Giving is Good: Yes, but how good? The L.A. Times looks at the research, some of which seems to indicate that gift-giving improves health and longevity.
Where to Give: A donation to Our Bodies Ourselves will not only make you feel better, but it’s guaranteed to improve the health of women around the globe.
Plus: See Katha Pollitt’s annual holiday donation list.
Dear Santa …: Flea’s story about answering a letter to Santa from an 8-year-old girl is my favorite holiday blog post. Mrs. Claus rocks.
A Holiday Bonfire Made Out of Tulle: “Disney likes to think of the Princesses as role models, but what a sorry bunch of wusses they are,” writes Barbara Ehrenreich at The Nation.
“Typically, they spend much of their time in captivity or a coma, waking up only when a Prince comes along and kisses them. The most striking exception is Mulan, who dresses as a boy to fight in the army, but — like the other Princess of color, Pocahontas — she lacks full Princess status and does not warrant a line of tiaras and gowns. Otherwise the Princesses have no ambitions and no marketable skills, although both Snow White and Cinderella are good at housecleaning.”
File Under News You Can Use: If you’re feeling under the weather and it seems like no cold medicine will do, you may start to wonder if there are any medical benefits to having, say, a hot brandy. Fortunately, there’s an answer to that question.