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Holiday Programs on WBFO

WBFO presents a wide variety of memorable holiday programming. With specials from NPR and American Public Media, WBFO has festive entertainment offerings for everyone.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25

The Splendid Table Turkey Confidential

Thursday, November 25 at 10am
The Splendid Table's Turkey Confidential

Turkey Confidential is The Splendid Table’s annual Thanksgiving show. Francis Lam takes calls and comes to the rescue of Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers, and dinner guests during the biggest cooking day of the year.

We have amazing guests including Southern baking Goddess Cheryl Day of Back in the Day Bakery, the charming Pati Jinich, author of the forthcoming Treasures of the Mexican Table and host of the new PBS Primetime special La Frontera, Co-authors of the newest book, Cooking at Home, Chef David Chang and food journalist Priya Krishna, and J.Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28  and WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2

Hanukkah Lights 2019

Sunday, November 28 at 1pm 

and Wednesday, December 2 at 9pm

Hanukkah Lights 2021

NPR has celebrated Hanukkah with original stories inspired by the Jewish festival of lights. Hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg, and Murray Horwitz, each year Hanukkah Lights marks the age-old Jewish celebration with contemporary fiction.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24

All Songs Considered for the Holidays

Friday, December 24 at 9pm
All Songs Considered for the Holiday Extravaganza

Bob Boilen is like a child this time of year, his eyes and ears full of wonder, as he traipses through the NPR Music offices, vigorously jingling his collection of sleigh bells. He believes, in his heart, that he's truly getting everyone in the spirit of the holiday season. But it's always a steady source of irritation for Robin so he tries to escape but ends up on a steam engine headed to the North Pole. 

A Christmas Carol

Friday, December 24 at 10pm

Jonathan Winters’ ‘A Christmas Carol’


So begins A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Some say this short story, first published in 1843, transformed Christmas into a major holiday. Before A Christmas Carol, there was surprisingly little celebration during the Christmas season. After its publication, the holiday became a high point of the year. The tale has inspired movies, operas, readings and countless stage performances around the globe.

An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of this holiday classic, using a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. He re-creates Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley's spirit and the three Christmas ghosts: Past, Present and Future. Mimi Kennedy also performs.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25

A Child's Christmas in WHales

Saturday, December 25 at 10am
The Thistle & Shamrock Presents ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales'

Cerys Matthews is Welsh musician and patron of the Dylan Thomas Society.  In this program, originally broadcast in 2015, she narrates excerpts from the Dylan Thomas holiday classic, set to music that she created and recorded with her collaborator Mason Neely. One reviewer wrote:  "Dylan’s words are so deliciously descriptive to begin with, and Matthews’ lilting Welsh accent, and deep understanding of the culture illuminates them further. Her love of Dylan’s poetry shines throughout, and serves to make it accessible to a wide audience." Hosted by Fiona Ritchie.

Tinsel Tales 3

Saturday, December 25 at 11am
Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites

Lynn Neary hosts a hour-long 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.

Featured Stories:

  • December's Soundtrack (Amy Dickinson)
  • Christmas With UPS (Loree Gold)
  • Merry Stressmas: It's That Time Of The Year (Kevin Kling)
  • Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree (Ken Harbaugh)
  • Stealing Hemlock (Bailey White)
  • Christmas Lights Tour (Bill Harley)
  • Christmas With The Totenbergs (Nina Totenberg)
  • The Gift Of The Magi (O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish)
  • Christmas For Cows (Baxter Black)
  • Christmas Pudding (Marialisa Calta)
  • Caroling In The Cold (Julie Zickefoose)
  • Christmas Magic (Joseph C. Phillips)
  • Grinch's True End (John Moe)
Tinsel Tales 2

Saturday, December 25 at Noon
Tinsel Tales 2: More NPR Christmas Favorites 2

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.

Featured Stories:

  • Santa Claus, Private Eye (Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco)
  • Pass The Fois Gras: Christmas Menu Hard To Digest (Firoozeh Dumas)
  • A 'Silent Night' That Brought Healing (Steve Banko)
  • The Christmas Club (Bill Harley)
  • All I Wanted For Christmas (NPR staffers)
  • Christmas Gift Records (The Ban-Smo Label)
  • The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style (Read by NPR's Claudio Sanchez)
  • The Designated Celebrator (Melinda Shoaf)
  • Christmas Truce (Historian Douglas Brinkley)
  • Wolf Christmas (Daniel Pinkwater)
Tinsel Tales

Saturday, December 25 at 1pm
Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Featured Stories: 

  • Dad 'n' Sam (Jay Allison)
  • Homeless Christmas (Lee Stringer)
  • Christmas Morning, 1949 (Sylvia Seymour/Paul Auster)
  • Low-Glamour Christmas Party (Bailey White)
  • Doing it in the Closet (John McIlwraith)
  • Christopher (Jay O'Callahan)
  • Ode to Christmas (Chuck Kramer)
  • Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris)
  • Modern Day Joseph and Mary (Scott Simon)
  • John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story (John Henry Faulk)
A Christmas Carol performed by Jonathan Winters

Saturday, December 25 at 2pm

Selected Shorts, Holiday Hurdles


Selected Shorts, Holiday Hurdles, with guest host David Sedaris, audiences are invited to reimagine holiday rituals. Isaiah Sheffer, Selected Shorts’ late host and founder, is featured as the reader of Tobias Wolff’s “Powder,” in which a pre-Christmas snowstorm provides an adventure for a father and son. In Allegra Goodman’s gentle borrowing from an O’Henry classic, a long-established couple discover they can surprise one another. Dana Ivey and Michael Cerveris read Goodman’s “Gifts of the Jewish Magi.” And English writer Jeanette Winterson’s “Christmas in New York,” a modern fairy tale with just a hint of magic, is performed by Richard Masur. David Sedaris, says it captures the city to a T. 

A Christmas Carol performed by Jonathan Winters

Saturday, December 25 at 3pm

Jonathan Winters’ ‘A Christmas Carol’


So begins A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Some say this short story, first published in 1843, transformed Christmas into a major holiday. Before A Christmas Carol, there was surprisingly little celebration during the Christmas season. After its publication, the holiday became a high point of the year. The tale has inspired movies, operas, readings and countless stage performances around the globe.

An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of this holiday classic, using a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. He re-creates Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley's spirit and the three Christmas ghosts: Past, Present and Future. Mimi Kennedy also performs.