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Counting on a White Christmas

By Ann Curry, NBC News Anchor  

Ann Curry in tonight for Brian Williams on this Christmas week.

As our Nightly News executive producer Bob Epstein begins our 2:30 meeting, the nation's stunning cold snap seems to be the day's lead story.

It's dangerous and widespread, already a killer, and also delaying flights, closing freeways, causing accidents...even a snowplow flipped over.

Yes, it's now officially winter, but that doesn't explain how it is that Seattle has five times the snow it usually has on average this time of the year.

We are addressing the why's and where's and, on the upside, who can count on a White Christmas.

Also on the burner: What contacts the President-elect Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, had with the embattled governor of Illinois; the Denver plane mishap's survivors and investigation; and surprising ways the recession is changing everything this holiday, except perhaps what's in our hearts. And on that point, the generous heart of America is revealed in a sweet Making a Difference story tonight. 

Some inside baseball: Brian's old friend and colleague Aurelia Grayson joins us for the first time tonight as Senior Broadcast Producer. They last worked together at WCBS in the late '80s, and, like him, she enjoys fast food--a newsman's daily bread. (By the way, Brian, do not even think about reaching for her favorite: pepperoni pizza.)