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Tinsel Tales 3: NPR Christmas Stories

NPR features holiday stories of all kinds; funny, touching, insightful, and surprising. The latest evergreen delights will be hosted by Lynn Neary:

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December's Soundtrack by Amy Dickinson

'Tis the season to be jolly -- and to sing about it. But the joyful noises we make at this time of year aren't necessarily tuneful, as writer Amy Dickinson has discovered.

Christmas With UPS by Loree Gold

Seasonal work can be a drag, but commentator Loree Gold says her stint as Santa's helper for UPS gave her some holiday cheer.

Merry Stressmas: It's That Time Of The Year by Kevin Kling

Storyteller Kevin Kling has started some Christmas traditions of his own.

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Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree by Ken Harbaugh

Christmas trees are not just a holiday tradition -- they can be displays of light and color that are beautiful, even elegant. Commentator Ken Harbaugh says his family's tree is neither.

Stealing Hemlock by Bailey White

One Christmas, commentator Bailey White decided it was time to confess to her life of Yuletide crime.

Christmas Lights Tour by Bill Harley

Winter's long nights leave us short of natural illumination. And this is why commentator Bill Harley appreciates one seasonal tradition.

Christmas With The Totenbergs by Nina Totenberg

NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg dropped by to see Scott Simon at the Weekend Edition Saturday studios one cold December day in 2012. She didn't visit to talk about any of the great Supreme Court debates about church and state or keeping religious displays out of public spaces. No, she came to talk about Christmas at the Totenberg household.

The Gift Of The Magi by O. Henry

The spirit of giving makes the Christmas season come alive. Presents are planned -- and in your mind's eye, you can just imagine the happiness they will bring. Here is "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish.

Christmas For Cows by Baxter Black

This time of year, you'll find Nativity scenes outside churches and in front yards across the country. They depict the birth of Jesus long ago in the town of Bethlehem. And in those manger scenes, there's no shortage of those large, sometimes spotted creatures known as cows. Writer Baxter Black suspects that cows, like the rest of us, do a little celebrating of their own this time of year.

Christmas Pudding by Marialisa Calta

Food writer Marialisa Calta thinks it's never too soon to get started on her major holiday project.

Caroling In The Cold by Julie Zickefoose

We all know the holidays are not always stress-free. As those holiday to-do lists grow longer, it can be difficult to keep anticipation from morphing into anxiety. Julie Zickefoose discovered that song, fellowship and warm cookies fixed all of that, on a frigid night one Christmas past.

Christmas Magic by Joseph C. Phillips

Many children are on their best behavior, hoping that the jolly man in the red suit will remember them on the 25th. While Kris Kringle has become the face of Christmas, some parents worry that putting too much emphasis on Santa misses the real meaning of the holiday. So this year, commentator Joseph C. Phillips is going to sit down with his three young sons and tell them his own story of Christmas magic.

Grinch's True End by John Moe

December brings, among other things, replays of replays of animated Christmas specials on television. It doesn't spoil the fun to note that Charlie Brown and the gang find the true meaning of Christmas, or that Rudolph saves the day for Santa at the North Pole. But commentator John Moe unearths an email that reveals the true ending to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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