Christmas

Generations have grown up with the tales spun by Charles Dickens, and that’s particularly true around the holidays. Characters like Ebenezer Scrooge and young Tiny Tim have become cultural icons, and a reminder to take stock of our lives, celebrate each day, and care for those around us.

Traditions of Christmas

During the holidays, you can enjoy choirs, plays and theater from local and national groups – both big and small. Now Nampa has become home to a full-blown Radio City Music Hall-like production, featuring local singers, dancers, and performers. It began with a leap of faith.

Called the Traditions of Christmas, this show is a huge undertaking, with around 65 local cast members, 400 costumes, kick-line dancing, comedic skits and a nativity scene with live animals.

Idaho Department of Education

This adorable penguin was drawn by Sawtooth Elementary fifth-grader Kylee Thiel. It was submitted from Twin Falls along with other pictures from around the state in the Idaho State Department of Education's Holiday Card Contest.

Idaho Schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said Thiel's artwork was the winner. It will be featured on the Department's holiday greeting card. Thiel will also get a certificate and copies of the card to share with family and friends.

St. Luke's

When you think of Giant Sequoia trees, you may think California before you think Boise. But Idaho’s largest Giant Sequoia, with its complicated history, is about to be moved from behind St. Luke’s Hospital downtown.

The 98-foot-tall tree is more than 20 feet around. The tree began life as a tiny cutting given to Dr. Fred Pittenger and planted next to his house around 1912.

It grew, and grew, as St. Luke’s and the city grew too. But it almost perished in the 1980s, smothered by the holiday spirit of the community.

National Weather Service

Update, 9:15 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for much of southern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. The advisory will take effect late Wednesday afternoon as a cold front blows through.

Ballet Idaho

Ballet Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic are bringing live music back to the Christmastime favorite “The Nutcracker.

Ballet Idaho’s Artistic Director Peter Anastos is also the choreographer of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." He says the two organizations have worked together in the past, but a financial crunch last year meant Ballet Idaho had to use a CD for the performance.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees is one of the Treasure Valley’s most enduring holiday traditions. This is the 31st year of this celebration of all things Christmas. It’s open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday.

St. Al’s spokesman Josh Schlaich says 20,000 to 30,000 thousand people visit each year.

“It really is a generational thing,” Schlaich says. “We see grandparents, that have been coming for years, come with their grandchildren. We see great grandchildren. ”

bread, food, foodbank
Emily Carlin / Flickr Creative Commons

Local musicians and their lyrical Christmas creations brought more than good cheer to Idaho last year.
In December, we told you about a special musical collection aimed at raising money for The Idaho Foodbank. Now, we know  just how much the album raised.

The fourth IdaHo Ho Ho Christmas CD raised enough cash to pay for 23,465 meals for those in need.

For the fourth-straight year Idaho musicians and local coffee chain Moxie Java have teamed up to release a holiday album to raise cash for The Idaho Foodbank.

The aptly-named IdaHo Ho Ho CD features local artists including Curtis Stigers, Ned Evett, and Belinda Bowler.

IntelCenter

Supporters of a captured soldier from Idaho are urging people to add one more name to their holiday mailing list. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been a prisoner of the Taliban since 2009.

Now, organizers in his hometown of Hailey, Idaho are trying to get Christmas cards to him.

It's been four-and-a-half years since Bowe Bergdahl was captured near his base in southeast Afghanistan. The now 27-year-old is still believed alive, but so far there's end in sight for his captivity.

At a small Presbyterian church in Richland, Washington, one pastor has been trying to spread a little solace with an unusual exhibit.