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*MPB Kids Holiday Programming are listed in red.

MPB TV HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING

TUESDAY – DECEMBER 23

9am | Elmo's Christmas Countdown

There’s a miracle on Sesame Street in this special holiday tale. Elmo, Abby Cadabby and their new friend Stiller the Elf (voice of Ben Stiller) are going to count down to Christmas with the Christmas Counter-Downer. But all the counting boxes have gone missing and Christmas may never come again! Can Elmo, Abby and Stiller the Elf save Christmas? With the help of very special guests Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Ty Pennington, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico and Kevin James (as Santa Claus), Elmo and friends learn to believe in Christmas miracles.

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11am | Peg+Cat: The Hanukkah Problem

Triangulo and Flat Woman team up to triangulate and flatten the entire town; Albert Einstein invites Peg and Cat over on Hanukkah.

12:30pm | THOMAS & FRIENDS: Winter Delights

Dash, Bash and Ferdinand throw a holiday party, but since they've never thrown one before, they don't know what to do. Elsewhere, Thomas is given the responsibility of delivering the Star of Knapford to Knapford Station.

1pm | SESAME STREET Waiting for the Present

Rosita learns self-control when it comes to opening presents.

7pm | Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler "Jerusalem"

In coming to Jerusalem, Bruce returns to his own Jewish roots.  Whether walking with Christian pilgrims on the Jesus Trail, celebrating Sukkot with American Jews in Jerusalem or exploring the past with scholars of the three faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – who share Jerusalem, Bruce reveals a land where religious and historical divisions have made it the most contentious place on earth.  But as the pilgrims from different faiths converge on the many sacred shrines that coexist within Jerusalem’s ancient walls, Bruce also reveals why Jerusalem has been a center of pilgrimage for so long. In spite of its long and turbulent history, it remains a city of faith for all who worship the One God who is the God of Moses, of Jesus and of Muhammad.

8pm | Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler "Hajj"

“The Hajj is the iconic pilgrimage on Earth,” says host Bruce Feiler, as millions of pilgrims gather in the valleys outside the city of Mecca in today’s Saudi Arabia to take part in the annual five-day pilgrimage every Muslim hopes to complete at least once. Since non-Muslims aren’t permitted in Mecca, Bruce’s surrogate is Anisa Mehdi, a veteran reporter of the Hajj, with whom Bruce will Skype at regular intervals.  Anisa joins a group of Muslim pilgrims from Boston who begin their journey in Medina, the second of Islam’s holy cities.

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9pm | FRONTLINE: From Jesus to Christ: The Frist Christians, Part I

FRONTLINE presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity. Drawing upon new and sometimes controversial historical evidence, the series transports viewers back 2,000 years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. The first program traces the life of Jesus of Nazareth, exploring the message that helped his ministry grow and the events that led to his crucifixion around 30 C.E. The film then turns to the period that followed Jesus’ death, examining the rise of Christianity and concluding with the first revolt — the bloody and violent siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of a rift between Christianity and Judaism. The broadcast explores evidence suggesting that Jesus’ followers, because of their diversity and the differences in their cultures and languages, looked at and interpreted Jesus and his teachings in many different ways.

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WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 26

6am, 3:30pm | ODD SQUAD: Reindeer Games

Olive and Otto help Santa find his missing reindeer; and Oscar helps Ms. O remove herself from Santa's naughty list.

8:30am | DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD: Daniel's Winter Adventure; Neighborhood Nutcracker

Daniel and Prince Wednesday are excited to go sledding until they see how tall the hill is; and Daniel fills in for an ill Prince Wednesday in a production of "The Nutcracker Ballet."

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9am | Elmo's Christmas Countdown

There’s a miracle on Sesame Street in this special holiday tale. Elmo, Abby Cadabby and their new friend Stiller the Elf (voice of Ben Stiller) are going to count down to Christmas with the Christmas Counter-Downer. But all the counting boxes have gone missing and Christmas may never come again! Can Elmo, Abby and Stiller the Elf save Christmas? With the help of very special guests Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Ty Pennington, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico and Kevin James (as Santa Claus), Elmo and friends learn to believe in Christmas miracles.

10am | DINOSAUR TRAIN: Don's Winter Wish; Festival of Lights

The Pteranodons travel to the North Pole, where Don wishes to see snow fall again. They also stop to watch the aurora borealis.

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11:30am | Peg+Cat: The Christmas Problem

Peg and Cat fill in for Santa. They make, wrap and deliver presents to all the world's children.

