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The diversity of winter holidays other than Christmas

The holiday season means different things to different people. While some are busy shopping and baking for Christmas, there are many other celebrations happening at this time of year.

Throughout the month of December, several religions and cultures observe various winter holidays. And Another Thing explores these celebrations and learns about the diverse traditions they include.

Hosts Dara Kennedy and Maya Shwayder speak with Rabbi James Greene of Madison, Connecticut, about the significance and rituals of Hanukkah. They also explore the history of Kwanzaa with Professor Todne Thomas of Harvard Divinity School, and Three Kings Day with Nilda Morales-Rivera of the Catholic Church Institute for the Hispanic Family.

The program concludes with Winifred Costello, a witch from Easthampton, Massachusetts. Costello shares her winter holiday traditions as an “earth witch” who celebrates nature and honors the cycles of the earth during the winter festival of Yule.

Holiday celebrations around the region: 


  • Rabbi James Greene, executive director at Camp Laurelwood
  • Todne Thomas, associate professor of African American religious studies at Harvard Divinity School
  • Nilda Morales-Rivera, director of the El Centro Family Center and the Center for Hispanic Seniors at the Institute for the Hispanic Family of Catholic Charities 
  • Winifred Costello, healer, Reiki master teacher, tarot reader, mentor and witch
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