holidays

Most Christmas trees get kicked to the curb and ground up into mulch after the holidays. But a Portland-area conservation group is trying to change that.

The Tualatin Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited has found used Christmas trees make great salmon habitat when placed in coastal waterways.

Next month, they're launching the third year of a program they call Christmas for Coho. They'll collect used Christmas trees on three Saturdays in January and place them in the Necanicum River, coastal stream in northwest Oregon.

In Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Ballet performs The Nutcracker to that same ubiquitous Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky score. The ballet tells the story of Clara, a young girl whose grandfather gives her a nutcracker at a party. One night, Clara goes searching for her nutcracker and walks right into a battle between a regiment of toy soldiers and a wily team of oversized rodents.

Flickr Photo/nwlynch (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Did you know E.B. White was fired by the Seattle Times in 1923? You’ll learn about that and other curiosities in this Yuletide episode of Speakers Forum.

It features stories by White, John Updike, Ken Kesey, Vladimir Nabokov and a spoof on Clement Clark Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

Our faithful rogues included Paul Dorpat, Jean Sherrard, Randy Hoffmeyer, Marianne Owen, David Skovar and Seattle indie American band Pineola.

Santa Is Magic And Can Be Any Race You Imagine

Dec 23, 2014
An Artherton Elementary School student sings for a Make-A-Wish child for National Believe Day at on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Houston.
AP Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher

Ross Reynolds talks with Debra Sullivan, president of the Seattle chapter of the Black Child Development Institute, about why having multiracial Santa Clauses is good for children.

A Guide To Gifts For Those Who Can't See

Dec 23, 2014

In this week of Christmas, we want to go through some holiday gift ideas, but this is not your typical gift list. We want to look at ideas for the visually impaired — including new technology that can help people without sight do everything from read a book to tell the time.

Time For A Holiday Favorite: 'Santaland Diaries'

Dec 23, 2014

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 story.

USPS unveiled a marketing campaign this year in advance of the hectic holiday delivery season.
Screen shot from YouTube

Marcie Sillman talks with Jo Ann Pyle about working conditions for U.S. Postal Service workers during the holiday season. Pyle is president of Branch 79 of the National Association of Letter Carriers in Seattle.

Perhaps you are familiar with the oft-quoted wisdom of (allegedly) Coco Chanel that when a woman gets dressed and believes she's ready, she should take off one accessory before she leaves the house.

When Beth Barrett was a girl, she and her mother had a Christmas ritual.

"My mom and I would watch 'The Sound of Music,'" says Barrett, now director of programming for SIFF, the organization that produces the annual Seattle International Film Festival. For her, the holidays weren't complete with this familiar cinematic ritual.

Farmers in Eastern Washington are busy festooning their dusty machines with thousands of Christmas lights for the annual Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade.

Thanksgiving kicks off holiday party season, and at office holiday parties around the country, this means co-workers will make merry and mischief.

This time of year, Minneapolis attorney Kate Bischoff is a busy woman.

"I often represent clients who are handling the aftermath of a holiday party when it has gone off the rails," Bischoff says.

This includes, but is not limited to, bosses hitting on interns. There was also the case in which a manager gave a direct report a sexually explicit gift. Perhaps it was a joke, but it resulted in a harassment claim.

About 200 people marching through downtown Seattle disrupted black Friday holiday shopping and the city’s traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

They marched in the rain, blocking intersections and streets, in protest of a Missouri grand jury’s decision this week to not indict a police officer who fatally shot a black teenager.

The protesters flooded into Westlake shopping center, taking over escalators and lying down on the floor. Seattle police ultimately turned shoppers away.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

The Seattle City Council has approved spending $100,000 to support homeless camps next year, like the one that sprang up on a busy sidewalk in front of the University District post office in September. That camp has since moved to the parking lot of the University Congregational United Church of Christ a few blocks away.

Twenty men, women and children now make a home out of eight parking spaces.

Every day at noon, residents of the tent village that calls itself The Ave Foundation hold a meeting to work through problems and assign chores. They call it their "family meeting."

Several Northwest Christmas tree growers are trying to push containers full of evergreens through the Northwest’s delayed seaports.

Some of the world’s largest Christmas tree farms are right here in the Northwest. Some are harvesting about 20,000 trees a day.

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