SDPB offers a complete slate of holiday programming through December. The schedule includes some old favorites from programs like KEEPING UP APPEARANCES and NPR’s TINSEL TALES to new shows exploring the history of Christmas traditions (LUCY WORSLEY’S 12 DAYS OF TUDOR CHRISTMAS) and fabulous music of the season. Here’s a schedule of holiday-themed programs.
But before you plan your holiday listening and viewing, you might want help preparing meals for the holidays. Start here with PBS Food.
Thursday, Dec. 5 – SDPB3-TV Create
8:00 pm CT / 7:00 MT – A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS - Gavin MacLeod (“The Love Boat”) and Marion Ross (“Happy Days”) host a festive, all-star special of favorite carols and popular standards. Featured holiday performances from yesteryear include Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, The Carpenters and many more.
Saturday, Dec. 7 – SDPB3-TV Create
5:00pm CT / 4:00 MT – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Christmas Masterclass
7:00pm CT / 6:00 MT – A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS (see description 12/5)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – SDPB1-TV
1:30pm CT / 12:30 MT – A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS (see description 12/5)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – SDPB3-TV Create
11:00am-5:00pm CT / 10:00-4:00 MT – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Christmas Masterclass Marathon
Friday, Dec. 13 – SDPB1-TV
9:00pm / 8:00 MT – CHEF'S LIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL Join Vivian Howard as she serves up the best of her Southern cooking heritage and the Hanukkah traditions of her husband Ben. From humble Hoppin' John to elegant red velvet cake, sample a charming and delicious holiday celebration.
Sunday, Dec. 15 – SDPB1-TV
2:00pm CT / 1:00 MT – MAKING A NEW AMERICAN NUTCRACKER Join narrator Neve Campbell for interviews with the creative team that brought to life an original Joffrey Ballet production, re-imagining the tale as Marie falls asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams of the World's Fair.
3:00pm CT / 2:00 MT – COUNTRY CHRISTMAS SHOW WITH SHERWIN AND PAM LINTON ALONG WITH THE COTTON KINGS Recorded at the Aberdeen Civic Theatre November 30, 2018. Features the 2018-19 Aberdeen Central A Capella Choir.
10:00pm CT / 9:00 MT – 35TH ANNUAL FORT LAUDERDALE CHRISTMAS PAGEANT The First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale presents an award-winning South Florida holiday tradition. The pageant showcases classic holiday songs and a powerful retelling of the story of the first Christmas.
11:00pm CT / 10:00 MT – CLASSIC CHRISTMAS WITH THE BACH FESTIVAL SOCIETY Featuring the 175-voice Bach Festival choir, youth choir and orchestra, the esteemed ensembles offer traditional holiday selections from their rich and widely varied repertoire, including well-known Christmas hymns and carols beautifully arranged for the performers.
Monday, Dec. 16 – SDPB1-TV
8:00 – CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KRISTIN CHENOWITH The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square are joined by Kristin Chenoweth for this beloved Christmas tradition featuring favorite holiday music, dancing and storytelling.
Tuesday, Dec. 17 – SDPB1-TV
7:00pm / 6:00 MT – THE ORNAMENT OF THE WORLD This documentary tells the story of a remarkable time in history when Muslims, Christians and Jews forged a common cultural identity that frequently transcended their religious differences.
Saturday, Dec. 21 – SDPB1-TV
6:00pm CT / 5:00 MT – THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW Lawrence Welk celebrates Christmas as he joins the gang for "Jingle Bells, and Guy & Ralna perform "Sweet Little Jesus Boy."
7:00pm CT / 6:00 MT – KEEPING UP APPEARANCES In Christmas “The Pageant” Hyacinth resorts to alternative methods of recruitment when she gets no response to the adverts for a pageant she is directing.
Sunday, Dec. 22 – SDPB1-TV
2:00pm CT / 1:00 MT – HOLIDAYS AT MURRAY STATE 2019 - The Murray State University Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra and featured soloists highlight this annual seasonal special.
3:00pm CT / 2:00 MT – PURDUE 85TH ANNIVERSARY CHRISTMAS SHOW - This special features musical highlights from the University Choir, Purdue Bells, Heart & Soul, the Purduettes and the Purdue Varsity Glee Club.
10:00pm CT / 9:00 MT – ST. THOMAS CHRISTMAS: COMFORT & JOY - The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul showcases the university's world-class vocal and instrumental ensembles in concert. This year’s performance celebrates the Advent and Christmas season, drawing from both familiar traditional carols and innovative contemporary selections.
11:00pm CT / 10:00 MT – WHEATON COLLEGE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: MESSIAH, PRINCE OF PEACE Students from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Wheaton, Illinois perform sacred Christmas music and carols from around the world.
Monday, Dec 23
8:00pm CT / 7:00 MT – CHRISTMAS AT BELMONT 2019 - Recorded in Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the show includes classic holiday songs and festive tunes by Belmont University students along with Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans and the Nashville Children's Choir.
9:00pm CT / 8:00 MT – COUNTRY CHRISTMAS SHOW WITH SHERWIN AND PAM LINTON ALONG WITH THE COTTON KINGS (see description 12/15)
Noon CT / 11:00am MT - HANUKKAH LIGHTS - Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz celebrate the festival of light with stories commissioned especially for NPR.
