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Tinsel Tales

Favorite Holiday Stories from NPR
By: NPR
Narrated by: Lynn Neary
Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (297 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ho ho ho! Here's what to listen to while driving to the mall, wrapping gifts, entertaining friends, or relaxing in front of a crackling holiday fire.

In Scott Simon's modern version of the Christmas story, Jesus is born in an abandoned factory near Cleveland and the Three Wise Persons bring Chipotle gift cards. Claudia Sanchez gives a Latin accent to "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Barbara Bradley Hagerty explores what Christmas means for the boy choristers of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (Hint: Handel). In a treasured 1974 recording, humorist, author, radio personality, and blacklisting victim John Henry Faulk tells of "the wonderfulest Christmas in the United States of America". A son believed missing in action during WWII is found in time for his family to celebrate the holiday. And a Vietnam veteran tells Weekend Edition Sunday about a "Silent Night" that brought hope to patients in a military hospital.

And that's just the star-topped tip of the tree. Each year, listeners tune into NPR for holiday offerings of all kinds: funny, touching, insightful, and surprising. Now anyone can listen anytime to these evergreen delights.

©1974-2010 National Public Radio, Inc. (P)2010 National Public Radio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Might be reason enough to start a new holiday listening tradition....a festive stocking stuffer of an audio". ( AudioFile)
"Little could fill us with the Christmas spirit more readily than listening to NPR's Tinsel Tales. This is a collection of favorite Christmas stories selected by NPR voices throughout the years. Each selection stands alone as narrators share their special joys of the season, hopes for the future, and childhood memories. It would be impossible to select a favorite." (Gail Cooke)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Worthwhile Holiday Tradition

If you could sum up Tinsel Tales in three words, what would they be?

Warm holiday tales

What was one of the most memorable moments of Tinsel Tales?

The story, "Doing It in the Closet," read in the rich Scottish voice of John McIlwraith. This amusing tale of parents seeking a bit of privacy. It's rich and suggestive and, of course, not as naughty as it sounds at first!

Which character – as performed by Lynn Neary – was your favorite?

Lynn acted as host, NPR style, introducing features by reporters and artists. Her personal description of making a Gingerbread home was useful and enjoyable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, my extreme reaction is one of warmth and joy. This is as comfortable as a cup of your favorite warm beverage while curled up by the fire.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this as a nice tradition, whether listening to it while traveling to visit relatives or alone by the fire after sundown.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Like Christmas presents some underwear and not

Any additional comments?

This is a compilation of many stories over many years. At least they didn't have what the 12 gifts of Christmas would cost today. But they also have some stories that will leave you in tears of joy and laughter. Well worth unwrapping the socks and underwear to get to the real gems.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not For Me

I guess the title, "Favorite Holiday Stories," should have been a clue, but I didn't catch it. I was expecting at least a few of the stories to be about Christmas - the true meaning of Christmas. I found the collection, with the exception of a couple of snippets that hinted at the birth of Jesus Christ, to be offensive. I knew Christmas had become rather materialistic, but I had no idea that such a majority of people could contribute to this collection without any indication of why the holiday exists in the first place. It made me very sad. If you celebrate Christmas because of the joy and hope of the birth of our Savior, do not waste your time listening to this collection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An entertaining mix of holiday memories & stories.

Some rejoice in the holidays and some complain of the trappings of the season. Over all a fun listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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not what I had expected

didn't finish it. this will be something I can wrap presents or doze off to, but felt more like a documentary than a collection of Christmas stories. I'm sure some will enjoy and appreciate that, it just wasn't what I thought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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many laughs, and some tears.

lots of memories just like these. good stories, great performances. I book marked a few and will share the story's. the best one was crashing the toy plane

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This is a great compilation of Christmas shorts.

This is a mix of stories, Christmas memories, facts about movies and carols, etc. This is a fun listen for the holiday. Also, the different narrators make the separation of each distinguishable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What a wonderful collection for the Holidays

this is just a wonderful collection that Bridges many experiences and many perspectives. I would highly recommend it to one and all.

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Not what I expected

I was looking for more of a series of stories. There were a few of those. But there were also what seemed like human interest stories. The collection was a very broad assortment of tales and memories and essays. And one very strange "play" in 3 parts

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Worth a listen.

Starts slow with an uninteresting news story, ignore that, it gets better and is worth listening to.