new year's

Reflecting on the Holidays: A Friendship Forged by a Future Train Set

Eric Green

Even if I still felt ill at ease, I told myself to stop making such a big deal of crowded surroundings. I praise the giving and heroic families who take in refugees from war-torn countries even if it means overcrowded conditions in their homes. In my wife’s case, it was her family’s tradition to have them stay in her home and not a hotel. In my tradition, it was the reverse; I stay in hotels. But for my wife’s family, their hotel would be our small apartment.

How to Green Your Table (and Your Wine Glass) This Holiday Season


A table that is equal parts welcoming and sustainable starts from the reclaimed wood up. It’s easy to green your winter table with simple eco-chic touches like an organic cotton runner or an upcycled centerpiece. Thoughtful elements made from sustainable materials, like reusable bamboo dinnerware or jute napkin rings, create a pleasing, neutral palette. And if you’re using recycled glass for your stemware, why not fill it with earth-friendly wine? Thanks to eco-conscious wineries that value sustainably grown fruit, what you pour may be the greenest element of your winter table.

5 Viral Hoaxes We Fell for in 2013

Lorraine Chow

It was probably a slow news day when we breathlessly followed along the live-tweeted fight between "The Bachelor" producer Elan Gale and "Diane," a nasty airplane passenger in seat 7A who caused a scene for being delayed on her Thanksgiving flight. Because we've all met "Dianes" in real life, the Internet applauded Gale for sending the offending woman handwritten notes that chastised her unruly, self-absorbed behavior. As you know by this list, he punked us all...even actor Alec Baldwin. "So many questions unanswered about Diane. In 15 minutes I will post the photo and hopefully we can resolve all this," he wrote on Twitter. 

When Did Christmas Become So Commercial?

Lorraine Chow

According to Pew, a third of Americans actually see Christmas as more of a cultural holiday, while others said it was both, or gave no opinion. Even the “religiously unaffiliated” get in the spirit: among atheists or agnostics 87 percent say they still celebrate Christmas. The country is also aging out of the religious aspects. Younger adults were the least likely to see Christmas as a religious holiday, at 39 percent, compared with 66 percent of those aged 65 or older.

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