12pm | SUPER WHY! 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Whyatt has an important question for Santa Claus, spurring the Super Readers to fly into "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." They learn about the jolly old elf's childhood and how to help spread the magic of the holiday.

12:30pm | THOMAS & FRIENDS: Christmas Cheer

A grumpy engine tries to go a day without grumbling; and Percy worries that Reg is missing out on the Christmas fun.

1:30pm | THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! Reindeer Games: Along Came a Spider

A reindeer teaches Nick and Sally how to find things in the snow after their sled goes missing; a spider teaches the kids how to weave a web after their soccer net develops a hole.

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THURSDAY – DECEMBER 25

6am | ODD SQUAD: Reindeer Games

Olive and Otto help Santa find his missing reindeer; and Oscar helps Ms. O remove herself from Santa's naughty list.

6:30am | WILD KRATTS: Snow Runners

The Kratts lose some hispid hares in a wintry North American forest before they can return them to Asia. As a result, they utilize the winter adaptations and strategies of the snowshoe hare and lynx to locate the critters.

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7am, 2pm, 4pm | Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

A Christmas quandary for George and the Man With the Yellow Hat: what to give each other. The Man finds George's wish list, but it's filled with geometric shapes, and suggests that George make him something. The special features classic Christmas songs and three new ones, "Are You Ready?," "Something as Special as You" and "Christmas Monkey."

8am | DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD: Daniel's Winter Adventure; Neighborhood Nutcracker

Daniel and Prince Wednesday are excited to go sledding until they see how tall the hill is; and Daniel fills in for an ill Prince Wednesday in a production of "The Nutcracker Ballet."

8:30am | DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD: Snowflake Day

Daniel plays a snowflake in the Snowflake Day Show.

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9am, 1pm | Elmo's Christmas Countdown

There’s a miracle on Sesame Street in this special holiday tale. Elmo, Abby Cadabby and their new friend Stiller the Elf (voice of Ben Stiller) are going to count down to Christmas with the Christmas Counter-Downer. But all the counting boxes have gone missing and Christmas may never come again! Can Elmo, Abby and Stiller the Elf save Christmas? With the help of very special guests Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Ty Pennington, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico and Kevin James (as Santa Claus), Elmo and friends learn to believe in Christmas miracles.

10am | DINOSAUR TRAIN: Dinosaurs in the Snow; Cretaceous Conifers

Buddy and family travel to the North Pole, where the kids experience snow for the first time and the entire family celebrates Mom's favorite holiday, winter solstice. Later they learn about evergreen trees and decorate them at a holiday party.

10:30am | DINOSAUR TRAIN: Don's Winter Wish; Festival of Lights

The Pteranodons travel to the North Pole, where Don wishes to see snow fall again. They also stop to watch the aurora borealis.

11am | Peg+Cat: The Christmas Problem

Peg and Cat fill in for Santa. They make, wrap and deliver presents to all the world's children.

11:30am | Peg+Cat: The Hanukkah Problem

Triangulo and Flat Woman team up to triangulate and flatten the entire town; Albert Einstein invites Peg and Cat over on Hanukkah.

12pm | SUPER WHY! The Nutcracker

Princess Pea becomes confused by her friend Sleeping Beauty's grumpiness, so the Super Readers dance their way into "The Nutcracker" to learn what causes crankiness from a royal pain, the Mouse King.

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12:30pm | THOMAS & FRIENDS: Coming Home for Christmas

The engines work together to clear the tracks of snow and get all the passengers home in time for Christmas; and Percy and an old friend keep missing each other.

3pm | Peg+Cat+Holidays

Peg and Cat help Santa make, wrap and deliver presents to all the world's children; Albert Einstein invites Peg and Cat over on Hanukkah; and Peg and Cat coach skiing penguins.

5pm | CHRISTMAS IN NORWAY WITH THE ST. OLAF CHOIR

The mixed-voice St. Olaf Choir and Jentekor, a female choir at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, perform Christmas carols, songs and hymns in this concert from Nidaros Cathedral. Included: "The Word Was God"; "Lo, How a Rose e're Blooming-The Rose"; and "This Little Light of Mine."

7pm | Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt

Soprano Deborah Voigt and actor John Rhys-Davies join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for a Christmas concert that features Voigt singing "The Holly and the Ivy" and Rhys-Davies performing "A Dickens Christmas" with Robin Dick and the Christmas Players. Other selections include "The Twelve Days After Christmas," "Christmas Is Coming (The Geese Are Getting Fat)," "Ring Those Christmas Bells" with the Bells on Temple Square and "Angels From the Realms of Glory."

