December 20, 1996

Christmas and Commerce

Stories about the intersection of Christmas and retail, originally broadcast in 1996 when our show was only a year old. Including David Sedaris's story "Santaland Diaries," which first aired on NPR's Morning Edition in a much shorter version.

Chris Ware

Act One

Toys R Us

Host Ira Glass goes to one of the epicenters of modern Christmas — the world's biggest toy store — minutes before closing on Christmas Eve.  (5 1/2 minutes)

Act Three

Christmas Freud

David Rakoff tells about his experience playing Sigmund Freud in the window of upscale Barney's department store in Manhattan. For Christmas. This was the first of dozens of appearances on our show by David Rakoff, who died in 2012. His last book was Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel. In 2012 we aired a tribute episode titled Our Friend David. (15 minutes)


“Christmas Freud” by The Formerly Known As Family
Act Four

Act Four

Tapes recorded in a Chicago home Christmas morning, more than 50 years ago. (3 minutes)