Looking at the holidays, which are approaching fast and furious and are finding me wholly unprepared. These are aimed to get me in the right spirit.
One. I get all excited when a card lands in my mailbox, especially if handmade or personalized. And I love writing cards and looking for the most appropriate ones when the situation demands it. Sapling Press is the kind of company that puts out quirky cards that, were I in the business of sending out Christmas cards (which I never do), I would adopt in an instant. Besides the holidays, they have all kinds – for when words fail you and Hallmark sap is not an option.
Two. Modern Love is one of the Sunday New York Times’ most popular columns, proof that we are all suckers for a good love story, or just want to know more about the intricacies of love. This is a fabulous story, one I won’t spoil with my commentary. Curl up with a drink or a cookie and give yourself to love for less than ten minutes
Three. The Pirelli calendar will not be hanging in my laundry room any time soon, as I am not on the selected list of VIPs who will be receiving it, but kudos to Pirelli or, better, to Annie Liebowitz, for changing the conversation from naked pinups to strong women of all ages. This year’s calendar features women who have made a difference. Among them: Agnes Gund, 77, a philanthropist and president emeritus of MOMA; Fran Lebowitz, 65, author; Mellody Hobson, 46, president of Ariel Investment and then Yoko Ono, director Ava DuVarnay, Serena Williams, Amy Schumer, Patti Smith. And nearly all of them are fully clothed.
Four. Walk a mile in my shoes. No, really. The Empathy Museum wants you to do just that. The project, based on Roman Krznaric’s book “Empathy”, was launched last September in London, as part of the Totally Thames Festival. Visitors were asked to pick a pair of shoes, from battered work boots to a transgender’s stilettos, and walk in them while listening to the audio story of the shoes’ owners. While all humans are able to feel empathy, most of us don’t flex that muscle often enough and the project is aimed at giving us other people’s perspective. The project will travel to different cities around the world but, for everyone else, there is a virtual museum to explore.
Five. sofagirl is one of those people who has all kinds of factoids at her fingertips that she pulls out of her hat during dinner conversation. I believe it has something to do with her magazine obsession. Me, not so much. Which is why when I stumbled upon Highbrow, I signed up. The website, completely free, aims at giving users snippets of education on topics they know nothing about. Sign up, pick up one of the 60 courses, and, each day, for about 10 days, you will receive an email (which takes no longer than 3 minutes to read) containing interesting facts ranging from Roman history to Surrealism, from Superfoods to Economics.