Holidays | St. Louis Public Radio


Paper wrapping paper is recyclable in St. Louis, but ribbons and bows are not.
Frankieleon | Flickr

For recycling facilities, the holidays can be a real headache.

Americans produce about 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, but only some of it is recyclable. In cities with “single-stream” recycling, like St. Louis, common holiday items can become entangled in machinery and cause major problems at recycling plants. 

So which holiday items can go into the blue recycling bins? 

Wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags 


Though singer, actor and writer Storm Large now boasts a large cult following, her beginnings were far humbler. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, she described the process of discovering her voice and breaking out of a cycle of insecurity and loneliness.

“I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere,” Large told host Don Marsh. “I wasn’t normal. I wasn’t pretty. I didn’t fit in … All of a sudden, there was this thing that I can do that makes people happy.”

Today, Large tours the country sharing her voice with a diverse range of audiences.

Lights at the Climatron
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Every day through January 1, St. Louis Public Radio will offer listeners special holiday programming and music. There are several ways to listen – on your radio, smartphone, computer or smart speaker.

To listen on a smart speaker, just ask it to "Play St. Louis Public Radio."

View our full program schedule

Coffee Wright founded the St. Louis Inner City Cultural Center Enterprise 20 years ago. This year, the organization is partnering with the Missouri History Museum for a Friday night Juneteenth event. This photo is from her group's second annual Juneteenth
Derrick Phillips

St. Louis is known for its elaborate Fourth of July events, with fireworks bursting in dozens of municipalities and most famously, over the Arch.

But many St. Louisans want that kind of attention also focused on a significant day for African-Americans and the nation: Juneteenth. It commemorates a June 19, 1865, Texas order that freed all enslaved Americans, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Several local events mark the occasion. Many take place this weekend, including one organized by Tracy Johnson of south St. Louis, who said he can’t overemphasize the day’s importance.

“Besides an African-American’s birthday, that should be the next day they celebrate,” Johnson said.

UPS estimates it will handle about 750 million deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. That's up five percent from 2016.

They watch homes in your neighborhood, looking for packages left on stoops and doorsteps. Before you know it, porch pirates swoop in and swipe your holiday deliveries.

Paul's Market

It can seem daunting to find the ultimate gift that captures St. Louis’ charm and convinces your family to explore the region.

Whether you’re showing loved ones around the city or just bringing the Midwest back home, here are five ways to bring the food, pastimes and St. Louis pride to Christmas with you.

Dionne Ferguson, Ni-Ammun Onyemachi, and Njoki Redding joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss Kwanzaa.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s celebration of Kwanzaa marks 50  years after the first celebration was observed, from Dec. 26, 1966 to Jan. 1, 1967.

The first specifically African-American/Pan-African holiday of its kind, Maulana Karenga established the holiday to help African-Americans and people of African descent across the world celebrate, connect and learn about African cultural heritage.

Forest Folks | Flickr, Creative Commons |

As you dash about checking off the last of Christmas lists, begin to set the trimmings of a holiday feast, or simply relax with a day off of work, spend some time with the annual “St. Louis on the Air” Christmas special, which will air at noon on Christmas Eve.

We’re celebrating the holiday with renditions of favorite holiday music, stories and poems. Here’s what you’ll hear:

Courtesy National Lutheran Choir

The 63-member National Lutheran Choir, based in Minneapolis, is making its sixth stop in St. Louis to perform its annual Christmas festival, this time themed “The Spotless Rose.” The performance will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood on Saturday.

“We look for a space that fits the kind of program that we do,” said David Cherwein, artistic director of the choir. “That was more of the effort than ecumenical issues…which I would love to brag about, but I can’t. We’re really all partners in the whole thing.”

Ryan Melaugh | Flickr, Creative Commons |

The bustle of office parties, gift-giving and family get-togethers are usually part of the build-up to a joyful holiday season but, for some, the season sometimes brings with it a feeling of sadness. In fact, the holiday blues are not all that uncommon at all.

Tim Bono, assistant dean and lecturer in psychology at Washington University, joined “St. Louis on the Air” on Wednesday to discuss these feelings of depression during the holidays—as well as what to do if you know someone who seems a bit more down during this time of year. 

Curious Louis Holiday Movies illustration
Susannah Lohr

For Amber Hinsley of St. Charles, nothing says “Christmas” like huddling in the dark with dozens of strangers. In a movie theater, of course.


