News About WFPL

Hanukkah begins this evening, and it feels like a great time to tell you about the holiday specials we have coming up this month. We’ve got some new and exciting programs to bring to you, including a radio play from Actors Theatre, and we’re bringing back some favorite holiday shows from years past. I don’t know about you, but I find the familiar quite comforting right now. 

I hope you enjoy these programs. May they bring you comfort, make you laugh, entertain you, and maybe even teach you something new. Happy Holidays from all of us at 89.3 WFPL. Here’s hoping for a Happy New Year. 

Monday, Dec. 14

7-8 p.m.: Candles Burning Brightly 

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A hanukkiah, decorative Hanukkah box and dreidels.

On the fifth night of Hanukkah, we bring you a one-hour celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Hanukkah foods and traditional activities … and plenty of music.

Wednesday, Dec. 16

7-8 p.m.: Candles Burning Brightly 

A repeat of the one-hour program. Monday’s airing was pre-empted by special coverage from NPR.

Friday, Dec. 18

7-8 p.m.: Hanukkah Lights 2020

The NPR favorite returns with all new stories for the final night of Hanukkah. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Monday, Dec. 21

7-8 p.m.: A Paul Winter Solstice 

Celebrate the return of the sun and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear a new performance of The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. John Schaefer hosts. 

Tuesday, Dec. 22

Courtesy Actors Theatre

7-8:30 p.m.: Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play 

This holiday season, Actors Theatre of Louisville brings Dickens’ tale of redemption, connection, and generosity into your home for the whole family to enjoy. This spirited listening experience, brought to life by the Actors Theatre creative team in collaboration with award-winning radio professionals, is infused with all the hearty laughs and abundant good cheer that make this story a cherished Christmas classic. Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.

To find out how to snag a limited-edition Carol at Home box – and support Louisville Community Grocery and McAtee Community Kitchen – click here.

8:30-9 p.m.: A Child’s Christmas In Wales 

Laura Ellis | wfpl.org

Barry Bernson

Since he was a child, veteran Louisville broadcaster Barry Bernson has loved the Dylan Thomas memoir, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Last year, Bernson recruited some local voice actors to bring the text to life as a radio script, and brought it to Louisville Public Media to share, as a Christmas gift to our listeners.

Friday, Dec. 25 

10-11 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. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW.

11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Selected Shorts: Christmas Spirits High and Low 

Maarten DeBoer

Cynthia Nixon

We want Christmas to be merry and bright, but sometimes the season can be challenging. Our two stories, presented by guest host Cynthia Nixon, do deliver good cheer in the end.

12-1 p.m.: Tinsel Tales 4: So Much More NPR Christmas Favorites 

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the fourth collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. 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. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

1-2 p.m.: Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites 

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the 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 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. Hosted by Lynn Neary

2-3 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.

3-4 p.m.: 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.

6-7 p.m.: Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink 

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.

7-8 p.m.: Hollywood Holiday 

Lynne Warfel, host of Saturday Cinema, takes you on a one-hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood’s most cherished Christmas themed movies. Including scores from “Scrooge, the Musical,” “A Muppet Christmas Carol,” “The Polar Express,” “It’s A Wonderful Life” and many more.

8-9 p.m.: A Mountain Stage Holiday

From the heartfelt to the humorous, Mountain Stage looks back at the songs and stories that remind us of this special time of year. Larry Groce hosts. We’ll hear performances from Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, Odetta, Loudon Wainwright III, Holly Cole, The Roches, Kathy Mattea, Michael Martin Murphey and more.

9-10 p.m.: Live Wire Holiday Special

This “Best of 2020” holiday episode features masters of improv Thomas Middleditch & Ben Schwartz, comedian Atsuko Okatsuka, and music from neo-folk performer Amythyst Kiah. 

Monday, Dec. 28 

7-8 p.m.: A Season’s Griot  (Third day of Kwanzaa) 

WHQR Public Media

Madafo Lloyd Wilson

A Season’s Griot is public radio’s only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for 25 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. In this 2018 edition, the show’s poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.

Thursday, Dec. 31/Friday Jan. 1

9 p.m.- 1 a.m.: Toast of the Nation 

An NPR tradition every New Year’s Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It’s festive jazz you can party to all night long, even on lockdown. The line-up is almost confirmed and it’s sure to be a good time, even without the big audiences.

This post has been updated. 

Jonese Franklin is the WFPL Program Director and host of WFPL's All Things Considered.