Snapped by Joel Hyppönen
Did you hear it? What was that noise?
It was the holiday season starting gun. Aaaand we’re off! The annual cycle of purchase-consume-imbibe-party-overcommit-‘til-you-drop (or have bronchitis) has begun.
I know I sound a little like Scrooge but I swear I’m celebratory by nature. Anyone who knows me well-ish can attest: I am not afraid of a good time. I just want to hack the holidaze so we can all actually enjoy ourselves without the metaphorical or literal hangover.
Comic George Carlin’s old school yet prescient bit about “stuff” is certainly germane, with a seasonal twist. Buying a bunch of stuff for people because you want to show how much you like them and now they have more stuff that they have to store, look after, move around with them. And they buy you stuff that you probably don’t want or need because they want to show you how much they like you. Do we really even need more?
Bring on the mistletoe -- hold the rampant consumerism. Let’s enjoy but be smart about it. This Holiday season I’m going to blend restraint (not my strongest suit, admittedly) with a commitment to quality. Less Amazon, more makers. Give good stuff that was thoughtfully created by humans, things that have a sense of “hand” to them, whether it’s a bottle of Cabernet by a lady winemaker or a short stack of AllSwell notebooks with a great pen.
When in doubt, I make a donation to a charity with a great track record of keeping their overhead low. Some of my favorites include: A Walk On Water, Stoked Mentoring, Keep A Breast Foundation, Waves for Water, and Edible Schoolyard.
But whatever you give, I hope you’ll also give yourself the gift of time to slow your roll enough to enjoy the season. You, a notebook, a pen, and a glass of Cab sounds like a good start.
Two guys walk into a hospital, camcorders in hand. Not sure where this story goes? We’ll give you a hint: it ends with Radiohead’s ‘The Bends’ album cover. All nine studio albums released by the band feature cover art by Stanley Donwood, a college friend of Thom Yorke’s. Donwood recently gave the Monster Children a play by play of the making of each album cover, and let us tell you, the stories are great. Really, really, great.
An intimate look at the life of one of America’s most renowned painters. In New Mexico she created her most respected works. The desert gave O’Keeffe the isolation she needed, where she could live in intimate contact with nature, which was the true source of her art. Our biggest takeaway: peace, quiet, and good clean air feed creativity. Yes, please. Tune in up top.
The holidays are right around the corner and naturally, we’re thinking about our next getaway. When winter comes calling, we head somewhere tropical with friends and a few notebooks. This year, in the spirit of holiday escapes, Forbes put together a travel-themed gift guide for your wintertime weekends away. Guess who made the cut? Click on to find out.
Seasonal change is the perfect catalyst for creative endeavors. A shift in perspective, feeling, and mood all lend themselves to imaginative pursuits. A journal is one of many tools with which to craft, pinpoint, and actualize these seasonal creative jitters, so grab an AllSwell notebook, a great writing utensil, and dive into some of these prompts. P.S. you’ll be better off for it.
Ever responded, “I’m just so busy!” “Crazy busy!” “Busy!” to a “Hey! How you doing?” We have. Busyness serves as an existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness, and this think piece dives deep into our daily habits, the importance and indispensability of idleness, and our constructed fear of laziness. Hint: it’s a good one. Read on at the link up top.
“A writer’s journal is a half-made, imperfect thing written to no one—or perhaps it is a meticulously crafted letter addressed to all the faceless readers of the future...It is in those varied or uncharacteristic passages that the author becomes human, and the imagined distance between the writing and its author seems to shrink.” - French literary icon Jules Renard.