hot cocoa bar mugs

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends! How are you? I know we are right in the thick of holiday time and I wonder how everyone is holding up. Will you be lighting a Hanukkah candle tonight? Do you have your Christmas Tree decorated? Are you feeling festive? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by your task list? Any holiday can be an emotional minefield, but I feel like the December holidays are the trickiest, because it can be emotional + cold + dark.

For those of you who are feeling discouraged this week, I hope you’ll give yourself a break. I hope you’ll surround yourself by warmth and brightness — light some candles or plug in some twinkle lights. I hope you’ll eat something that feels like comfort food. And I hope that if this December isn’t your best, then you’ll let it go and remember you get a fresh start for 2015.

As for me, I’m feeling the happy sort of emotional, because all I can think about is that Ralph & Olive get home on Sunday!!!!! We’re all so excited we can hardly stand it.

I’m leaving my laptop early today, because I’m headed for a hair appointment (!), but before I go, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

– Give help or find help here.

– 15 amazing photographs from the Sony World Photography Awards. That monkey! Thanks, Becca.

– My brother’s super cool project, Metagramme, was covered on Wired this week.

– “Our children are facing it everyday, so when are we going to?” A heart-stopping video on lockdowns at our elementary schools two years after Newtown. Thanks, Kate.

– Hah! How to be Ultra Spiritual.

– Striking visual illustration of how much public space we have given to cars.

– Oh man. “Internet porn is an experiment in dehumanization.”

– The tiny human twig in the tree of life.

– This “Speechless” series of PSAs was so powerful to me. I watched every single one.

– What if your professor asked you to forgive him for having to give you final grades? An inspiring read about education today. Thanks, Kelley.

Made me smile.

I hope you have a particularly wonderful weekend — I hope that like me, you get to hug the people you love! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.