Sundown Monday marked the beginning of Passover, the festival that celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from the Egyptian Pharaohs 3300 years ago, give or take. The story of Exodus tells of the 10th and final plague—the death of the first-born, cast down upon the Egyptians for failing to heed God’s command to free the Children of Israel. To avoid the scourge, the Israelites were instructed by Moses to mark their doors with the blood of a slaughtered lamb as code: "Pass over" this home.
A 73-year-old white supremacist killed three people over the weekend in a targeted attack on Jewish community centers in Kansas City. The [...]
Zooey Deschanel, when she was blonde and kind of snarly! Will Ferrell in barely controlled hyper-idiotic hilarity. Bob Newhart! Christmas in New York City. An inexplicable subplot involving an independent publishing house specializing in children's board books. This movie has everything good about the holidays. A little entertainment enhancement goes a long way, too.
I don't care what day Columbus Day is supposed to be. It might actually fall today, but it might also be one of those "Monday holidays," which means it might really not exactly-technically be today, but it's on a Monday, so We The People can get a day off, and today is the Day-Off part! I didn't get the day off, but I totally support the idea of somebody getting a day off, you know? Maybe someday I will get to enjoy a day of Not Working on one of these lame "Monday Holiday" days! Happy Monday Holiday (Observed)!
I know a lot of people get angry at Columbus Day [...]
"Cat people are happy, sensitive, gentle, gifted, reserved, ambitious, nice to be with, affectionate, and charming." —Minnesota librarian Phuoc Thi-Minh Tran, who is organizing a Vietnamese New Year celebration this week, on the characteristics associated with people born in years, like 2011, designated as "cat years" in the 12-year-cycle of the Vietnamese calendar. So, people born in 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999. (The Vietnamese year of the cat corresponds to the Chinese year of the rabbit.) It makes you wonder whether Tran has ever even seen Cat People.
So it's the Holidays again, which means everyone's going to come at you bitchin' about family. Let me throw my hat in the ring as a member of that (sizable) contingent. My mother and her husband live near where I grew up, about a seven-hour drive from where I live now. My father and his wife live out of state; I only see them twice a year or so. My two younger sisters both moved far out of state (to the same town no less) with their children within the past year and a half. The reason for this background—I'm the "only one left" close to visit my [...]
Ever since Superstorm Sandy invented global warming six weeks ago, many of us have become more concerned about the environment and the future of our planet. Should we do "Christmas as usual" this year, or should Hanukkah be changed to address the terrifying reality of rapid climate change and rising seas? Will this be a Winter Solstice of ecological discontent, or a Kwazy Kwanzaa of renewed purpose in the face of crisis and challenge? How can you buy things for your sustainability-loving friends and relations without actually accelerating the cycle of planetary doom?
We have that all figured out for you! From inexpensive sun-powered autonomous insect simulacra to $100 donations [...]
My longstanding dream has been to open a series of Crying Spaces, where people can come during the day to sit in a small room and weep privately. I think that these would do especially well in urban areas like New York, where the population density and cost of living usually forces you to share space with other people. Rather than wait until your roommate or significant other is out of the apartment, rather than hope that none of your coworkers will hear you stifling sobs in the stall, you could come to the Crying Space and just let it all out secure in the knowledge that the only [...]
Christmas songs are designed to be catchy, annoying and vaguely reminiscent of winter. The most successful are horrible holiday earworms, such as "Wonderful Christmastime" and "Heat Miser/Snow Miser." But one song is so overplayed and over-covered and so mediocre to begin with that it makes the rest sound like "White Christmas." Its recent exclusion from the A/V Club’s recent list of worst Christmas songs is a gross injustice to the holidays and to musicdom in general.
"Last Christmas," written by George Michael and first performed by Wham! in 1984, is a wallowing mess of a song. It mistakes self-indulgence for closure. It contains a synthy falseness [...]
While you are already perhaps saving the date of December 10 in New York City (6 to 10 p.m., at the Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard Street) for a reader-sponsored Hawliday Bawl, perhaps you live in the greater Boston area! If so, our apologies, but here: Boston-area Awl readers are throwing a party for Boston-area Awl readers.
What do you get the person that doesn't need anything? Something they don't need, of course! Here's our annual holiday round-up of just terrific things for the rich person in your life. Where to even start!
Well what about… baby cashmere… for babies! It seems so obvious. There's so many choices!
The best possible choice in kidwear is this "Porte Enfant Cuddly," made from cashmere from the undercoat of baby goats and lined with rabbit fur. Just $5,125 at Loro Piana.
Or why not get these baby cashmere mittens for newborns? $275 at Loro Piana.
You and three friends could spend the day with Derek [...]
"Tofurkey is offensive, linguistically and culturally. If you want to eat turkey, eat turkey. Tofu doesn't look or taste or smell like turkey at all. If you make tofu, own it and treat it like tofu and call it tofu." —Dr. James Hamblin, the Atlantic's health editor, answers all your Thanksgiving health questions about turkey skin, calories and taking a bowl of gravy and a pack of cigarettes to your childhood bedroom.