Every year I can't get into the Christmas mood until after Thanksgiving; anything earlier just seems too early for me. As a result, I tend to miss a lot of the best holiday events, which for some reason these days always seem to be scheduled in November.
So this year I made up my mind to get in the Christmas mood earlier. With that objective in mind, I checked out the two-CD set Tinsel Tales: Favorite Christmas Stories from NPR. It was kind of a nice listen, but it turns out that the end of October is really still just too early for me to get into the Christmas mindset. There's pieces here about shopping, about how people in Chicago spend their Christmas Eves and nights out and about (Ira Glass tells that one, and includes anecdotes about people of the Jewish faith taking the opportunity of the holiday to go out for Chinese food and bowling), Christmas trees, etc. My favorite piece was by humorist Annabelle Gurwitch, who complains a bit about people who send out cards with a little piece of paper informing you that the sender has donated money to a charity in your name as your gift. She thought for Christmas that year she'd send out cards that said, "In lieu of buying you a gift I paid my recently raised health insurance premium." Tee hee.
So it was a nice little set if you're looking for something Christmasy. If you're looking for something funnier, I might suggest getting a recording of some of the Prairie Home Companion Christmas stories, which I listened to a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed. Either way I wouldn't listen to either of them until a little later in the season.