A special encore Christmas presentation from Selected Shorts

About the Program

We want Christmas to be merry and bright, but sometimes the season can be challenging. Our two stories, presented by guest host Cynthia Nixon, do deliver good cheer in the end (and Nixon shares a few of her own holiday traditions).

In Laurie Notaro’s “O Holy Night, or The Year I Ruined Christmas” there’s a hideous Christmas tree, and a demanding parent with a long memory. The hilarious tale is read by Kirsten Vangsness.

In Jeanette Winterson’s luminous “Spirit of Christmas” a married couple set off for their holiday with frayed tempers and too much stuff. They wind up with nothing but a miracle. Christina Pickles is the reader.

This program originally aired in 2019

SELECTED SHORTS is one of public media’s longest-running cultural shows, offering short fiction in performance by distinguished actors from stage, screen, television and audio


One hour

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ContentDepot File Transfer

Preview audio available: November 17, 2020
Promo spot available: November 24, 2020
Program rundown available: November 30, 2020
Date content will be uploaded:November 30, 2020


Broadcast Window

December 1, 2020 - January 4, 2021 with multiple airings permitted

Broadcast Rights

Affiliate stations may carry this program multiple times before January 5, 2021. The program must be carried in its entirety. No excerpting is permitted. Prior to carrying this program, stations must contact their American Public Media Station Relations Representative or Marge Ostroushko.

Cynthia Nixon
Photo by Maarten DeBoer

Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon made her film debut in Little Darlings at 12 years old and her Broadway debut at 14 in The Philadelphia Story. Since then she’s appeared in more than 40 plays, scores of films and television shows, and received 2 Emmys, 2 Tonys, and a Grammy Award. She is best known for her role as Miranda on HBO’s Sex and the City. In 2017, Nixon alternated the roles of Regina and Birdie with Laura Linney in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes on Broadway, winning her 2nd Tony Award. She also appeared on numerous "best actress of 2018" lists for her portrayal of American poet Emily Dickinson in Terrence Davies' much-lauded film A Quiet Passion. Also in 2018 she ran for Governor of New York state. She will be seen next in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series Ratched opposite Sarah Paulson and Julian Fellowes’ The Gilded Age. Nixon spends a good portion of her off-time fighting for funding for New York public schools, abortion rights, and LGBT equality. She and her wife, Christine, have 3 children: Sam, Charlie, and Max.

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