10pm | Call The Midwife Holiday Special

Rehearsals for the Sunday School Christmas concert are underway, creating inconvenience for the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House. Two unmarried patients are dispatched to York Lodge, a badly managed home for pregnant women. Chummy takes over running the facility after an outbreak of chicken pox there. Dr. Turner treats a destitute older couple, former residents of a mental hospital closed under the mental health reforms. As residents of Nonnatus welcome the new year, the question on everyone’s mind is, what will 1960 bring?

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11:30pm | Vicious "Holiday Special"

Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) host a holiday soiree in their small central London flat. Ash (Iwan Rheon), their young upstairs neighbor, has volunteered to cook the meal, their feisty best friend Violet (Frances de la Tour) is up to her old tricks, and a wicked game of Truth or Dare brings up hidden truths — and surprises as well.

Join Freddie and Stuart for a holiday soiree with neighbor Ash and feisty friend Violet.

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FRIDAY – DECEMBER 26

8pm | American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered

Crosby’s estate, HLC Properties, Ltd., granted American Masters unprecedented access to the entertainer’s personal and professional archives, including never-before-seen home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and more. Narrated by Stanley Tucci, the film features new interviews with all surviving members of Crosby’s immediate family — wife Kathryn, daughter Mary and sons Harry and Nathaniel. The film reveals Crosby’s struggles with his first wife, Dixie Lee, and their sons Gary, Dennis, Phillip and Lindsay. Mary addresses accusations of abuse first published in Gary’s 1983 memoir, which tarnished their father’s legacy. Gary speaks candidly about both his and his mother’s alcoholism as well as his difficulties with his father in a never-before-seen 1987 interview. Other new interviews include singers Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, record producer Ken Barnes, biographer Gary Giddins, and writers Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman, who both share the story behind Crosby’s Christmas special duet with David Bowie.

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9:30pam | Downton Abbey Rediscovered

Relive treasured moments from Downton Abbey’s first four seasons and get a tantalizing preview of what’s in store for the Crawleys and the staff in Season 5. Video clips, cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage help answer some burning questions: Is Lady Mary ready for romance? Did Mr. Bates kill Mr. Green? What will become of Edith’s baby? Carson and Mrs. Hughes — will they or won’t they? Celebrate the joys, triumphs and intrigue taking place at Downton Abbey — upstairs and down. Bernadette Peters hosts.

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SATURDAY – DECEMBER 27

7pm | The Lawrence Welk Show 

It's a New Year's specail tonight with holiday songs; "this Could Be The Start of Someting Big" and "Auld Lang Syne."

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WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 31

7pm | Live from Lincoln Center: Gershwin Celebration at the New York Philharmonic with Dianne Reeves 

Celebrate performances by the world’s distinguished artists on Lincoln Center’s legendary stages, showcasing the finest in music, theater and dance. Audra McDonald hosts. Tonight, the gala rings in 2015 with George Gershwin favorites, featuring Dianne Reeves and Norman Lewis.

9pm | Michael Feinstein New Year's Eve at the Rainbow Room

Ring in the New Year with entertainer Michael Feinstein. The energetic performer recaptures the heyday of the glamorous New York nightclubs as he hosts this celebration from high atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the glittering, newly restored Rainbow Room. Guests include Darren Criss (“Glee”), Aaron Tveit (“Graceland”), Leslie Odom (“Smash”), Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, nightclub legend Marilyn Maye, Tony Winner Christine Ebersole and 17-year-old Julia Goodwin.

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MPB RADIO HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING

MONDAY – DECEMBER 22

2pm | FESTIVAL ALT.LATINO W/ CORAL CANTIGAS

NPR Music's Alt.Latino presents the 3rd edition of Festivo Alt.Latino -- a special holiday concert featuring the 20 piece choral ensemble Choral Cantigas. This musical performance also includes stories about holiday traditions and cultures. Hear a traditional Peruvian Christmas carol, folk music from Brazil, Spain, and Mexico plus Parrandas from Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The many rich styles of Latino choral music will unite listeners through the joyful and transformative power of music. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

3pm | A HANDEL & HAYDEN SOCIETY CHRISTMAS

Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society.  Founded in 1815, the Society is celebrating their bicentennial season, including their 400th performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”  Join Host Cale Wiggins for this program featuring music from the 15th century to the late 20th ; a Christmas for all times.

