Holiday Programs

The holidays are here, and that means WCBU will be airing a lot of special holiday programming from NPR.

Here's a look at our 2020 holiday schedule:

Hanukkah Lights 2020 - 6 p.m. Thursday 12/17

The NPR favorite returns with all new Hanukkah stories. Authors TBA. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

A Christmas Carol Radio Play - 6 p.m. Sunday 12/20

The iconic Christmas story, brought to life in a new way by the Bradley University Department of Theatre Arts. This radio play originally aired Nov. 27 as part of the WCBU & WGLT Presents series. Listen now on-demand.

All Songs Considered for the Holidays: The Return To The Cabin - 6 p.m. Wednesday 12/23

For the first holiday extravaganza in 2012 (at a snow-covered cabin in the woods), nearly all of the invited guests canceled. The party was a lovable flop, but it launched a tradition that’s continued since, including trips to Bermuda, the north pole and even outer space.

For this holiday party, Bob and Robin return to the cozy cabin where it all began. The special guests include Taylor Swift, Jenny Lewis, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Lucy Dacus and more. What could possibly go wrong?

Holidays on Highway 309 - 5 p.m. Thursday 12/24 (repeats 12 p.m. Friday 12/25)

The very best holiday music from many of the artists you hear every day on Highway 309, our weekend music format and 24/7 music stream.

An Afro Blue Christmas - 6 p.m. Thursday 12/24

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a-cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The 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. Hosted by Michele Norris.

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special - 11 a.m. Friday 12/25

Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites - 6 p.m. Friday 12/25

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.

Toast of the Nation on NYE - 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday 12/31

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 lineup is almost confirmed and it’s sure to be a good time, even without the big audiences.