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Christmas comes to WRKF

Our radio offerings for your Christmas Eve and Christmas day listening enjoyment include long-standing traditions, nontraditional takes on the holiday season, and insight into everything festive from food and family to music and theatre.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Sunday, December 24 at 9am (live) and again at 10pm

A live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal classical music. This traditional special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

The One Recipe Holiday Special
Sunday, December 24 at 11am
Monday, December 25 at 2pm

Jesse Sparks talks to culinary superstars about their “One,” the recipe that signals the holiday has begun! They’ll get into traditions and food with influences from all over the world and leave you with recipes that could jumpstart your own festivities! It’s delicious eating all month long.

Jesse Sparks is a food and culture-obsessed writer, editor, and podcast host. His writing, editing and design work has appeared in Eater, Bon Appétit, The New York Times, The Kitchn, Food Network, and more.

Selected Shorts: Unwrapping the Holidays
Sunday, December 24 at 12noon
Monday, December 25 at 6pm

We present three unexpected stories that let us see the holidays’ associations—family, friends, food, gifts, and goodwill—in different ways. Amy Krouse Rosenthal presents a playful encounter with the Almighty in “Interview with God,” performed by Jayne Atkinson and James Naughton. In Sherrie Flick’s “Heidi is Dead,” read by Adina Verson, a second wife tries to tune in with her in-laws. And John Cheever’s “Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor” is a richly comic and warmhearted look at giving and receiving; Teagle F. Bougere reads.

Moth Radio Hour: Presents, Menorahs, and Palm Trees
Sunday, December 24 at 1pm

In this special December holiday hour, stories about celebration, differing traditions, and family. A mother and son do their best to keep the gifting spirit alive, a daughter tries to fulfill her mother’s wish for a Trinidadian feast, and a man waits and waits for the perfect moment to kiss a date.

Gratitude and Conversation: No Small Endeavor’s Holiday Toolkit
Sunday, December 24 at 2pm

We bring you four conversations to prepare you for a successful and meaningful time with family and friends. Guests include: Amy Grant on gratitude after a bike accident; CNN hero Diane Latiker on the gratefulness that comes from serving her community; Heather Holleman with practical tips on how to have a meaningful conversation; and Oliver Burkeman on contemplating life's finitude to be more present.

The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2023
Sunday, December 24 at 5pm
Monday, December 25 at 9am

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

A Christmas Carol
Sunday, December 24 at 7pm

A sound-rich audio drama of the famous Charles Dickens story. Hear the ghosts of Christmas come alive this holiday season with this special radio adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Children and adults alike will love this rendition of this heart-warming Christmas favorite. The myriad of sound effects and musical cues puts the listener right there with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

A Center Stage Christmas
Sunday, December 24 at 8pm

Guest host Timmie Callais takes over from Center Stage host Brian Pope to put us in the holiday spirit by presenting this special yuletide program entirely in rhyme, courtesy of the broadway musical.

The Ballad of the Brown King
Sunday, December 24 at 9pm

Dr. Louise Toppin, a preeminent performer and scholar specializing in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King (Avie Records, 2018). With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. This gorgeous work is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, with Malcolm J. Merriweather at the podium.

Winter Holidays around the World w/ Bill McGlaughlin
Monday, December 25 at 11am

Adam Vos

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. This 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. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Turn on your radio, pour a cup of tea, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy the music!

Living On Earth: Bunnies, Bears and Snails… Stories for the Solstice
Monday, December 25 at 12noon

A winter storytelling special. Winter is a time for gathering together and celebrating the rich human tradition of storytelling. Sharing Native stories handed down for thousands of years, as well as much younger stories that appeal to young and old alike, brings us together at the Northern Hemisphere’s darkest time of the year. And this tradition can bring us closer to the creatures with whom we share our Earth, too.

Kelly Corrigan Wonders: On Showing Up w/ Anna Quindlen
Monday, December 25 at 1pm

Anna Quindlen and Kelly share readings, stories, and insights on the art of holidaying, regular-people style. Special drop in by Kelly’s brother, Booker, with some thoughts on showing up.

The Closer: Who Killed Toys R Us?
Monday, December 25 at 7pm

Adam Vos

To bring the spirit of holiday gift-giving to a close, we take you inside the final days of this cherished retailer with Lauren Hirsch, the reporter who first revealed the iconic company's impending bankruptcy. And then we explain what ultimately drove the company out of business. If you were a kid at any point in the last, let's say 60 years or so, there's a decent chance you'll remember visiting a Toys or Us store. Going into Toys R Us felt more like entering this teaming toy Palace than it did a big box store. There were aisles upon aisles of toys. There were the Easy Bake ovens, the Cabbage Patch Dolls and Barbie, everything. So what happened?

Get Your Money Life in Order
Monday, December 25 at 9pm

Now that the holiday spending has drawn to a close, this special helps listeners get their financial life together in time for the new year. We'll unpack some practical tips with a personal finance expert and then share a captivating personal money story. Also, we'll interview a financial therapist to get some useful tips for understanding our relationships with money and how to navigate the uncomfortable feelings that come along with it. This hour will make you laugh, gasp, and think about money in a whole new way, but in a chatty, fun, and guilt-free atmosphere.

A Season's Griot
Tuesday, December 26 at 8pm

With acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Fields 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.