By Emma Mac

December is here! And it sure feels like it in the studio too. The heat wasn’t working last night so I had to bundle up and dance around. And it’s not easy to dance to Yellow Ledbetter, let me tell you.


Back to December. I love working at this station every month out of the year, but I think December really takes the cake. There are so many cool traditions we have around Christmas and the Holidays at XRT, and I bask in them like a golden retriever in a snow mound.


For starters, ONXRT: Live from the Archives Volume 18 comes out today! Pick it up at any Target Store in the Chicago Area or at while it lasts. These compilations are truly unique and they make an annual Christmas gift for XRT Listeners all over Chicago. The best part is that proceeds benefit Horizons for Youth and the Scholarship Mentoring Community and Welcoming Center of the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. Find more info here.


XRT also hosts a slew of Holiday Concerts for the Kids throughout November and December. Contrary to popular belief, these are not concerts with music for children. They are toy drives at normal human concerts, where XRT DJs and Staff collect toys and books for children stuck in the hospital over the Holidays.

The toys and books will go to the children at Rush University Medical Center, Comer Children’s Hospital, Central DuPage Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Loyola University Medical Center, and La Rabida Children’s Hospital.

So if you’re going to any of these shows, bring a toy or book with you!

Saturday 12/3 – Whitney at Thalia Hall
Sunday 12/11 through Wednesday 12/14 – Los Lobos at City Winery
Friday 12/16 – Twin Peaks at Thalia Hall
Sunday 12/18 – Shemekia Copeland at City Winery
Wednesday 12/21 through Friday 12/23 – Michael McDermott at City Winery
Wednesday 12/28 – Lucinda Williams at Space
Thursday 12/29 – Bodeans at Joe’s Live in Rosemont

Let’s hear it for doing good things for people!


Yet another tradition is the XRT Big Holiday Concert at the Chicago Theatre. This is a more recent tradition, for only about the past 7 years, but we’ve had some great bands featured like The Alabama Shakes and Florence and the Machine. This year it’s Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats with Mavis Staples on December 7th. The show sold out but you can enter for last minute tickets here.

Good luck!


And finally, stay tuned for more info on XRT’s Holiday Nights! It’s the fun, not cheesy Christmas songs by XRT Artists that we all appreciate. Save the cheese for the cheddar cubes at your Aunt Martha’s Christmas Eve. That’s where cheese belongs.

“What Are You Doing New Years Eve” – The Head and The Heart

Now let’s enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season!

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