Much to the dismay of my children, holiday-music-haters that they are, I have become fixated on the holidays this week. Partly because – for the first time in years – we have no real plans for any of them (will we be home for Christmas? Who knows?) and partly, I think, as a protective mechanism against the news.
Once again, I will never pretend to have a solution for what is happening in Gaza right now, but I find it deeply troubling that aid organizations I have trusted for years – all of them!! – are calling for a ceasefire in the region, and yet the United States just voted against it. I cannot believe that our only path to peace and stability in the region requires the death of so many innocent civilians. That goes against everything I believe in. Instead, what is happening now feels like a failure of leadership on an absolutely devastating, epic level.
So I’m calling my congressman – again (over and over – their mailbox is full) – to ask them to support the Ceasefire Now resolution. Here’s an easy form to connect you to the right representative*. If you’re looking for a script to read, including what, exactly to ask for, Oxfam has a good list that includes the delivery of lifesaving assistance, freeing all civilian hostages, and allowing humanitarian convoys to reach UN facilities, schools, hospitals, and health facilities in northern Gaza, among others. I’ll be donating again to Together.Rising, who is working directly with MECA, the Middle East Children’s Alliance to help provide aid, and Doctors Without Borders (their donation page can be found here).
For those of you looking for a bit of a distraction, I do have a few links to peruse, below. I also understand if you don’t have it in you today, either. I’ve been all over the place this week. Sometimes diving whole-heartedly into work feels OK, and other times…I find myself completely useless. I keep re-reading this essay, Gate A4 by Naomi Shihab Nye, as a way of reminding myself that, as she says, “Not everything is lost.”
*Huge thanks to L – I didn’t realize the original link I had used was so problematic. Definitely wasn’t my intention.
Buy one, donate one. My favorite ski-and-snowboard gear company, women-owned Halfdays, is doing a special promo this weekend: for every ski jacket, pant or baselayer purchased this weekend, they’ll donate one to the Share Winter Foundation. My favorite Halfdays piece is the Carson Bib pants (comes in regular or short lengths, sizes from XS-2X) with – frankly – any of their ski jackets. I have a matching set in ‘Alpine Green’ and it’s stunning.
Holiday dreaming. Food52 seems to be having a sale this weekend, and I’m eyeing up this gorgeous advent calendar (fancy French chocolates) or this easy one (Sugarfina candies). The latter is probably easier to share, but those chocolates…hmmmm.
More holiday stuff. We locked ourselves in the office a couple of weeks ago, in order to pull together the best holiday gifts we could find. We’re starting to publish our gift guides now, if anyone happens to be interested. Fancy Gifts Worth The Splurge and 20 Unique Gifts To Have On Hand (think: last minute hostess gifts) just dropped.
The fanciest Sambas. Adidas just dropped new Sambas that are trimmed in…patent leather? Whoa. I like it.
Won’t last long. My favorite Vuori set ever is the Sedona half-zip pullover & Sedona wide-leg sweatpants. They sold out in a hot second last year, but after wearing them all winter, I’m thrilled to see that Vuori completely re-stocked them. I have the ‘salt’ (you can see them on in my ski trip packing guide), but the black would be really useful, too. New for this year are Sedona joggers if you don’t want wide-leg sweatpants (joggers do tuck nicely into snowboots). Anyway, this set – with either style of sweatpants – would make a great gift.
Per usual. One of my very favorite sweaters in this year’s cashmere sweater guide is this one by La Ligne. They updated it with a slightly shorter silhouette, but didn’t skimp on the sleeves. It’s great. Annoyingly, however, it’s almost sold out…but I was able to find it in multiple colors at Laligne.com.
Plus-size pick. Oh my gosh this sweater dress is EXACTLY the style I’ve been trying to find. Well done, Elonquii.
Not for dummies. My sister-in-law just gave me a head’s up about The Health Stack, a nutrition coaching program for women in peri-menopause or menopause started by a friend of hers. I was so impressed with the blog articles, which, refreshingly, did not dumb down the complexities into digestible headlines (here’s one on fiber, for example), that I signed up for the weekly newsletter.
Comfort food. I’m planning to make Smitten Kitchen’s pasta bake this weekend. The genius of her recipe is that everything is thrown in, raw, and then just baked to cheesy perfection. I’ll make it vegan by using Love & Lemon’s vegan ricotta (hint: I only use lemon and never soak the cashews), as well as some store-bought vegan cheese (Daiya is usually a solid choice).
Sending love, gang.