Weekend Edition Saturday for December 19, 2015 Hear the Weekend Edition Saturday program for December 19, 2015

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A New Year tree stands outside the Kremlin in Moscow, in 2008. Shown from right in the background are: the Kremlin's St. Nicholas Tower, the Historical Museum, and the monument to Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. Mikhail Metzel/AP hide caption

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Mikhail Metzel/AP

Europe

Don't Call It A Christmas Tree: How Russia's 'Yolka' Survived The Revolution

When the Soviet Union rejected religion, it ditched Christmas, too — but kept the tree. Nowadays, many Russian Jews continue the yolka (New Year tree) tradition, though they've taken it to America.

A trade card from the 1880s depicts a Santa Claus figure in a bird-themed sleigh pulled by reindeer as they are about the land on a rooftop to deliver presents from the huge sack of gifts. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

Twain's 'Letter From Santa Claus,' A Gift For All Ages

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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Bill Evans
Hark the Herald Angels Sing Big Phat Band

Children light candles during an overnight vigil at a protest camp in Juarez, Mexico, outside the manufacturing plant for the American-owned printer company Lexmark. Mónica Ortiz Uribe/KJZZ hide caption

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Mónica Ortiz Uribe/KJZZ

Mexican Border Workers Make A Push To Unionize

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7:30am Slothrust

A New Year tree stands outside the Kremlin in Moscow, in 2008. Shown from right in the background are: the Kremlin's St. Nicholas Tower, the Historical Museum, and the monument to Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. Mikhail Metzel/AP hide caption

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Mikhail Metzel/AP

Don't Call It A Christmas Tree: How Russia's 'Yolka' Survived The Revolution

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Сыновья Klavdiya Shulzhenko
Prologue Original Television Cast of the Wiz LIVE!

Though most hoverboards are made safely, poor quality lithium-ion batteries could be the main culprit behind the recent safety scares. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images hide caption

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Why Are 'Hoverboards' Literally Catching Fire?

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In his 1942 mural The Underground Railroad, Woodruff shows slaves about to cross the Ohio River to freedom. Peter Harholdt/Copyright Talladega College hide caption

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Peter Harholdt/Copyright Talladega College

With Powerful Murals, Hale Woodruff Paved The Way For African-American Artists

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Silent Night Count Basie Orchestra
Good "Swing" Wenceslas Count Basie Orchestra

Dr. Irene Aguilar, a Democrat and Colorado state senator from Denver County, is also a medical internist and advocate of universal health care. She led this Denver rally in favor of the 2016 ballot measure. John Daley/Colorado Public Radio hide caption

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John Daley/Colorado Public Radio

Coloradans Will Put Single-Payer Health Care To A Vote

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Snake, Rattle Floratone & Bill Frisell
Time, The Place Floratone & Bill Frisell

Pope Francis caresses a baby at a charity in Rome on Friday. In keeping with his focus on the poor, he celebrated Mass at a soup kitchen at Rome's main train station. AP hide caption

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AP

Pope Francis Wraps Up A Big Year, Prepares For A 'Year Of Mercy'

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RubberBand Mocean Worker

In real life, Jonathan Sun is a Ph.D. candidate at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies + Planning. On Twitter, he's an alien who struggles with spelling and is baffled by human culture. Courtesy of Jonathan Sun hide caption

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Courtesy of Jonathan Sun

An Odd, Uplifting 'Alien': Meet The Man Behind A 'Weird Twitter' Star

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Just Another Day Brian Eno
Play It Back Dr. Lonnie Smith

Film character BB-8 arrives at the world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec.14. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP hide caption

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Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The Intimidating Task Behind This Season's Cutest Breakout Star

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes The Platters
When Will I Hear from You André Previn

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