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Holiday 2022 Programming


Friday, December 16

8 p.m.  IPR Radio Drama:  A Chris-Mystery
(Encore December 25 at 4 p.m.) 

A Christmas Eve party. A missing ring. A down-on-his-luck private eye. It’s a combination that has all the makings of a perfect mystery. Or should we say, “Chris-Mystery?” Smitten suitor Dashiell Hammer had planned to propose to Daphne Du Lessier at her parents’ lavish Christmas Eve party. Hammer has left the ring in the care of Mrs. Du Lessier, who keeps it under lock and key. But the ring disappears! Private eye Phil Barlow and his unorthodox partner, Bogie, hasten to the luxurious Du Lessier apartment on Park Avenue, determined to solve the theft.


Monday, December 19

8 p.m.  Hanukkah Lights 2022

This NPR favorite returns with the best Hanukkah Lights stories from the last 30 years. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.


Tuesday, December 20

8 p.m.  A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella

Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, hosts an inspiring and informative program featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts.  Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.


Wednesday, December 21

8 p.m.  Candles Burning Brightly

Mindy Ratner hosts this celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.  The program explores the meaning and traditions of Chanukah, including holiday foods and Sephardic and Ashkenazi music.


Thursday, December 22

8 p.m.  All is Bright

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene.  Featured artists include The Cambridge Singers, Cantus, and Chanticleer, among others.


Friday, December 23

8 p.m.  A Chanticleer Christmas

Steve Staruch hosts a program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as “an orchestra of voices.”


Saturday, December 24

8 p.m.  BlueNotes:  Christmas Jazz, hosted by Larry Beck

Join host Larry Beck for the annual BlueNotes All-Jazz Christmas.  Hear jazz covers of favorite Christmas carols and popular holiday songs from an eclectic mix of classic jazz, big band swing, jazz vocals, and smooth jazz.


10 p.m.  Holiday Jazz with Dee Alexander

Chicago’s first lady of jazz song serves up the winter holiday season in style. The performance includes favorites “White Christmas,” “Coventry Carol”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and show-stopping renditions of spirituals inspired by Chicago gospel legend, Mahalia Jackson.


11 p.m.  Welcome, Christmas!

This perennial holiday favorite features VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral ensembles.  Join host John Birge for an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.


Sunday, December 25

12 a.m.  All Through the Night

Peter Van de Graaff hosts this special presentation of classical music for the overnight hours of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.


9 a.m.  St. Olaf Christmas Festival

One of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations—which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN —includes hymns, carols, and choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.


11 a.m.  Jonathan Winters’ A Christmas Carol

An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR’s Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens’ holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations.


12 p.m.  Tinsel Tales:  NPR Christmas Favorites

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas, told by David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk, and others.


1 p.m.  Tinsel Tales 2:  More NPR Christmas Favorites

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.


2 p.m.  Tinsel Tales 3:  Even More NPR Christmas Favorites

Lynn Neary hosts a third 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.


3 p.m.  Tinsel Tales 4:  NPR Christmas Stories Told through Song

NPR revisits interviews with musicians about their Christmas albums. Some, like Katie Melua and Sting, celebrate tradition and winter mystery in their Christmas songs. Others, like Kenny Rogers and Amy Grant, find spirituality and stability in holiday music. Jon Batiste and Anthony Hamilton bring new energy to old favorites on their Christmas albums. Hosted by Lynn Neary.


4 p.m.  IPR Radio Drama:  A Chris-Mystery (rebroadcast)

Hear a rebroadcast of this year’s radio drama presented to a live audience at Ball State University on Dec. 16 (description above).


Monday, January 1

11 a.m.  New Year’s Day 2023 from Vienna (live)

Maestro Daniel Barenboim conducts the ever-popular annual New Year’s Day Concert presented live by the Vienna Philharmonic, a greeting to the world in the spirit of hope, friendship, and peace.  Hosted by WBUR’s Lisa Mullins.



Support for Holiday Specials is provided by: