Whether you revel in the holiday season or simply endure it, KUAC has a fabulous lineup of television and radio programming to brighten the dark winter nights and days. There’s shows for ages 1 to 100, so pick your favorites and enjoy heartwarming holiday programming with your loved ones this season!
Any Old Time, “Sounds of the Season” Big Band show – Sat, December 2 at 7:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
Roast some chestnuts, put another log on the fire and tune in for music from the Big Band Era, hosted by Steve Hormann and Howard Dresser. What would the holiday season be without Bing Crosby’s White Christmas?
Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas – Monday, December 4 at 9:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Lucy Worsley discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas has Tudor origins.
Sesame Street: The Nutcracker: Starring Elmo & Tango – Wednesday, December 6 at 9:00 a.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Elmo and his puppy Tango take a fantastical adventure through magical lands to retrieve a nutcracker toy.
(Episode repeats Thursday, December 14 at 9:00 a.m., Monday, December 18 at 9:00 a.m., Friday, December 22 at 9:00 a.m., Monday, December 25 at 9:00 a.m., and Wednesday, December 27 at 9:00 a.m.)
Hanukkah Lights – Thu, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
NPR presents Hanukkah Lights, a special celebrating the Jewish festival of lights through original stories read by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. Now in its 32nd year, this NPR holiday tradition will brighten the season by revisiting four favorites from the archives and presenting a new story that feels both timely and timeless. There’s a tale about a mother’s menorah collection that grew and grew. In another, listeners experience the reunion of childhood friends from Iran and the power of enduring friendship. There’s a story about a cynical college student whose chance encounter changes his perspective about family and Hanukkah. A different chance encounter has teenage cousins meeting in a science lab after a family rift kept them apart. And a lost and lonely immigrant searches for a sense of belonging. Join us for an hour of powerful and poignant storytelling about family, faith, and the miracle of Hanukkah.
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas – Friday, December 8 at 6:00 a.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
George and the Man with the Yellow Hat have a great time preparing for Christmas.
(Episode repeats Thursday, December 14 at 7:30 a.m., Friday, December 22 at 11:00 a.m., and Monday, December 25 at 7:30 a.m.)
Masterpiece – All Creatures Great and Small (Season 3 Encore) – December 10 & 17 at 8:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m., December 24 at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Follow veterinarian James Herriot at the start of his storied career in rural Yorkshire in the 1930s.
(Holiday episode – December 24 at 9:00 p.m.)
Season of Light: Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir – Tuesday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Illuminate your holidays with The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
(Episode repeats Sunday, December 24 at 12:00 p.m.)
Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas – Wednesday, December 13 at 6:30 a.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
The Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are disappearing around the globe!
(Episode repeats Thursday, December 21 at 8:30 a.m., Sunday, December 24 at 7:00 a.m., and Thursday, December 28 at 7:00 a.m.)
Listenin’ with Mace – Annual “Very Merry Grisman” show – Wed, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
The hour features Dawg style music – a hybrid of strings delivered in wall of registers – pioneered by innovator David Grisman – the style has indelibly influenced generations. Certainly not the typical holiday festival. But… I’m pretty sure you will hear a jazz tune or two that Snoopy and his pals would skate to. Listenin’ with Mace – A Very Merry Grisman; never the same – yet always familiar!
Arthur’s Perfect Christmas – Friday, December 15 at 12:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Plans are underway in Elwood City for the best holidays ever as Arthur, D.W., their family and friends prepare for perfect gifts, perfect parties, and perfect family traditions.
(Episode repeats Saturday, December 23 at 7:30 a.m. and Monday, December 25 at 5:00 a.m.)
Candles Burning Bright – Fri, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.
Crane Candlelight Concert “Let It Shine!” – Friday, December 15 at 10:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Student musicians from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music take to the stage this holiday season.
¡Vamos a Belén!: Christmas with The Rose Ensemble – Mon, December 18 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
The acclaimed Rose Ensemble presents this special featuring festive and evocative music from early Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and beyond. Colonial Latin America was a melting pot of ethnic diversity, when newcomers wrestled with local traditions, and cultural conflict was often reconciled through musical collaboration. Dances from the streets of Mother Spain mingle with African rhythms and indigenous languages, while celebration turns glorious in the pageantry of the Franciscan missions of California and New Mexico. The Rose Ensemble is joined by special guests, Piffaro, The Renaissance Band.
Mary Berry’s Highland Christmas – Monday, December 18 at 8:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Spend Christmas in Scotland with Mary Berry and enjoy some traditional delights.
(Episode repeats Monday, December 25 at 5:00 p.m.)
Nature Cat: A Nature Carol – Tuesday, December 19 at 11:30 a.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Nature Cat is visited by the spirits of Nature Past, Present, and Future on Christmas Eve.
Talk of Alaska Holiday Greeting Edition – Tue, December 19 at 10:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
The annual state-wide holiday greeting edition of Talk of Alaska features good wishes flying across the great state of Alaska, re-connecting friends and families in a two-hour wave of holiday cheer. Make your list and get ready to call in to 1-800-478-TALK or 1-800-478-8255.
Welcome Christmas – Tue, December 19 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert. Join us for an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.
Music of the Golden Ages – Annual “Messiah Special” – Tue, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
Music of the Golden Ages host Bob Fischer presents Handel’s Messiah. This year’s performance is a 1983 recording featuring members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw.
Slavic Wonders: Christmas with The Rose Ensemble – Wed, December 20 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
The Rose Ensemble of Minnesota presents Slavic Wonders, a stunning celebration of the season featuring some truly brilliant gems from the libraries and monasteries of Krakow, Prague, and Moscow. The Rose Ensemble has put together a program of dazzling, passionate music for Christmastime in the great variety and range they are known for. Hear everything from soaring soprano lines, to the signature Slavic sound of rumbling basses; Slavic Wonders is an engaging and curious mixture of chant, carols, and glorious polyphony.
Nature “Santa’s Wild Home” – Wednesday, December 20 at 8:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
Get an intimate look into life in Lapland, fabled land of Santa Claus and actual home of tenacious wildlife such as reindeer, wolverines, Brown bears and more.
(Episode repeats Sunday, December 24 at 3:00 p.m.)
Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration – Thu, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral! Musicians include Noel Paul Stookey, (AKA Paul of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary). The Celebration also features old friends like gospel singer Theresa Thomason and the Forces of Nature dance and drumming troupe from Harlem.
Holidays at Murray State – Thursday, December 21 at 10:00 p.m.
The Murray State University Concert Choir performs its annual holiday concert.
Christmas with the Morehouse & Spelman Glee Clubs – Fri, December 22 at 2:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges — two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation — get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This year’s program features the best works of the last several years. It’s a joyous celebration of the schools’ tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols.
Christmas at Westminster: An Evening of Readings and Carols – Friday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Recorded at Princeton University, the Westminster Choir performs its annual holiday concert.
Thrill of Hope: A Concordia Christmas – Friday, December 22 at 10:00 p.m.
Celebrate the sounds of Christmas with a performance at Concordia University.
A Mountain Stage Holiday – Sat, December 23 at 5:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
This hour-long special features seasonal songs, old and new, all recorded live over the years on the Mountain Stage. We’ll hear performances from Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, Odetta, Loudon Wainwright III, Holly Cole, The Roches, Kathy Mattea, Michael Martin Murphey and more.
Joy To The World: A Holiday In Pink – Sat, December 23 at 6:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
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.
Dark Winter Nights – “2021 Christmas Special” – Sunday, December 24 at 10:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
It’s Christmas Eve and Fairbanks, Alaska is hit by an epic blizzard. The storm is so violent that Santa Claus is sent crashing into the yard of Dark Winter Nights host Rob Prince. Rob must save Christmas, but how?
Purdue 89th Anniversary Christmas Show – Monday, December 25 at 1:00 p.m.
