Holidays Holidays

Yom Kippur break fasts are notoriously epic — all manner of smoked fishes and delicate pastries are piled high on the best china (or, if you're feeding dozens, paper plates). For many of those gathered around a table heaped with traditional Eastern European delicacies, engaging in the holiday meal is a way to connect with their Jewish roots. Courtesy of Russ & Daughters hide caption

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Courtesy of Russ & Daughters

The Gingerbread Demolition lets people destroy gingerbread houses for charity. Kim Lajoie/Courtesy of The Gingerbread Demolition Crew hide caption

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Kim Lajoie/Courtesy of The Gingerbread Demolition Crew
Henry Diltz/Getty Images

Eat, Don't Drink And Still Be Merry: Staying Sober Through The Holidays

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This year's White House Gingerbread House is made with 150 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of bread dough, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces. It also features both the East and West Wings. Raquel Zaldivar/NPR hide caption

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Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

For The Holidays, The Obamas Open Up The White House One Last Time

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All that holiday grubbing really does pack on the pounds. How much? Researchers tracked the weights of 3,000 people in Germany, Japan and the U.S. and found a weight spike after every major holiday. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

While the days of sharing mixed tapes and audio cassettes may be long gone, exchanging playlists doesn't have to be. Darren Johnson/Getty Images/EyeEm hide caption

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Darren Johnson/Getty Images/EyeEm

When Mary asked Helen what she wants for Christmas, Helen said: "All I ask is to be in good spirits and in good health so I can come and show myself off when we have the party." Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

When Mom Has Alzheimer's, A Stranger Comes For Christmas

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The cuckoo clock is showcased in one of five Lord and Taylor window displays. At midnight, a fireworks animation explodes in the background. Astrid Stawiarz and Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Lord and Taylor hide caption

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Astrid Stawiarz and Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Lord and Taylor

The Art Of Holiday Cheer: A Window Into Storefront Displays

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The holidays are all about generousity, gratitude, and spending time with the people we love. But we all know the whole "spending time with the people we love" part has its challenges. Hidden Brain is here to help. iStock hide caption

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iStock

How To Survive (And Maybe Even Enjoy) Thanksgiving Dinner

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An image from a new Christmas ad from British retailer John Lewis. Titled "Man on the Moon," the ad follows a girl's attempts to connect with a man she spots living on the moon. Screenshot by NPR hide caption

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Screenshot by NPR

After his mother-in-law's death, NPR's Marc Silver found her go-to cookbook, filled with her copious annotations to recipes. He used it to piece together her take on mandelbread, a Jewish version of biscotti, and other holiday favorites. Akash Ghai/NPR hide caption

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Akash Ghai/NPR