CHRISTMAS EVE Tuesday, Dec. 24 –
7:00pm CT / 6:00 MT – CHRISTMAS AT BELMONT 2019 (see description 12/23)
8:00pm CT / 7:00 MT – CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR (see description 12/16)
10:00pm CT / 9:00 MT – MOUNT MARTY CHRISTMAS VESPERS Recorded at Mount Marty in Yankton, SD
11:00pm CT / 10:00 MT – CRANE CANDLELIGHT CONCERT “Go Tell It on the Mountain” - In a tradition that began in the 1930's, the Crane Chorus Symphony Orchestra come together to present a very special holiday concert. The concert includes orchestral performances of the music of Georges Bizet and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; holiday favorites "O Holy Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and more.
Midnight CT / 11:00 MT – ST. THOMAS CHRISTMAS: COMFORT & JOY (see description 12/22)
9:00am CT / 8:00am MT - A FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS - an extraordinary live service of words and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.
11:00am CT / 10:00am MT - MESSIAH by George Frideric Handel - A grand performance by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra recorded in 2017.
Noon CT / 11:00am MT - TINSEL TALES 2 - NPR fills your home with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Hosted by Lynn Neary, this is a collection 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.
7:00pm CT / 6:00pm MT - JONATHAN WINTERS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL - This updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg features the late, great comedian Jonathan Winters presenting a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations.
8:00pm CT / 7:00pm MT - JAZZ NIGHTLY EXTRA - a holiday themed version of Karl Gehrke's Jazz program
CHRISTMAS DAY Wednesday, Dec. 25 –
6:30am CT / 5:30am – PBS KIDS presents Christmas episodes of favorite shows like Peg + Cat, Wild Kratts, Let’s Go Luna, and The Cat in the Hat. (through noon CT, 11:00am MT)
Noon CT / 11:00 MT – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Christmas Masterclass
1:00pm CT / noon MT – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Christmas Masterclass
2:00pm CT / 1:00 MT – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Christmas Masterclass
7:00pm CT / 6:00 MT – LUCY WORSLEY'S 12 DAYS OF TUDOR CHRISTMAS Join Lucy Worsley on a 12-day extravaganza as she discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas - from carols to turkey, gift-giving to mistletoe and mulled wine - has surprising Tudor origins, rooted in devotion and charity.
8:00pm CT / 7:00 MT – CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2019 Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage. Navigating the terrain, they strive to keep up with the needs of the locals.
9:30pm CT / 8:30 MT – MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS IN ALSACE Christmas in the Alsace region of France is best experienced in the small towns and villages where each community has its own unique holiday traditions, celebrations, food, and wine.
11:00am CT / 10:00am MT - 7:00pm CT / 6:00pm MT - JONATHAN WINTERS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL (see description 12/24)
Noon CT / 11:00am MT - TINSEL TALES 1 - This special features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
8:00pm CT / 7:00pm MT - JAZZ NIGHT IN AMERICA: A HOLIDAY CELEBRATION - Jazz Night in America brings you holiday classics featuring fresh arrangements and entertaining storytelling recorded live from Rose Theater in New York City. You'll hear the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, plus special guest vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington. Christian McBride hosts.
9:00pm CT / 8:00pm MT - JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS 35 - Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music. Felix Contreras hosts.
10:00pm CT / 9:00pm MT - THE BIG TINY DESK HOLIDAY SPECIAL - 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.
Saturday, Dec. 28 – SDPB1-TV
6:00pm CT / 5:00 MT – THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW Bob Ralston makes New Year's Eve a family affair with his wife, daughter and grandson, the Lennon Sisters reminisce with "May You Always," and JoAnn Castle gets the party going with "Happy Days Are Here Again."
Sunday, Dec. 29 – SDPB1-TV
2:00pm CT / 1:00 MT – LONDON'S NEW YEAR'S DAY PARADE 2020 This preview of London’s cherished tradition profiles stories of high school marching bands from the United States that were invited to participate in the event that draws a half-million spectators along a route of London’s most iconic sites.
NEW YEAR’S EVE Tuesday, Dec. 31
7:00pm CT / 6:00 MT – LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER “N.Y. Philharmonic: Celebrating Sondheim” - The New York Philharmonic and guest vocalist Katrina Lenk celebrate the orchestral music of Stephen Sondheim, performing suites from "Sunday in the Park," "Into the Woods," "Sweeney Todd" and more.
8:30pm CT / 7:30 MT – GREAT PERFORMANCES “The Sound of Music” - Enjoy a new U.K. production of the long-running hit that tells the inspiring true story of the von Trapp Family Singers' escape from Austria during the rise of Nazism.
11:00pm CT / 10:00 MT – FOREIGNER LIVE AT THE SYMPHONY - In May 2017, the legendary rock 'n' roll band Foreigner performed two sold-out shows with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in Lucerne, Switzerland. Celebrating 40 years of chart-topping hits, the band performs "Juke Box Hero," "Cold as Ice," "I Want to Know What Love Is," and more.
Midnight CT / 11:00 MT – ALICIA KEYS - LANDMARKS LIVE IN CONCERT: A GREAT PERFORMANCES SPECIAL - Enjoy the debut of a pop music series. Grammy-winner Alicia Keys performs in notable locations all around New York.
8:00pm CT / 7:00pm MT - TOAST OF THE NATION – A festive jazz show you can party to, all night long, featuring some of the best jazz collectives playing today, including the Baltimore Collective, Michael Leonhart Orchestra, The SFJAZZ Collective in San Francisco and The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York City. Begins at 8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain.