Special Programs

Awesome Holiday Etiquette
Monday, Dec. 21 ~ 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Paul Winter
Credit Jeff Day

Awesome Holiday Etiquette is an entertaining way to learn how you can take some of the stress out of being social during the holidays. Hosts Lizzie Post and Dan Post Senning – the great-great-grandchildren of etiquette icon Emily Post – will talk with friends and special guests about etiquette throughout the season, from food to decorating to social situations. They will answer etiquette questions from listeners, and invite storytellers to tell the tales of their biggest holiday wins (or fails).

Paul Winter’s 35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration
Monday, Dec. 21 ~ 9 p.m. - 11 p.m.
ENCORE Thursday, Dec. 24 ~ 10 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Celebrate the Return of the Sun – and the Warming of the Earth with an exuberant Feast of Sound captured live in the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Divine. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts this all new performance, featuring the Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, gospel singer Theresa Thomason, Danny Rivera – the "National Voice of Puerto Rico”, and Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature percussion and dance ensemble.

The Splendid Table's Global Holiday Celebration
Wednesday, Dec. 23 ~ 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

No matter where you live or what you celebrate, December is a remarkable time of year filled with family and friends - and food, of course! The Splendid Table invites you on a globetrotting excursion to experience the holidays with international flavor. Joining host Lynne Rossetto Kasper for the journey will be:

  • Chef Rick Bayless, guiding us through Christmas in Oaxaca, Mexico;
  • British writer Nigella Lawson taking on London;
  • Journalist and cookbook author Patricia Wells introducing us to a celebration in Paris, "The City of Light";
  • Indian food authority Madhur Jaffrey exploring holiday traditions in Goa, India;
  • Our road food duo Jane and Michael Stern will share the wonderful holiday wackiness they have found in Michigan.

Pink Martini's Joy to the World: A Holiday Spectacular
Thursday, Dec. 24 ~ 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Pink Martini with Ari Shapiro (he's the tall one)
Credit Dave Christensen / OPB

The internationally acclaimed "little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro, and co-produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Murray Street Productions.

Michael Feinstein

Song Travels: Home for the Holidays
Thursday, Dec. 24 ~ 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Join Michael Feinstein for an hour of yuletide cheer and music. This edition of Song Travels journeys from Hollywood's vintage silver screen to New York City's iconic Birdland club. The Michael Feinstein Big Band performs selections from the classic movie White Christmas, and Feinstein shares rare recordings from some of his favorite performers.

Jazz Piano Christmas XXVI
Thursday, Dec. 24 ~ 8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

NPR Music brings you another great concert from the Kennedy Center. Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch and Carmen Staaf perform their favorite holiday songs in a program hosted by Felix Contreras, of NPR Music's Alt.Latino.

An Afro Blue Christmas
Thursday, Dec. 24 ~ 9 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Afro Blue
Credit Colin Marshall / NPR

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a-cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions... music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

NPR's Tinsel Tales 1, 2 and 3
Friday, Dec. 25 ~ 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear three collections 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 three hour-long specials. 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. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Madafo Lloyd Wilson

Sunday, Dec. 27 ~ 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
A Season's Griot

A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. This year's program will celebrate The National Association of Black Storytellers with special guests Mother Mary Carter Smith, Linda Goss, Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill, better known as Brother Blue, the show's poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season's Griot family.

Monday, Dec. 28 ~ 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
The Science of Gratitude

A one-hour documentary focusing on the latest information regarding the power (or lack thereof) of being thankful. We hear research, expert opinion, and individual stories to illustrate how gratitude often has a large impact on overall happiness. The program covers gratitude in the workplace, in relationships, in health, in child-rearing, etc. It is hosted by Academy Award-winning actress, Susan Sarandon. And produced by Peabody award-winning BMPaudio.

Credit capsteps.com / Capitol Steps

The Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday
Thursday, Dec. 31 ~ 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
ENCORE Friday, Jan. 1 ~ 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. and Sunday, Jan. 3 ~ 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Faster than Joe Biden deciding whether to run for President! More powerful than the wind it takes to blow Donald Trump's hair! It's the Capitol Steps' annual year-in-review special. All your favorite candidates will be there, and some will be emailing about it for years on their private server. Join Hillary, Bernie, the Donald, Jeb, Marco, Carly, and more fodder for political parody than you can shake a stick at!

Toast of the Nation
Thursday, Dec. 31 ~ 8 p.m. - 4 a.m.

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night long with countdowns to midnight in all four North American time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations, contributing something new to the musical feast. Hear the energy-infused live concert recordings of Wynton Marsalis, Snarky Puppy, Wycliffe Gordon and more with host Rhonda Hamilton of WBGO.

Third Coast Storytelling Festival ~ Best of the Best
Friday, Jan. 1 ~ 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Best of the Best presents the winners of our 15th annual Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Innovative and insightful, the stories will engage, provoke, entertain, and transport listeners. Best of the Best also interviews the winning producers who give us a glimpse into the art of audio storytelling.