Holidays

Zach Boyden-Holmes / The Des Moines Register

An act of kindness may make someone smile or brighten a day. It might help a person through a difficult time, provide comfort and care in a time of crisis, or even change a life or lives.

This edition of Talk of Iowa highlights acts of kindness and compassion remembered by Iowans. Featured this hour:

Holiday Carols and Memories with Dan Knight

Dec 14, 2016
Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

It can be hard to put feelings into words, but this time of year chances are good that someone has written a song that says exactly what the holiday season means to you. Familiar melodies can transport you through time as music we love is intertwined with memory, and holiday music in particular can evoke strong emotion. 

Holiday Volunteering

Nov 24, 2016
United Way of Central Iowa

During the holidays many Iowans seek out volunteer opportunities, but some aren’t sure where to start. Some ideas include organizing a food or clothing drive at your place of work, or spending time with an elderly person who doesn’t have family nearby. 

For those new to volunteering,  Shirley Burgess of the United Way of Central Iowa recommends asking yourself which people in your community are you most interested in serving?

Flickr / Selena N. B. H.

The delicious foods of the holiday season can wreck havoc on a person's health.

One or two days of over indulgence isn’t going to ruin anyone. But beginning with Halloween candy, and then going to Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies, cocktails on New Year’s Eve and then Super Bowl Sunday, and all the merriment in-between, a person can consume an astonishing number of calories this time of year.

Ian Freimuth / Flickr

RAYGUN, the snarky clothing company based out of Des Moines, has made hand towels emblazoned with a donkey, elephant and the words ‘Thank You For Not Discussing the Election” encircled and crossed through, just in time for Thanksgiving. After one of the most divisive elections in modern American history, Thanksgiving dinner will be undoubtedly dicey conversational territory for many Iowans.

Independence Day in Independence

Jul 4, 2016

Lots of Iowa cities and towns are celebrating Independence Day today, but only one of them is named “Independence.”  The community of about six-thousand people in eastern Iowa is one of only 12 communities in the U.S. named “Independence.” 

The one in Iowa is celebrating not only the nation’s birthday but also its own. Today it wraps up a two-day party, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence later this morning.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

In 1990, Steinway artist, pianist, and composer Dan Knight had organized an in-house choir at the University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Knight says one song struck them as special.

"Right in the middle of this particular song, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, there was this most amazing moment. It was kind of like, all of a sudden, something just kind of took off and the choir and the piano became one and we all just kind of went somewhere else. It was transformative."

After the song, a chaplain from the hospital approached him.

anjanettew / Flickr

The idea of giving someone a wonderful gift is joyful, but in reality gift giving can be tremendously stressful.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on the art and power of gift giving. She talks with gift expert Harry Liebersohn, author of The Return of the Gift: European History of a Global Idea, about the history of the gift exchanges and the place they hold in our culture. He refers to gifts as “the emotional language we used to bind ourselves together.”

Flickr / Peter & Joyce Grace

The Friday after Thanksgiving can be a busy day for many of Iowa’s roughly 100 choose-and-harvest Christmas farms, as many growers sell their first trees of the season.

A number of Iowans still prefer buying a real tree, as opposed to an artificial one, though these trees require additional maintenance. One of the most important parts of Christmas tree maintenance is keeping the tree hydrated. 

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

According to the National Retail Federation, 157 million Americans will celebrate Halloween this weekend. As a nation, we’re expected to spend more than $6.9 billion on the holiday, with most of the expense going toward costuming.

Author Lesley Bannatyne says costuming around Halloween has been growing in popularity since the 1880’s.

“When newspapers first started writing articles about the holiday, Victorian hostesses loved it,” she explains. “It has some spookiness. It was edgy. It was a little bit romantic.”

hc.saustrup

While the holidays may be called the most joyful time of the year, many people simply find them to be the most stressful.

We all had toys that we loved as children, do you remember your favorite?

Eastern Iowa Coalition of Reason

Our country is very much identified as "one nation under God," however, the number of non-religious Americans has risen dramatically.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? For many of us, our favorite songs have memories associated with them.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

For Veterans Day, join host Ben Kieffer as he travels to Washington D.C. with more than 80 Iowa veterans.

