First: The Santa Poll
This argument against expensive gifts from Santa and this tweet from Rabbi Ruti Regan (and the thread and replies that followed) have me thinking about Santa Claus and “Christmas magic.” It is simply assumed in our family that our kid will be a Santa believer. I feel both nostalgic and unsettled about this, and grateful that she’s still too little to understand or ask questions.
So I put together a short survey. Did you believe in Santa as a kid? Do the kids in your life believe now — and do you help facilitate that? The nine questions are all optional and are mostly open-ended and everyone is welcome to fill it out, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I’ll report back.
And Last: Links!
An extra long list this week for the travelers, and/or the hermits, and/or the people holding down the fort at work. I hope that wherever you are, you’re breathing deeply, staying healthy, and holding a steaming mug of something good.
Full disclosure: I’ve only listened to the first two here so far; the rest are sitting in my own queue.
Another week, another Samin Nosrat fangirl opportunity (Julia Turshen’s podcast, Keep Calm and Cook On)
This interview with Siwatu-Salama Ra and Rhonda Anderson is sobering, intense, and important.
Episode 3 of the Bughouse Square podcast (Premise of this series: Eve Ewing mashes up archival footage of Studs Terkel interviews with present-day thinkers and it’s just…a dream project)
But That’s What Happened (This American Life)
Several recent Death Sex and Money episodes
Several Terrible, Thanks for Asking episodes (I’ve never listened - do you? Should I?)
The Gendered Chef (Stuff Mom Never Told You)
Karaoke with Michelle Obama (the very last episode of Two Dope Queens!)
Things to read or watch
Following up on last week’s ask: Cyntoia Brown is getting a clemency hearing (HuffPost)
Nobody Should Be Talking About Beto and Gillum in 2020 Until We Understand Stacey Abrams in 2018 (The Root): “Gillum and O’Rourke are fantastic candidates and future leaders, but the cold, hard truth is they both lost their races, while the Georgia race was stolen. The press may lie, campaign spokespeople lie, but numbers don’t.”
Related: Stacey Abrams at TEDWomen
I love Mona Chalabi’s Instagram and illustrations — she truly makes learning fun — so I enjoyed this interview on 99u. Anyone who’s bold enough to say “I moved to America to work for a website called FiveThirtyEight. I only started to draw again because I hated that job so much that I would keep my sanity by doodling” ricochets onto my Friend Crush list immediately.
Chicago’s shining star Eve Ewing talks to Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
“I’m Broke and Mostly Friendless, and I’ve Wasted My Whole Life” (Ask Polly/The Cut)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Acts Out (New Yorker)
Hannah Gadsby Meets Roxane Gay (!) (The Guardian)
The ‘feel-good’ horror of late-stage capitalism (ThinkProgress)
Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong (HuffPost - I finally read this piece from September 😬)
P.S. I may take next week off.
This is email #17 of 35, and I may take a break next week. Then again, I might not, because sending 18 in ‘18 sounds good (and maybe the results of the Santa poll will just be too good not to share).
But just in case: THANK YOU! Thank you for subscribing, sharing this newsletter on social media and/or forwarding it to friends, and replying to me directly with your thoughts. I’m glad to have the second half of this project in the mix as I look ahead to 2019.
Images: All gifs this week are via a quick Giphy search for “snowflakes” or “Grinch”