We asked and you called: your memorable Christmas stories. Happy, heartfelt, hilarious. Of the season. We’ll all listen.
Christmas is so big in this country it touches everyone. If you're Christian, it's right there, with carols and a savior's birth. If you're Buddhist or Muslim or Jewish of Bahai or none-of-the-above, it's still there. With the Salvation Army bell-ringers and the music and trimmings and crackle everywhere. Today, on Christmas Eve, we're sharing stories. Christmas stories of wonder and joy and occasional chaos. From Christians. From non-Christians. Of the sacred and the very worldly. This hour On Point, on Christmas Eve, your Christmas stories.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Peter Mattaliano, acting coach and screenwriter. His discovery of century-old letters to Santa was the subject of a front-page New York Times profile.
From Tom’s Reading List
New York Times: A Chimney’s Poignant Surprise: Letters Santa Missed, Long Ago — "Last week, Peter Mattaliano, 66, an acting coach and screenwriter, put up Christmas decorations in his Hell’s Kitchen apartment and laid out presents for the children: Mary and Alfred. These are not Mr. Mattaliano’s children, and they are no longer living. But a century ago they lived in what is now Mr. Mattaliano’s home."
New Yorker: A Christmas Fit for Gentiles -- "Everything about Christmas seemed a trifle overdone, certainly more lavish than anything we were used to at home, in Holland—the mistletoe, the ubiquitous holly, the candles, and especially, in the large drawing room looking out onto the garden, the Christmas tree, whose opulence, like so much else, might be slightly magnified by memory, but not much."
The Guardian: Harper Lee: my Christmas in New York -- "Our Christmases together were simple. We limited our gifts to pennies and wits and all-out competition. Who would come up with the most outrageous for the least? The real Christmas was for the children, an idea I found totally compatible, for I had long ago ceased to speculate on the meaning of Christmas as anything other than a day for children. Christmas to me was only a memory of old loves and empty rooms, something I buried with the past that underwent a vague, aching resurrection every year."
This program aired on December 24, 2015.