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traditions

Timo Newton-Syms / Creative Commons

Well, the leftovers still fill the refrigerator, there's still reams of wrapping paper to recycle, and there's the Christmas tree. If you purchased one of the more than 20 million live Christmas trees sold this year, you're probably wondering what to do with it now. 

Ken Hawkins / Creative Commons

Whether it's red or white, boxed or bottled -- few beverages stimulate the senses quite like a glass of wine does. Still, the science behind how the human body "tastes" wine -- well, it's more complex than you might think. 

Guilherme Cardoso flickr.com/photos/guiskatenator / Creative Commons

I recently returned from a trip to India, and while visiting a friend in his garden outside Delhi, I was struck by one brilliantly colored, red plant. This five-foot-tall and -wide plant looked familiar. Upon closer inspection, it was a poinsettia.

Nu Haven Kapelye/Facebook

This year, Hanukkah and Christmas fall on the same weekend.

A growing tradition among American-Jews nationwide, has been to spend Christmas day indulging in Chinese food. But for the last decade, in the New Haven area a new tradition has emerged -- an annual concert of klezmer music performed by The Nu Haven Kapelye.

T. Charles Erickson / Hartford Stage

Hartford Stage's adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" has become a Connecticut tradition, thanks in part to actor Bill Raymond's portrayal of the character Scrooge. But after 17 years, Raymond has said he will step away from the role after this year. 

Mónica Pinheiro flickr.com/photos/monica_andre / Creative Commons

Oh by gosh by golly, it's time of gifts for your favorite gardener. I may not be much of a singer, but I know gifts a gardener in the family might like.

terceirav / Creative Commons

Over the years, I’ve scrambled to think of ways to write about Christmas music.

Overrated, Underrated, Unfairly Neglected, Ten Best, 12 Worst, Pop, Classical – I’ve just about used up journalism’s standard-issue bag of Devices We Use for Recurring Yearly Phenomena.

Tracey Adams flickr.com/photos/bikracer / Creative Commons

One of the simplest and most rewarding activities to bring in some holiday cheer this time of year is to make your own wreath. You can go to local garden centers and take a wreath-making workshop, or buy a pre-made wreath. But I like to construct my own wreath made from materials around my home. 

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The documentary "Flory's Flame" gets its Connecticut premiere this Saturday at the University of Hartford.

The film explores the life of composer and performer Flory Jagoda, who is credited with preserving the traditional Sephardic music of the Balkans, an art form that was nearly wiped away by the Nazis during World War II.

Before you pass that gravy this Thanksgiving, you may want to make sure you got what you paid for.

Food giant Heinz is voluntarily recalling hundreds of cases of gravy just ahead of turkey day due to jars being possibly mislabeled.

The labeling mishap was for Heinz HomeStyle Bistro Au Jus Gravy. The jars in question were inadvertently labeled Heinz Pork Gravy and may contain milk and soy.

The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert via Twitter citing "undeclared milk and soy" in the HomeStyle.

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South African classical guitarist Derek Gripper is obsessed with the lilting and intricate music of the West African instrument known as the kora. Gripper, who performs this Friday night at Wesleyan University, has translated many kora compositions for guitar.

Lisa Brettschneider flickr.com/photos/flyfarther79 / Creative Commons

The big day is upon us. Halloween is here and one of the traditions is to carve a Jack O'Lantern. I like tradition, but if you're interested in something different this year in Jack O'Lanterns,  try decorating some other winter squashes, too. 

When she was growing up, Dina Gilio-Whitaker was constantly asked, "How much Indian blood do you have?" She could never figure out how to respond, which is not to say she didn't know who she was.

"I knew that I was Native, I knew that I was Colville, I knew my family up there on the reservation," she said recently. "But what I grew up with was a process of not being seen and not being recognized as being Native, because I was completely out of context.

Aaron Mentele / Flickr

The modern circus has been thrilling audiences for over 250 years, but as times have changed, so has the circus. What began as little more than an equestrian performance has come to include clowns, trapeze artists and even lion tamers.

Impressed, we are. With your #StarWarsDay celebrations, that is. The fourth is strong on the Interwebs.

It's a time for Star Wars-themed treats.

(Even here at NPR.)

And an excuse to show your creative side.

Of course, even this sacred day is not free of the presidential campaign.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he will march in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, ending his two-year boycott over a ban on LGBT groups.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang tells our Newscast unit that the mayor's decision comes after organizers allowed a new group to march in the upcoming parade. New York's is the largest and oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country.

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Syrian singer and songwriter Gaida is featured this Friday evening at Wesleyan University. Gaida performs innovative interpretations of traditional Syrian songs -- improvisations over Arabic grooves -- and she composes original music.

Owen Byrne flickr.com/photos/ojbyrne / Creative Commons

Airlines are shifting the timing of thousands of flights, even adding dozens of redeyes, as they try to avoid delays while hauling millions of passengers from now through the Christmas weekend.

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The New England Jazz Ensemble ushers in the New Year with pianist/arranger Walter Gwardyak's acclaimed jazz band adaptation of Sergei Prokofiev's classic "Peter and the Wolf."

Chion Wolf

For the second year, we welcome singer/songwriter extraordinaire "Big Al" Anderson and Emmy Award-winning producer and musician Jim Chapdelaine in studio for songs and stories.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A documentary airing Thursday night on CPTV tells the story of American soldiers stationed in Luxembourg during World War II who, without realizing it, helped to create a new holiday tradition. 

Chris Coomber / Creative Commons

I was visiting my brother in Goshen recently. We were looking at the majestic blue spruce trees in his backyard that he planted as Christmas trees years ago, when his kids were younger.

They've created a backdrop for privacy, and have cherished memories for him and his kids.

Demetri Mouratis flickr.com/photos/dmourati / Creative Commons

Last year at this time, I foolishly offered my choices for the ten best pop Christmas songs. I say foolishly because these list things are always a bad idea for so many reasons. In fact I’m working on a piece that will list the ten biggest reasons why list stories are a bad idea.

Norwalk's Christmas Tree Has a Squirrel Problem

Dec 1, 2015
Airwolfhound flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/8326091066 / Creative Commons

It may be "the most wonderful time of the year," but squirrels are making it not so wonderful in Norwalk, Connecticut.

TheCulinaryGeek / Creative Commons

For most of us, Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn't be the same without pie. Despite stuffing ourselves with turkey and dressing, we all manage to save a little room for pie.

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