Christmas

Holiday Music
9:01 am
Mon December 8, 2014

From Idina Menzel To The Duke Boys, Surveying 2014's Would-Be Holiday Hitmakers

Idina Menzel, known for singing "Let It Go," has a new holiday album.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:18 am

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Arts & Culture
4:05 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Robert Earl Keen Sings 'Merry Christmas From The Fam-O-Lee'

Robert Earl Keen
Darren Carroll Photography

He was Lyle Lovett’s college roommate, but since college, has forged a one-of-a-kind music career. He is Robert Earl Keen, and among his many noteworthy songs, is a particularly strange one.

(To hear Keen and the song, hit Listen above)

When Keen wrote ‘Merry Christmas From the Family’ did he have any idea it was going to explode and become what it’s become?

“No, I really didn’t. I just wrote it to amuse myself. I came from Houston and so I didn’t have a Christmas song. No one ever wrote a Christmas song about Houston.”

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Music Interviews
2:03 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Idina Menzel Of 'Frozen' Has New Holiday Album

Idina Menzel performs during the CMA 2014 Country Christmas on November 7, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 9:10 am

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel became an international sensation last year when she voiced the character of Elsa in the Disney animated film “Frozen” and sang the Oscar-winning song “Let it Go.”

Now she’s released the album “Holiday Wishes.”

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Monkey See
4:43 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Christmas Bells Are Ringing, And Cable Holiday Movies Are Unrelenting

Candace Cameron Bure and David O'Donnell star in Hallmark's Christmas Under Wraps, which airs Saturday on The Hallmark Channel.
Fred Hayes Crown Media

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 6:36 pm

On today's All Things Considered, my great dream came true: Audie Cornish and I sat down for a chat about Hallmark/Lifetime/UP movies of the holiday season. Do people really watch them? What are they about? Can they save Christmas? You may have read my story a couple of weeks back about being busted watching these movies, so you know that I mean it when I say I watch them and I don't judge.

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Arts & Culture
1:06 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

The Hills Are Alive With The Sounds Of The Holidays

Kerrville’s Symphony of the Hills will soon be filling those hills with music. I  spoke with its Assistant Conductor Gene Dowdy.

“It’s our annual holiday concert and one of the most spectacular parts of this concert is that we feature our Grand Symphony Chorus under the direction of Linda Ables, so we get the chorus and the orchestra together; it just makes for an impressive evening.”

[Hit 'Listen' above to hear a sample of what they will be playing]

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Ugly Christmas Tree Will Be Replaced In Pennsylvania Town

After complaints from residents, this tree in Reading, Pa., is being replaced.
Screenshot from WFMZ-TV

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 2:15 pm

The people of Reading, Pa., didn't have the same compassion that Charlie Brown had.

A 50-foot spruce tree — called "nasty," "pathetic" and "ugly" — will be replaced with a prettier pine.

As the AP reports, the tree was put up by the city in a public space and the complaints started immediately. The tree was missing tons of branches and it had unseemly shape.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What Santa Does When Christmas Is Over

The Golden Corral sections off a private room to protect Santa’s identities from children. (Eric Mennel/WUNC)

Content Advisory: If Santa is real to your kids, this story may not be suitable for them.

It’s a month after Christmas, and in parts of the nation, the Santas are gathering for some rumination. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Phoebe Judge of WUNC has the story of what professional Santas do when Christmas is over.

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Arts & Culture
3:02 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

River Walk Christmas Lights Excite Visitors And Locals For The Holidays

Christmas lights along the Museum Reach.
San Antonio River Authority

It is said that New Yorkers don’t go see the Statue of Liberty -- they just take it for granted. With that as premise, I took you to the River Walk in a recent report so that others could remind you how wonderful the River Walk is. Those to whom I spoke expressed too much enthusiasm for only one report, so here's a follow up.

"I’m Catherine Perez, we just recently moved to the San Antonio area from Florida."

I asked Catherine what she thought of the River Walk in its holiday finery.

"I love it! It’s busy, it’s pretty," she said.

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Texas Matters
11:54 am
Fri December 27, 2013

EPA Cleared In Latest Report On North Texas Drinking Water Contamination Case

Mikenorton Wikimedia Commons

Texas Matters: The Environmental Protection Agency drew fire from gas interests and politicians in how it handled the case in Parker County, which is west of Fort Worth, but the new report finds the agency followed all laws and rules in the investigation. Also on this show: Oil lobby contests crude oil export policy, Texas Monthly's Bum Steer Award(s) and a holiday tamale making tradition.

The Fracking Water Games: Catching Fire

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Arts & Culture
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Moscow Ballet Presents 'The Nutcracker' For A Local Cause

Olga Kifyak as Masha, alongside Viktor Shcherbakov as her Nutcracker Prince.
Moscow Ballet

If you’ve been meaning to, but haven't quite got around to seeing "The Nutcracker" this year, you’ve got one more chance at the Majestic Theatre. The Moscow Ballet returns to San Antonio to perform the ballet on Monday night.

"It’s more than my job, it’s my life," said the ballet’s Natalie Miroshnyk, who is also the audition director that chose the San Antonio children who perform parts with the Moscow Ballet in the production.

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