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In Forge. More on Medium.

🥳 Tip: Celebrate made-up holidays.

It’s been a rough year, and what we’ve learned is that there’s simply no time to keep following the same ol’ boring rules. We need joy. We need spontaneous cheer. We need … some totally made-up holidays. In a delightful story on Human Parts, Sophie…

A philosophical guide to getting along with your family (and everyone else)

Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images

Despite all the happy-season propaganda (sparkly movies about Christmas spirit! Ads populated with families grinning in matching pajamas!), the holidays can be rough on our psyches—especially when you’ve been in the same space with your immediate family for 10,000 months, and/or are negotiating fraught pandemic-era celebrations. …

Because winter is here, and it’s about to get real

“I hate winter” written on snow covering a car.
Photo: FTiare/Getty Images

Last spring, when the pandemic turned New York City into a weird zombie apocalypse version of itself, I admit that I was one of the many apartment-dwellers who fantasized about moving to the country. All there was to do was hike in the woods anyway, might as well get out…

🎙️ Today’s Tip: Your holiday Zoom needs hosts.

At this point, we’ve Zoomed enough to know that not all video chats are created equal. …

🍽️ Today’s tip: Take one thing off your holiday menu.

Sure, tradition is nice, but you know what’s even better? Sweet, sweet freedom. To that end, Forge editor Indrani Sen echoes a nugget of holiday wisdom from the writer Annaliese Griffin: “Take one thing off your menu.”

Whether that means…

Photo: Noam Galai/Contributor/Getty Images

There’s a term for when you think of the perfect comeback only once the moment has passed: l’esprit de l’escalier, French for “the staircase mind.”

As far as I know, there is no term for the gifting version of l’esprit de l’escalier — when you come up with the best…

As soon as Uncle Gene unmutes himself, this is going to be smooth sailing

Family having a Zoom call over the holidays.
Photo: Marko Geber/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Is Nana still mad that you’re not flying across the country to superspread with the whole extended family this holiday season? Well listen, Nana (and the part of each of us that is secretly still so sad about everything still being virtual): A holiday Zoom can be even more fun…

A person with short bobbed hair sitting on a couch in front of a Christmas tree, working on a laptop.
Photo: Betsie Van Der Meer/DigitalVision/Getty Images

The idea that you should come back from time off feeling bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and full of newfound motivation is… well, it’s a nice thought. But as Emily Underwood has explained in Forge, post-vacation burnout is a very real phenomenon. …

This year has sucked. It’s fine and fitting if your Christmas sucks, too.

Image by Eric Mclean on Unsplash

It’s December, and my former colleague Courtney has adopted Elf on the Shelf as a pandemic holiday project. Based on the 2005 book of the same name, Elf on the Shelf is a newish “tradition” in which parents position a plastic elf in new locations around the home every day…

Photo: Eva-Katalin/Getty Images

🎁 Today’s tip: Asking people for what they want doesn’t mean they’ll appreciate the gift any less.

It’s a common misconception that the best present is one that comes as a total surprise to the recipient. …


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