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TUESDAY – DECEMBER 23

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11am | HANUKKAH LIGHTS 2014

A perennial NPR favorite with brand new Hanukkah stories written by acclaimed authors Debra Ginsberg, Anne Burt, Simone Zelitch, Andy Borowitz, and Theodore Bikel. Hear a wide variety of stories perfect for the holiday --- one story is funny and crisp, another historical, and there's one with a multicultural theme. Also included is a story about the supernatural and one that ends with the best last line for any Hanukkah show, "Love is the only miracle." Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

2pm | SOUNDS JEWISH: CHANUKAH: THE GOOD STUFF

Chanukah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, arrives this week. Jews the world over will light candles, exchange gifts, spin four-sided tops called dreidels and eat potato pancakes and jelly doughnuts. Chanukah has inspired a lot of less-than-enlightening music, but Sunday on “Sounds Jewish,” we'll hear only the good stuff – by musicians as diverse as Theo Bikel, Flory Jagoda, Frank London, Pharaoh's Daughter, Jo Amar, Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt and the LeeVees.

3pm | SOUNDS JEWISH: NEW SPINS ON TRADITIONAL HANUKKAH SONGS

From deep inside Hanukkah, “Sounds Jewish” offers new spins on traditional Hanukkah songs (oddly, none about dreidels), brings in some outsider Hanukkah music, and sighs through a set of Judaized Christmas tunes.

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WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 24

9-11am | A FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is the Christmas Eve service held in King's College Chapel. The Festival was introduced in 1918 to bring a more imaginative approach to worship. It was first broadcast in 1928 and is now broadcast to millions of people around the world.

The service includes carols and readings from the Bible. The opening carol is always 'Once in Royal David's City', and there is always a new, specially commissioned carol.

2-4pm | GRASSROOTS w/ BILL ELLISON: 2014 CHRISTMAS EDITION

If you missed last Saturday’s special Christmas edition of GrassRoots, fear not! We DVR’d it…or something like that. Hear two full hours of Bill Ellison presenting great holiday songs with a spin only produced in the “Bluegrass Cabin.” In these two hours, you’ll hear from the all-time greats and from artists from right here in Mississippi.

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THURSDAY – DECEMBER 25

9am | A CROSBY CHRISTMAS

Like Christmas, Bing Crosby is timeless...a national treasure.

On this one hour special, Bing is joined in duets by friends like Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Ella Fitzgerald...even David Bowie! 

A Crosby Christmas captures the essence Bing at this joyous time of year from digitally restored radio broadcasts and commercial recordings made during his stellar career.

10am | CHRISTMAS w/ MOREHOUSE & SPELMAN GLEE CLUBS

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

11am | A CHANTICLEER CHRISTMAS

Nothing signals the beginning of the holiday season like 12 men singing in beautifully blended harmony. A Chanticleer Christmas is American Public Media's one-hour celebration of the season as told through the glorious voices of Chanticleer, the San Francisco-based men's choir. The program spans the globe and the centuries - from England in the 1300s to new arrangements of classic and contemporary carols to Chanticleer's popular Gospel medley of Christmas tunes.

2pm | SAINT OLAF CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

A service in song and word that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event, which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.

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3pm | HIGHWAY 61 CHRISTMAS

Highway 61 is an award winning, one hour blues program hosted by Scott Baretta at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. Baretta is a writer and researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail, former editor of Living Blues magazine and author of Mississippi: State of the Blues. This Christmas Day, Highway 61 delivers the best in blues music with a holiday twist!

7-9pm | A PAUL WINTER SOLSTICE CONCERT

Celebrate the return of the sun and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's All New 34th Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Ivan Lins and Renato Braz. Hosted by John Schaefer.

9pm | JONATHAN WINTERS’ “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”

An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy.

10pm | AN AFRO BLUE CHRISTMAS

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappela group performs a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions... music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

11pm | JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS

NPR Music brings you another great concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Pianists Cyrus Chestnut, Kris Davis, Lynne Arriale and The "Master" Harold Mabern take the stage to perform their favorite holiday songs. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

12am | AN ELIZABETHAN CHRISTMAS w/ THE ROSE ENSEMBLE

Grand candlelit halls, lavish feasts, and stately dances. Escape to the regal elegance of the Elizabethan era. The time and culture of Elizabeth I also contained tension and intrigue; dark and light. And it’s all evident in the music of their Christmas celebrations.   

The Rose Ensemble captures all of that in their popular holiday concert, as they reawaken the ancient with An Elizabethan Christmas.