255: This American's Life's Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

255: This American's Life's Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

Dec 19, 2003
The vexing difficulty of finding the perfect gift, illustrated in three acts.
  • Host Ira Glass goes to a busy Target store one week before Christmas. Most shoppers he talks to don't think any of their gifts will be returned. (3 minutes) HolidaysRetail/Commerce

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  • Ian Brown tries, after decades of failure, to give his mother the perfect Christmas gift. He and his brother attempt something they haven't done since they were kids: Rehearse and sing her a program of Christmas carols. Ian Brown is the host of Talking Books, a radio program on the CBC, and the anchor of Human Edge and The View From Here, Canada's pre-eminent television documentary series. (19 minutes) HolidaysMothersMusic

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  • We play a 1959 original recording of Truman Capote reading his holiday story A Christmas Memory—and sounding eerily similar to David Sedaris. (18 minutes) HolidaysWriting

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  • Caitlin Shetterly reports on a true-life holiday fable from rural Maine, complete with a misunderstood recluse with a heart of gold, a deserving family in need, and a very special Christmas tree farm with secrets of its own. (16 minutes) FamilyHolidays

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