Christmas

A picture of a hand in a fingerless glove.
ADRIGU / Flickr

Charities are urging shoppers not to forget the less fortunate during the winter holidays.

The Durham Rescue Mission and Salvation Army are collecting gifts for children.

Other shelters are asking people to drop off essentials for people who are out in the cold.

“In our winter ministry, in which we distribute clothes out in the community, we need scarves and hats and gloves and coats,” says Lynn Daniel.

Duke University via Duke Today

This weekend there is a series of performances of Handel's Messiah at Duke Chapel in Durham, N.C. The tradition has been going on for 81 years. This year the performance will be recorded live and broadcast throughout the state and the world.

Dr. Rodney Wynkoop is the Director of Chapel Music at Duke University. He says that the text of the Messiah tells the entire story of the redemption of the world.

Image of Nnenna Freelon and John Brown.
JAG Entertainment

Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon and bassist John Brown bring their big band Christmas tunes back to the stage at Durham’s Carolina Theatre this Sunday, December 7.

We've been following the story of a local family and their holiday video that has gone viral. We noticed it when it had 1.5 million Youtube views.

Here's our original story, posted 12/17/13:

Possibly the cutest Christmas viral video ever features local Raleigh-based WNCN anchorman Penn Holderness, his wife Kim, six-year-old daughter Lola, and four-year-old son Penn Charles.

The song is really catchy:

Christmas music. It's nearly inescapable at this time of year - on the radio, in shops, in cafes, everywhere. When Phoebe Judge sat down to talk about "Christmas" with jazz double bassist John Brown, the question arose: Why would musicians want to add to the large catalog of existing Christmas songs and recordings?

"It comes from a place of joy," said the double bassist. "We wanted to take this material that's tested, tried and true and say something different about it."

Photo: A tree farm in Rutherwood, N.C.
BlueRidgeKitties / Flickr

When Jessie Davis started tagging trees for sale in his 500-acre farm in western North Carolina this fall, he noticed his Frasier firs were taller and brighter than they were in previous years. He knew the reason was simple: this was a rainy year.

Counties across North Carolina are embarking on one of their official after-Christmas duties – disposing of hundreds of tons of Christmas trees. Here's what's happening in Wilmington.

You might not expect "Santa's Helper" to be a career-altering gig, but for David Sedaris, it changed everything. The writer and humorist spent a season working at Macy's as a department store elf. He described his short tenure as Crumpet the Elf in "The Santaland Diaries," an essay that he read on Morning Edition in 1992.

Instantly, a classic was born. Sedaris' reading has become an NPR holiday tradition. Click the "Listen" link above to hear Sedaris read his tale.

Steven Kimbrough
stkimbrough.com

Everywhere you go right now, you’re probably hearing holiday tunes. But the internationally regarded baritone Steven Kimbrough is bringing a new sound to Christmas: opera. His new album, “Christmas Lullabies From Around the World” has the celebrated singer doing operatic renditions of some little known Christmas songs.

Nnenna Freelon
nnenna.com

Grammy award winning singer Nnenna Freelon is called the “international voice of jazz.” And along with bassist and composer John Brown, she is changing the sound of Christmas. The two have put out a collaboration called, “Christmas.” They’ll be performing at the Carolina Theatre on December 21st. Host Frank Stasio talks to them about their collaboration.

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