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2020 Holiday Programming

From Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to Christmas, join as WRKF celebrates the holiday season with a selection of seasonal programming designed to give you a unique, diverse, contemplative perspective on the holidays. Enjoy traditional musical selections, storytelling, and more.

Jump to a holiday: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa

Splendid Table's Turkey Confidential
Thursday, November 26 at 11am

Francis Lam comes to the rescue of Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers, and dinner guests during the biggest cooking day of the year. Francis will be joined by special guests Samin Nosrat, Chef Michael Solomonov, Jacques Pépin, Nora McInerny, and Sohla El-Waylly to take listener-submitted questions.

Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food, & Gratitude
Thursday, November 26 at 1pm

Giving Thanks offers a contemporary celebrationof gratitude, with classical music and stories of Thanksgiving. This year we celebrate Thanksgiving along side the 250 year anniversary of Beethoven's birth. A Fall inspired selection of works ,like the Pastoral Symphony, provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving.

Candles Burning Brightly
Wednesday, December 16 at 8pm

Mindy Ratner leads a celebration of Hanukkah. This year's program brings back Theodore Bikel's beautiful reading of Howard Schwartz's "The Lost Menorah," and there's plenty of charming music to highlight the history and traditions associated with the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Hanukkah Lights
Thursday, December 17 at 8pm

Hanukkah is a time to share light, miracles and faith. It's been a difficult year and these stories will reflect that. They're darker than usual. But we hope the miracle of Hanukkah casts its light through these stories. Hear original stories from authors Erica Landis, Magin LaSov Gregg, Anna Megdell, Mikhal Weiner and Lara Pasternak Robicheaux.

Chanukkah In Story & Song
Thursday, December 18 at 9pm

Sung by the The Western Wind and narrated by Leonard Nimoy. The acclaimed vocal sextet and the renowned actor present 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and their original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle."

A Paul Winter Solstice
Monday, December 21 at 4am and 7pm

Celebrate the return of the sun a performance recorded in the world's largest Gothic cathedral. Musicians include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan, and double reed wizard Paul McCandless. Hear the American Performance Premiere of the Grammy-winning suite MIHO with The Paul Winter Consort: Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the thundering Cathedral Pipe Organ.

Credit King's College

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Thursday, December 24 at 9am and 10pm

Share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal anthems. Hear the music a cappella and with organ accompaniment, presented by one of the world's foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

A Soulful Christmas
Thursday, December 24 at 11am

This uplifting Christmas special features Black music and composers, celebrating classical music by Black artists, while exploring Spirituals, Gospel Music, Jazz and other Black musical traditions.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: The Christmas Message of Hope
Thursday, December 24 at 7pm

The year was 1967 and Martin Luther King, civil rights leader, Baptist preacher and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, agreed to deliver the prestigious Massey lectures on CBC Radio. His title was "Conscience for Change," and having been recorded over forty years ago the words have lost none of their relavance as we still try to come to terms with many of the same issues. This last lecture is more a sermon than a lecture. It aired on Christmas Eve 1967.

Christmas Spirits High and Low, from Selected Shorts
Thursday, December 24 at 8pm
Friday, December 25 at 1pm

We want Christmas to be merry and bright, but sometimes the season can be challenging. Our two stories deliver good cheer in the end. In Laurie Notaro’s "O Holy Night, or The Year I Ruined Christmas," there's a hideous Christmas tree and a demanding parent with a long memory. In Jeanette Winterson's luminous "Spirit of Christmas," a married couple  set off for their holiday with frayed tempers and too much stuff.

Come In From The Cold, from Playing On Air
Thursday, December 24 at 9pm
Friday, December 25 at 2pm

A wintry trio of short plays about connection, lost and found. Ttwo sardonic twenty-somethings flirt with dreams of Olympic glory, or maybe just escape from the small town bakery where they work. A young Jewish immigrant in 1933 returns to his Polish hometown in search of a wife. T teenage runaway and a swerving mother crash into each other on Christmas Eve and the resulting night is anything but silent.

Winter Holidays Around The World with Bill McGlaughlin
Friday, December 25 at 10am

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posada, evoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols. We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea.

The Christmas Revels: In Celebration Of The Winter Solstice 2020
Friday, December 25 at 11am

A musical celebration of the Winter holidays... Christmas, the Solstice, Chanukah, New Year's, and Twelfth Night/Epiphany. Featuring traditional carols, chants, wassails, hymns, children’s game-songs, and folk dance-tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels stage productions presented around the country.

The Keepers: Archiving the Now, from The Kitchen Sisters
Friday, December 25 at 7pm

Stories of can-do people. Must-do people. Get-it-done people. People who are grappling with the now, with where we are and where we’ve got to get to. As the world we all knew unravels and communities begin to re-shape themselves, The Kitchen Sisters have been gleaning, looking for those who have something to offer during these uncharted times. People who rebuild, restore, reinvent. Nobody showed them the path, they cut it themselves. Striking stories of grit, hope and possibility.

Cozy Stories for the Holidays, from CBC's Podcast Playlist
Friday, December 25 at 8pm

Grab some egg nog and the warmest blanket you can find! We're sharing warm and fuzzy stories for the end of the year. We’ll meet one couple who just shrugged when a few letters were delivered to their apartment addressed to Santa. Then one year, 400 letters arrived and they decided they had to help Santa answer them. Next, what exactly is the "Nog" in "Egg Nog?" We're sharing the history of one of the most contentious seasonal drinks. Plus, does the hectic nature of the holidays leave you breathless? We have some concrete steps you can take to stay calm during this sometimes stressful season.

A Season's Griot, a Kwanzaa celebration
Sunday, December 27 at 6am and 5pm

A Kwanzaa celebration in story and song. Storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.

Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.