As you gear up for the busy holiday season, it’s often difficult to really enjoy the time that you have—the pressure to meet end-of-year deadlines, make time for family and friends, and pick the right present for everyone on your list can be overwhelming!
This year, escape the usual routine with these funny and interesting authors. Whether you choose to learn more about world Christmas celebrations, get some stress-busting tips, or have a few laughs, your holiday will instantly be brighter.
On Your Smartphone
“Wait! Stop! It’s All Too Much! How to Keep From Being Overwhelmed,” by Martha Beck
O magazine expert Martha Beck gives great (and often unexpected) advice for today’s busy professional woman. In this article, she focuses on a phenomenon called “attentional blindness,” which is what happens when we’re so distracted that we literally cannot remember what it was we meant to look up online, or what we intended to do when we got up to leave our desks. Recognize that feeling? Beck has pragmatic solutions for you.
On a Podcast
“Christmas in Europe,” by Rick Steves
Wish you could take a lavish trip this holiday, but too busy with work and family responsibilities? Or just curious about how other cultures celebrate the season? Experience Christmas in Europe with travel expert Rick Steves in this podcast. You can visit seven countries’ celebrations—including a midnight Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome on Christmas Eve—without a million-dollar travel budget.
On Your Kindle
The Battle for Christmas, by Stephen Nissenbaum
Nissenbaum, a historian of early New England, explores the cultural tensions evident in American Christmas celebrations since the colonial period. Torn between the carnival atmosphere of English folk holidays—ruled by drinking, feasting, and revelry—and a more austere Puritanism, Nissenbaum argues that our Christmas traditions have been highly contested over the decades. You’ll be fascinated by the ongoing relevance of this study to your own holiday habits, whether you chose domesticity or frivolity at this time of year.
Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding
Feel like your holiday is just one series of mishaps after another? It might be time to visit (or revisit) Bridget Jones, the hilarious heroine of Fielding’s bestseller. If holidays make you cringe, you’ll be able to relate to Bridget’s dread of awkward family get-togethers, reindeer sweaters, and being fixed up by your mother. Best of all, this diary-inspired novel (which opens during an ill-fated holiday “Turkey Curry Buffet” thrown by the heroine’s mother) is accessible and engaging enough to read between bouts of shopping.