This fast-paced high-energy production features holiday favorites from Purdue Musical Organization’s
St. Olaf Christmas Festival – Mon, December 25 at 1:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
The St. Olaf Christmas Festival has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Started in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department, the festival includes hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity. It features the St. Olaf Choir, the St. Olaf Orchestra, the St. Olaf Cantorei, the St. Olaf Chapel Choir, the Manitou Singers and the Viking Chorus, performing as individual groups and as a massed ensemble.
The One Recipe Holiday Special – Mon, December 25 at 6:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
Join host Jesse Sparks for a holiday edition of The Splendid Table’s sister podcast The One Recipe. In this hour-long episode, Jesse talks to culinary superstars about their family traditions and their “One,” the recipe that signals the holidays have officially begun!
Our guests bring us their family food traditions from all over the globe. Chetna Makan, Britain’s queen of Indian home cooking gives us a recipe for a seriously delicious nibble for cocktails, Chetna’s Cheesy Potato Balls, beloved Texan chef of Roots Chicken Shack in Dallas, Tiffany Derry has amazing stories from her family’s truly enormous holiday feast and talks us through a recipe for her Mother’s Gumbo and Matt Adlard, influencer, author of the best-selling Bake it Better and the son of a Michelin starred chef, talks about his family’s sometimes competitive holiday cooking and leaves us with a perfect recipe for his Dad’s Lemon Tart.
Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2023 – Monday, December 25 at 7:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
It’s Christmas, 1968, and all eyes are heavenwards as astronauts embark on their latest space exploration. But events on Earth continue to unfold at Nonnatus House.
(Encore at 11:00 p.m.)
Debbie Gibson Holiday: A Soundcheck Special – Monday, December 25 at 9:00 p.m.
Debbie Gibson wows with her holiday special complete with a guest appearance by Joey McIntyre.
An Afro Blue Christmas – Mon, December 25 at 9:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
Here’s a very special holiday concert with Howard University’s premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a cappella group performs a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. This joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions… music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King – Monday, December 25 at 9:30 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
A re-imagination of the classic Nutcracker story, featuring the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
2023 Remembered from The Current – Tue, December 26 from 10:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
Join The Current in honoring the life, music, and legacy of artists we lost this year with 2023 Remembered from The Current. This two-hour musical tribute is a celebration of all sounds – from indie to influential – and the perfect way for music lovers to unite in paying homage to the artists who have shaped music history.
From musicians and producers to industry icons, the playlist will feature legends like Tina Turner, David Crosby (CSNY, Byrds), Sinéad O’Connor, Tony Bennett, Jane Birkin, Astrud Gilberto, Burt Bacharach, Jeff Beck (The Yard Birds), Harry Belafonte, Andy Rourke (The Smiths), Gordon Lightfoot, and many more. Host Jill Riley will highlight milestones in each artist’s life and career, explore their lasting impact on the music world, and spin their most beloved songs.
Cultural Expressions: Kwanzaa – Friday, December 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Explore the celebration, the way of life that is Kwanzaa.
(Episode repeats Sunday, December 31 at 1:00 p.m.)
Next at the Kennedy Center – “A New Year’s Eve Celebration” – Sunday, December 31 at 7:00 p.m.
Ring in the New Year at the Kennedy Center with a star-studded musical celebration.
Get Your Money Life in Order – Mon, January 1, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. on KUAC 89.9 FM
In this special, host Reema Khrais helps listeners get their financial life together in time for the new year. She’ll unpack some practical tips with a personal finance expert and then share a personal money story that is sure to captivate listeners. To round out the hour, Reema will 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 listeners laugh, gasp, and think about money in a whole new way. The tone will be chatty, fun and guilt-free.
Great Performances “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2024” – Monday, January 1, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. on KUAC TV 9.1
GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its tradition of ringing in the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic at the world-famous Musikverein, with PBS favorite Hugh Bonneville returning as host for a fifth year. The celebrations also showcase the virtuosic dancing of the Vienna City Ballet performed on location in sumptuous Vienna landmarks.