holidays | KUOW News and Information

holidays

A headline for a chart caught our eye this week: "US Holiday Lights Use More Electricity than El Salvador Does In a Year."

Courtesy of StoryCorps

At the StoryCorps booth in Seattle's  New Holly neighborhood last summer, Anne Delvecchio and Larry Valdez talked about how a chance encounter with Santa Claus helped save a life.

Panettone may have once sounded exotic, but these days, the dome-shaped Italian fruit bread is readily available on American grocery store shelves. And if you're ready to expand your repertoire of global holiday breads, there are many more yeasty, doughy traditions to nibble on. And they all remind us how expensive, imported fruits — like Greek currants and Italian candied citrus peel — have long been a part of our most treasured Christmas foods.

Here, a brief tour of five other fruited holiday breads from around the world.

Julekake

'Week in Review' panel Bill Radke, Joni Balter, Paul Guppy and Pramila Jayapal.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Does Star Wars teach kids that people are either good or bad, dark or light? Do college students need to toughen their skins? Can we make a football coach pray alone? Can Santa be a woman?

Bill Radke solves this week’s dilemmas with state Senator Pramila Jayapal, Seattle Channel's Joni Balter and Washington Policy Center's Paul Guppy.

This Christmas, Gabriel Quesada is 'Black Santa.'
Keenan Hart/From Bottom 2 Top Photography

When Gabriel Quesada was growing up in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, his uncles told him they knew Santa.

But every Santa he saw was white, and his uncles were black.

"It just didn't make sense to me," Quesada said.

There's a cheeky reference to a troubled Seattle droid in this shot. See it? If not, click through to the next image.
Courtesy of Sheraton Seattle

Right now in the lobby of the Sheraton in downtown Seattle is an ambitious project six months in the making: A gingerbread village made of hundreds of pounds of candy and cookies capturing the struggle of rebels, Jedi and Imperial forces.

Tenor Marty Mullin at Cantare Vocal Ensemble rehearsal.
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

If you Google “Puget Sound community chorales,” more than 100 groups pop up, from small Eastern European folk ensembles to the 250-member Northwest Girls’ Choir.

Thanksgiving dinnr food
Flickr Photo/Dan Tentler (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1SXlIOE

In advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, The Record brought in a panel to talk about some of the key issues happening in the news.

  • Race and justice issues provoked protests at college campuses in Washington state and all over the country this month. Students of color are calling for safer spaces on campus. 
  • The Seattle City Council said no to increasing parental leave from four weeks to 12.  
  • And how do you talk politics with your family on Thanksgiving?

Bill Radke talks over the news with Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez, journalist Erica C. Barnett and University of Washington philosophy professor Michael Blake.

Other guests include Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer, Columbia journalism professor Todd Gitlin, and Lizzie Post, co-host of the podcast Amazing Etiquette.

Editor's note: This story was originally posted last year. Some information was updated on Nov. 22, 2016.

The annual presidential turkey pardoning event at the White House is a strange one. This year is President Obama's eighth and last one, but he still seems confused.

"It is a little puzzling that I do this every year," Obama said in 2014.

"I know some folks think this tradition is a little silly," he said a year later. "I do not disagree."

The president has made the event something of an annual dad joke.

Move over, turkey. Step aside, stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole, an iconic Thanksgiving dish, turns 60 years old this year, and it's as popular as ever.

Love it or loathe it, the classic Midwestern casserole has come to mean more than just a mashup of processed food sitting next to the mashed potatoes.

If you are turkey-averse, turkeyphobic or just bored with the bird, fear not. We've got some other main dish ideas for you.

"What I think is cool is to put a center roast on the table that comes from the woods itself: something wild, something home-hunted, like venison," Amy Thielen, Minnesotan and author of The New Midwestern Table, tells All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro. Deer, says Thielen, is "one of those secret underground proteins in the American meat-eating story."

L122, one of the newest members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas, spotted Sept. 7 near Sooke, British Columbia.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research

Why is KUOW acquiring KPLU 88.5? Also: What war on Christmas? And should we keep orcas off display? Bill Radke distills the news with Luke Burbank, Erica C. Barnett, Bill Finkbeiner, KUOW General Manager Caryn Mathes, Rob Vernon of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Donald Trump helps out a bit too.

Marine veteran John Knox arranges fall produce at the Growing Veterans farm stand at the VA Hospital in Seattle. Knox says learning to farm helped him make the transition back to civilian life.
KUOW photo/Patricia Murphy

Army vet Josh Wheeldon can tick off a half-dozen veterans groups he has volunteered with: The Mission Continues, AmeriCorps Vet Corps, Team Rubicon, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 22Kill, Seattle Stand Down and Team Red White and Blue.

He’s also a lifetime member of the older Veterans of Foreign Wars. But he doesn’t always feel like he fits in there.

The leadership of the American Legion and VFW is seeking younger, more diverse members. But they face a challenge changing their public image.


Groups like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have served former service members for a century. But declining membership threatens to lessen their influence.


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