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December 20, 1996

Christmas and Commerce

Stories about the intersection of Christmas and retail, originally broadcast in 1996 when our show was only one 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.  (4 minutes)

Act Two

Santaland Diaries

Writer David Sedaris's true account of two Christmas seasons he spent working as an elf at Macy's department store in New York.  When a shorter version of this story first aired on NPR's Morning Edition, it generated more tape requests than any story in the show's history to that point. David's most recent book is "Calypso."  (30 minutes)

Act Four

Act Four

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