If you’re having trouble summoning the holiday spirit, pay a visit to Jeff Gould’s radio studio. You might as well be entering the North Pole.
The longtime host of “A Prairie Christmas” greets you wearing a pine-green shirt and tweed jacket, his gloves, galoshes and cap settled nearby as sleigh-bell music fills the space.
Soon the 55-year-old Gould is seated behind his microphone, sharing reflections of faith and nostalgia that make his KELO-FM radio show required listening for those who still find hope in the holidays.
“I’ve been doing the show for 11 years,” says the 55-year-old Maple Grove, Minn., native. “But you’d be amazed by how many people come up to me and say they’ve been listening forever.”
Whether relating the history of Christmas stockings or the tale of a blind man who helped him see, Gould’s soothing voice and deft storytelling help stir personal memories for his audience.
“Radio is an intimate medium, and you’re allowed to be vulnerable,” says Gould, a seasonal host who works at George Boom and Miller funeral homes. “People are often listening by themselves and can let their guard down. I’ve had women blame me for missing appointments because their mascara was running or they couldn’t leave the car until the story ended.”
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