In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, Lynn Neary hosts a collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.
Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time.
by Amy Dickinson
'Tis the season to be jolly — and to sing about it. But the joyful noises we make at this time of year aren't necessarily tuneful, as writer Amy Dickinson has discovered.
Christmas With UPS
by Loree Gold
Seasonal work can be a drag, but commentator Loree Gold says her stint as Santa's helper for UPS gave her some holiday cheer.
Merry Stressmas: It's That Time Of The Year
by Kevin Kling
Storyteller Kevin Kling has started some Christmas traditions of his own.
Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree
by Ken Harbaugh
Christmas trees are not just a holiday tradition — they can be displays of light and color that are beautiful, even elegant. Commentator Ken Harbaugh says his family's tree is neither.
by Bailey White
One Christmas, commentator Bailey White decided it was time to confess to her life of Yuletide crime.
Christmas Lights Tour
by Bill Harley
Winter's long nights leave us short of natural illumination. And this is why commentator Bill Harley appreciates one seasonal tradition.
Christmas With The Totenbergs
by Nina Totenberg
NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg dropped by to see Scott Simon at the Weekend Edition Saturday studios one cold December day in 2012. She didn't visit to talk about any of the great Supreme Court debates about church and state or keeping religious displays out of public spaces. No, she came to talk about Christmas at the Totenberg household.
The Gift Of The Magi
by O. Henry
The spirit of giving makes the Christmas season come alive. Presents are planned — and in your mind's eye, you can just imagine the happiness they will bring. Here is "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish.
Christmas For Cows
by Baxter Black
This time of year, you'll find Nativity scenes outside churches and in front yards across the country. They depict the birth of Jesus long ago in the town of Bethlehem. And in those manger scenes, there's no shortage of those large, sometimes spotted creatures known as cows. Writer Baxter Black suspects that cows, like the rest of us, do a little celebrating of their own this time of year.
by Marialisa Calta
Food writer Marialisa Calta thinks it's never too soon to get started on her major holiday project.
Caroling In The Cold
by Julie Zickefoose
We all know the holidays are not always stress-free. As those holiday to-do lists grow longer, it can be difficult to keep anticipation from morphing into anxiety. Julie Zickefoose discovered that song, fellowship and warm cookies fixed all of that, on a frigid night one Christmas past.
by Joseph C. Phillips
Many children are on their best behavior, hoping that the jolly man in the red suit will remember them on the 25th. While Kris Kringle has become the face of Christmas, some parents worry that putting too much emphasis on Santa misses the real meaning of the holiday. So this year, commentator Joseph C. Phillips is going to sit down with his three young sons and tell them his own story of Christmas magic.
Grinch's True End
by John Moe
December brings, among other things, replays of replays of animated Christmas specials on television. It doesn't spoil the fun to note that Charlie Brown and the gang find the true meaning of Christmas, or that Rudolph saves the day for Santa at the North Pole. But commentator John Moe unearths an email that reveals the true ending to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.