Iowa State University

Diane Rasmussen, who lives in Omaha, can't make impromptu trips to Arlington, Virginia, where her son Deric is buried. Now, if she wants to feel close to him, she can visit Gold Star Hall in ISU's Memorial Union.

stpaulgirl / flickr

New York Times bestselling author and Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate, Justin Cronin, takes us into the post-apocalyptic world he’s created in the newly released second book of his highly-acclaimed vampire trilogy.

Haunted Iowa

Oct 30, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Looking for a haunted house to visit this Halloween? 

Halloween can almost generate a dictionary of its own.

Keturah Stickann

False death reports, spaghetti growing on trees, and more than one discovery of evidence that proves that a mythical creature is real… we’ve all learned to be a little skeptical on April 1st.

Today on April Fool's day - the art of the prank.

Host Charity Nebbe explores our rich history of hoaxes and practical jokes with Kembrew McLeod, author of Pranksters and University of Iowa Associate Professor of Communication Studies. She also sits down with Leo Landis, from the State Historical Museum of Iowa, to discuss Iowa's role in the hoax of the Cardiff Giant.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

Colin Charles

After seemingly long weeks and short days full of shoveling, snow-blowing, icy cold and blustery winds, many of us are ready to complain and dream of summer. But there is hope for happiness during the dark winter season.

On this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with two Danish visitors working at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. They share the Danish secret to winter happiness - it's called "hygge." There is no direct translation, but it is often described as a feeling of coziness... a homey feeling, often with candle light, family, and friends.

puuikibeach / flickr

Every year on New Year’s Day a lot of people make resolutions: to lose weight, to save money, to be more organized.  Sadly, most of those resolutions fail.    Join host Charity Nebbe for this talk about making resolutions you can keep and that will actually enhance your life.  Guests include Mitch Horowitz, author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, and Kevin Krumvieda, Clinical Psychologist in private practice in North Liberty. 

Tinsel Tales Two

Dec 25, 2013
Jelene Morris

Continuing with the tradition of the first "Tinsel Tales," host Lynn Neary brings another hour of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season.

Ho, Ho, Huh?

Dec 25, 2013
Albert Herring

Authors Ron Carlson, Frank O'Connor and George Shephard each present a different side of the Christmas experience. Also humorist Calvin Trillin reads a Christmas poem.
 

American Public Media

The perfect Christmas music continues December 25th  on IPR Classical with: Chanticleer at 8AM; the St. Olaf Christmas Festival at 9AM; Stile Antico singing luminous Elizabethan music of Thomas Tallis and Willian Byrd at 11, followed by Chicago’s Music of the Baroque at noon with glorious music not just from the Baroque but also from modern Estonia and England. Then, at 2PM, hear a complete Handel “Messiah” from Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society led by Harry Christophers.

Tinsel Tales One

Dec 24, 2013
Dinner Series

Christmas is a time of traditions, and over the years, NPR has created a few traditions of its own. In this hour-long special: Wistfulness, joy, doubt, hope, all the emotions we feel at this time of year, are all summoned up in memorable stories from the NPR broadcast archives in “Tinsel Tales.”

David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk — these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. It may be you'll remember these tales fondly, or it may be you'll fall in love with them for the first time.  Lynn Neary hosts.

"A Christmas Carol," read by Doug Brown

Dec 24, 2013
Heritage Auction Gallery

Beloved by Iowa Public Radio listeners for decades, the late WOI classical music host Doug Brown reads the entirety of the ultimate Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

Morehouse College

At 10AM, hear this year's "Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" live from King's College, Cambridge on IPR Classical. Then, at 11 AM, the Tallis Scholars - celebrating their 40th anniversary - present a beautiful concert from Boston. At noon, hear this year's Christmas at Luther, recorded in Decorah. But wait, there's more!

Noah Henscheid, from wcfso.org

Join us Monday at 7PM as Jason Weinberger and the wcfsymphony perform Christmas (and other) music of Bach, Handel, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. The Bach includes selections from his cantatas and his Christmas Oratorio, plus the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with Kathleen Sihler and Ute Brandenburg on violas. Music from Handel's Messiah and Charpentier's Noëls round out the festivities. Guest vocalists include Jeff Brich, Elizabeth Bieber, and Kaethe Henning.

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