The Forum Theatre Company

This story originally aired during Morning Edition on 12/14/14.

"Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

"Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.” -  Charles Dickens

Kate Ter Haar, flickr Creative Commons

Starting tomorrow the City of Wichita, Starkey Inc. and Cambridge Market are once again teaming up to spread holiday cheer through the Letters to Santa project. This year there are new incentives for classrooms to participate.

Children from Wichita and the surrounding areas are invited to drop off their letters to Santa at six locations, including CityArts, Cowtown, Century II and Mid-America All-Indian Center.

Wikimedia Commons

During the Christmas season, we are surrounded by images of Santa Claus-- yes, that jolly, rotund man with his famous white beard on a mission to deliver presents to children around the world. We see Santa surrounded by elves and reindeer at the North Pole, but where did this image of Santa Claus come from?

For too long we have suffered under the delusion that the “spirit of the season” is sweetness and love. Truth is, nowadays it’s bitterness and hate! So here’s a seasonal song to fit our times:

Deck the next guy who says “Happy holidays!”

Hum-hum-hum-hum hum-hum-humbug!

Tis the season to argue ‘bout Santa’s race!

Hum-hum-hum-hum hum-hum-humbug!

Shop while you gripe that it’s too commercial!

Hum-hum-hum hum-hum-hum hum-hum-humbug!

Everything’s now controversial!

Hum-hum-hum-hum hum-hum-humbug!

maureen lunn / Flickr / Creative Commons

Traditionally, Christians marked December as the season of Advent, paralleling the role of Lent before Easter. Christmas celebrations were to begin at Christmas. That practice has been under siege for generations, with Christmas, it seems, now threatening to engulf Thanksgiving.

laurieofindy / Flickr / Creative Commons

During the past few years, the holiday shopping season has undergone a dramatic transformation.

Barreling relentlessly onward like some refrigerator-sized linebacker, whether we’re ready for it or not, determined to sack us many yards behind the line of scrimmage, comes Christmas.

Into It: Dark Christmas

Dec 18, 2012

Christmas celebrations are not all light and warm as we travel around the world.

Christmas in America is warm and fuzzy, stuffed with Santa, reindeer and helpful elves. We get little exposure to the more sinister, old-world European characters, a host of demonic bogeymen that have been adopted into the Christian tradition over time.

Carla Eckels

Thousands of families in Wichita will have a brighter Christmas this year due to donations to the Salvation Army.

At the former Big Dog Motorcycle building Monday volunteers helped sort through toys to be distributed later this week.

Two hundred sixty two students, faculty and staff from Friends University helped the Salvation Army prepare to distribute gifts to children donated through the Angel Tree program. Major Douglas Rowland says each year, the volunteers decorate the building, plus organize and assemble some of the toys.

 Vigil held for Topeka officers shot in drug deal bust; Salvation Army makes Christmas wishes come true; Brownback names his team for weight-loss challenge.

Hundreds Attend Vigil For Slain Topeka Officers

Hundreds of people Monday gathered for a candlelight vigil for the two Topeka police officers who were killed while on duty.