The winter holidays are finally upon us. