Avital Pinnick / Flicker CC

During Passover, it's best to stock up on matzah early, especially in a state like New Hampshire.

"Jews don't move to New Hampshire for the Jewish community, we move here for other reasons," says rabbi Robin Nafshi of the Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, "the Jewish population of New Hampshire is fairly small."

There was a Stop and Shop in Bedford that used to accommodate kosher shoppers, "It was unbelievable, there was almost two aisles of food for passover," says Katy Gibny from Goffstown. But that store has closed, which has turned Gibni's family to "hunter gatherers."

Sam Rosenbaum / Flickr/CC

With the holiday season in full swing, many turn to their religion for traditions and spiritual meaning. But for a growing segment of Americans, there’s little interest in finding a house of worship.  We’re looking at the trend toward these so-called ‘nones,’  who include not only atheists and agnostics, but folks with a variety of beliefs.


Gene Han via flickr Creative Commons

From President’s Day to Veteran’s Day, federal holidays are often an excuse for a day off and mattress sales. On today’s show: the history guys tell us how federal holidays get established, and why more recent events--like September 11th --won’t likely be among them.

Upon its opening, the gift shop at the September 11th Memorial Museum sparked controversy for such keepsakes from an FDNY rescue dog vest to “survivor tree” earrings. But the impulse to commemorate is as old as the country itself. We’ll take a historical tour of tone-deaf trinkets.

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

<a href="">Thomas Hawk</a> / Flickr

Thursday, Nov. 22th

9:00 - 10:00 am:    Giving Thanks 2012

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

<a href="">Bob Gaffney</a> / Flickr

Monday, Dec. 31st

9:00 - 10:00 am:    The Exchange – People of the Year

Noon - 1:00 pm:    A Season’s Griot 2012

A favorite children’s book I loved when my kids were young was The Night Tree by Eve Bunting. First published in 1991, the now 20-year-old story relates how a young family drove to a forest on a cold December night to decorate a living Christmas tree with edible ornaments for wildlife. The story and luminous illustrations capture the spirit of holiday giving and a special ritual in a cherished place.

duluoz cats / Flickr Creative Commons

Produced by Avishay Artsy

Word of Mouth revisits a Christmas classic; producer Avishay Artsy speaks with contemporary editors about the significance of Virginia O’ Hanlon’s classic letter to the editor.

Producer's note:

This piece was edited slightly to cut date-pegged references. /RL

Photo by: hashmil

The publishing industry stayed afloat this year by designing and selling books for e-reader; those devices jumped from novelty items to the mainstream. Brick and mortar booksellers had a rougher time. Biblio behemoth Borders closed stores across the country. Closer to home, RiverRun Books in Portsmouth nearly closed its doors, but was saved by a swarm of Locavestors. The indie bookstore is one place where unsung gems can shine. We’re ticking through some of the year’s books that didn’t have big names, big budgets, and big promoters to sell them.

Photo by: missgeok

Whether you’re listening to a Glee Christmas, or you’re stuck on Perry Como, whatever paints your peppermint, Christmas music is in the ear – or maybe memory – of the beholder. We spoke to a man who’s Christmas spirit springs not from a specific era, genre, or artist – but from an instrument…the tuba or a euphonium…your pick. A

Naperville Illinois Tuba Christmas

Photo by: drafthorsedressage

While taking a break from the online portion of my Christmas shopping the other day, I discovered a colorful conversation ballooning on Facebook about a disgruntled minority that isn’t part of the 99 percent. That is, the overwhelming percent of all Christmas chores thought, bought and wrapped by the women of the household. This, of course, was not a conversation backed by facts or data, but an informal survey based more likely on the spirit of Christmas exhaustion.

However you celebrate the holidays, we are now in deep. Hannukah begins at sundown tonight. There are five more shopping days and umpteen things to do until christmas…the holiday parties, the food shopping, the secret santa gifts, school plays and pick-ups. Time seems to compress as our wish to enjoy each other in this dark season expands.

Photo by: DG Jones


If there are gamers in your family, their Christmas lists probably include a new title or two, or maybe a shiny new HD or even 3D video game system. As with all things in pop culture, games are subject to their own trends, some are blockbusters, some bomb, and others inspire franchises and copycats. Here to tell us what’s hot in video games now, and what could be coming down the pipe is Clay Wirestone. He’s an avid gamer and freelance writer who has written for Mental Floss Magazine. He’s also the arts editor for the Concord Monitor.

Photo by: Paper Girl


A story to restore your faith in music superstars this holiday season. Elvis Costello is rallying his fans to save money by *not* buying a shiny new gift box set of his music called “the return of the spectacular spinning songbook”. The title comes from a trademark of Costello’s live shows with his band, the Attractions…he invites audience members to get to go up on stage and spin a massive, game-show style wheel of song titles from his back-catalog…whatever comes up, Elvis & the Attractions play.

Photo credit by Randy Cox


Sales have been brisk for guns this holiday season. Black Friday 2011 surpassed the single day record for FBI background check requests on gun customers by 32%. Today, a background check of sorts on the Freedom Group, which has swiftly become one of the world’s leading manufacturers and sellers of guns. Natasha Singer a reporter in the Sunday business section of the New York Times, investigated the shadowy Wall Street investment company that has quietly acquired some of America’s most venerable gun and ammo manufacturers.