While digging through the consumer fraud warnings piling up in our inbox, we’ve concluded that scams are like slick sidewalks in the wintertime: At first glance, they seem so safe.

* The Most Shameful: Re-Scamming The Scammed

slso image for a gospel messiah
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Only 11 more shlepping days ‘til Christmas. But if you need to take a break from the season’s ritualistic mass consumption, upcoming local holiday arts offerings range from ho ho ho to Handel.

“Too Hot to Handel: A Gospel Messiah,” presented by the St. Louis Symphony: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, Powell Hall, 718 North Grand Blvd., 63103. $30-$65.

Shula Neuman/St. Louis Public Radio

The annual holiday shopping season is here, and public advocacy groups are warning consumers to be on the lookout for hazardous toys.

The holidays are finally wrapping up. So after you repack the twinkly lights, and the tinsel goes into the trash, what should you do with that once beautiful spruce standing in your living room? Why not drink it?

Well, not exactly as is. The needles, shoots, light-green tips and inner bark of the popular conifer have been used for centuries to brew forest-scented tea, soft drinks and beer. And it seems that fresh evergreen flavor may be making a comeback.

(St. Louis Zoo)

Just like many other news outlets in the world today, we just couldn't let this notable calendar event (12/12/12) go by without at least one reference to the number of the day.

So, in honor of the date, the season, and our interest in your opinions, we present this list of 12 awesome things about this time of year in the St. Louis region. All of the items on the list were submitted to us via Facebook and Twitter.

Tips And Reminders For Thanksgiving Air Travelers

Nov 15, 2012
(via Tina Eaton)

Officials at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration are preparing for a boost in travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Between Friday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 25, the airport is expected to see a 10 to 15 percent increase in passengers.

(via Flickr/Viernest)

Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Illinois State Police are urging motorists to keep their eyes on the road this holiday week.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis City is reminding residents of changes to the trash/recycling collection schedule due to the holidays. The schedule is below:

Week of December 26, 2011

(via Flickr/dbking)

Skype announced today that they will be providing free WiFi in over 50 airports starting Wednesday, including  Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Here's a map of all of the locations where the free WiFi will be available.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 18, 2011 - Apart from the good food, time with family and watching children tear through wrapping paper, the holidays are also a season of volunteerism and charity. From the ringing of Salvation Army bells to delivering food for Meals on Wheels, many people take extra time during the season to do good in their communities.

Morning headlines: Friday, November 25, 2011

Nov 25, 2011
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mo. Gov. says he's committed to rebuilding levees

Governor Jay Nixon says he remains committed to seeing levees along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers rebuilt.  He told reporters during a press event at a Callaway County farm along the Missouri that farmlands damaged by both high water releases and levee demolition must be restored:

Sound Bites: Holiday fun without the fuss

Nov 21, 2011

As the holiday season begins, and tables fill with beloved people and food, it can sometimes be difficult for hosts and hostesses to keep the emphasis on fun and away from stress.  But with a little strategy and a few thoughtful tips, we hope your festivities can include extra deliciousness and minimal mad dashing.  This month on Sound Bites, our collaboration with Sauce Magazine, the Sauce ladies share some of their ideas for a fuss free holiday.

Of course, you should never drink and drive or be in a moving car without wearing a seatbelt, but Illinois motorists will want to be especially mindful this holiday season.

Illinois State Police and local law enforcement are stepping up enforcement on impaired drivers and unbelted motorists this holiday season in what they're calling  the "You Drink and Drive, You Lose/Click It or Ticket Holiday Crackdown."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 25, 2009 - Last year, Schupp Co. had a record-setting year. But the St. Louis-based advertising and marketing firm knew the economy wasn't in the best state, so it decided to cut costs, says Mark Schupp, president. The company, which employs about 34 people, stopped building additional office space, postponed infrastructure improvements and put a freeze on raises. They also considered cutting the holiday office party.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 23, 2008 - If all the jingle jangle has you feeling a bit strangled with Christmas cheer, don't book that last minute ticket to an escape just yet. There's plenty to do on Christmas Eve, and a few things to do on Christmas Day, that will get you out of the house and away from the season.

Commentary: What's so bad about 'Happy Holidays'?

Dec 22, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 22, 2008 - The holiday season always reminds me how territorial we can be. The "war on Christmas" argument has come back, and we are made to feel "damned if we do, damned if we don't."

There's nothing inherently wrong with saying "Merry Christmas," but there's also nothing wrong with being sensitive enough to consider whether or not the phrase fits the recipient.