Hello, Friends! How are you? Are your kids in school today? Or did their holiday break start days ago? If you celebrate, are you feeling ready for Christmas? Or do you have a long list to tackle this weekend? How about travel? Are any of you headed out of town? Or welcoming guests to your home?

Here is a little picture of what is happening at our house: Today, Maude is babysitting at a neighbor’s house. Olive has a half day of school. Oscar is transferring to his old middle school (I’ll write more about that in the new year). Betty is visiting her old elementary school and playing with the band. And June has a multi-cultural class party with a potluck lunch. The kids in June’s class are supposed to bring a food that represents their home or family or culture. June chose to bring Petit Ecolier cookies — a cookie she remember from France (though we rarely ate them there, and have never bought them before here in the U.S.). We’re not sure what made her think of them. It made us laugh! My parents also come into town today.

Tomorrow, there will be some last-minute shopping. Lots of wrapping. Maybe we’ll go to a movie. On Christmas Eve, we’ll head to church in the morning to sing Christmas Carols. We’ll make shredded ham and 7-layer dip and our whole funny Christmas Eve menu. At the end of the day, we’ll cozy up on the couch to read stories, and the kids will act out the nativity.

And then we’ll wake up to Christmas!

I’m really looking forward to Christmas morning. This is one of the last years that Santa will play a role at our house, and I’m trying hard to appreciate the magic of it all.

And now it’s time for me to tackle my list for today, but before I go, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

On symbols and the default “male” setting.

– I was interviewed on the Your Simply Designed Life podcast.

– In 2009, 11,341 untested sexual assault kits were found in Detroit’s police storage department. Kym Worthy has worked for 8 years to raise money to test them. So far, 817 serial rapists have been identified.

– Have you started thinking about New Year’s Resolutions? This woman gave up shopping. (NYT)

White Christianity is in big trouble. Thoughts?

– Will you be binge watching anything over the holiday break? A few shows I’ve loved lately are Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the new season of The Crown, and One Mississippi. How about you?.

This what I want to read over the holiday break.

– “Believe me, I understand that my activism is a problem for you. Please know that your inactivism is similarly problematic for me.”

– Leave a comment — it will make you feel better.

A compelling essay about Judge Alex Kozinski and “open secrets”.

Have you ever tried homeopathy?

– The “richest nation the world has ever known” has 41 million people who officially live in poverty — nine million of whom have zero cash income.

Are private schools immoral?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. And I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. I’ll meet you back here next week. I miss you already.

kisses,
Gabrielle

P.S. — Remember this vintage car holiday shoot we did in France?