christmas

For the first time, Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to cases of animal cruelty. The position was created in October. And the first cop to fill the post is Senior Patrol Officer Amy Soelder. She’s a 22 year veteran of the force, and joins us in the studio.

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Millions of American Christians are preparing to celebrate Christmas, but what about those who don’t celebrate? It’s a federal holiday, and most businesses are closed. What is Christmas like for the non-Christian?

Charles Schulz

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a beloved seasonal staple, but the Peanuts gang’s TV special wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. Lee Mendelson was the executive producer of that special. He told us that after it first aired in 1965, he didn’t expect to ever see it on TV again.

Christmas is the one holiday of the year that has the most music associated with it. Sometimes that’s a good thing. And sometimes it’s a bad thing. We wanted to get a good list of the best songs and the songs to avoid over the holidays, so we talked Chester Phillips, the director of athletic bands at Georgia State University.

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On today's episode of “Two Way Street,” we talk to Sugarland artist Kristian Bush. He and his musical partner, Jennifer Nettles, have been on hiatus since 2013 but recently announced that they will be getting back together for a 2018 tour. We talk to him about Sugarland’s long-anticipated reunion, but since this is a holiday show, we start by talking to Kristian about his passion for Christmas music.

  • Christmas is only a few short days away.

Host Bill Nigut reads one of the most beloved of all holiday stories: Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” In this heart-warming memoir, Capote recounts the Christmases he spent with an elderly, distant cousin when he was a young boy living in Monroeville, Alabama. Bill introduces the story by describing the sad circumstances that led to Capote’s being taken in by distant relatives, and how his career as a writer unfolded from the time he was 11 years old. We hope you’ll listen with family!

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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On December 8, 1956, 11-year-old  Atlanta native Brenda Lee released her first single, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus."

Lee was one of the top vocalists of the 1960s, singing pop and country music. But she is perhaps best remembered for another holiday classic, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." 

The song has endured as a holiday standard for more than 50 years. Happy holidays to Atlanta’s “Little Miss Dynamite," who is still on tour at age 71. 

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Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is largely credited for bringing Santa Claus into mainstream culture. Since the 1930s, Coke has released advertisements at Christmas time featuring the big jolly man. But their marketing scheme has shifted every year, featuring everything from polar bears to shiny trains.

We bring back Coke historian Mark Pendergrast to give us a lesson on Coca-Cola Christmas marketing through the ages.  

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST: