa conundrum…from to elf on a shelf to carrots for Rudolph, we’ll navigate the magical world of Santa.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:50 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

12.14.14: Unruly Presidential Kids, Pitfalls Of Public Wi-Fi, & What's In Your OJ?

Colorado's Mount Sopris serves as the W's backdrop this week.
Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Last week, a GOP staffer resigned after political Facebook faux-pas - criticizing President Obama’s daughters for dressing like teenagers. On today’s show, we’ll take a look back at the long and fraught history of judging the President’s kids.

Then, these days just about every coffee shop, bookstore, and restaurant touts a free Wi-Fi hotspot – but at what cost? We’ll find out the hidden dangers of public Wi-Fi.

Plus, the industry secret behind the robust flavor of orange juice.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Read more
Word of Mouth
11:31 am
Wed December 10, 2014

From 'Mankind' To Saint Mick: Mick Foley's Journey From Wrestling Cage To Santa's Village

Mick Foley as Mankind in 1999, and as Santa Claus in 2014
Credit Courtesy the WWE/Sean Hurley for NHPR

In late November, they begin to arrive. In malls, outside stores, at company parties across the country. A deluge of Santas. We don't often stop to wonder who the men are beneath the red stocking caps. And sometimes, Santa has a secret he wants to keep from us, too. 

Producer's note: While you might be tempted to read this story instead of listening to it, we recommend listening first...and reading and perusing photos later. It's worth it, we promise. 

Read more
Foodstuffs
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!’

Read more
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?

Read more
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.  

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

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

Why Is There A Dearth Of New Holiday Songs?

Credit mariahcarey.com

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.

Read more
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…

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

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band Presents "Creole Christmas"

Credit Shannon Brinkman / preservationhalljazzband.com

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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages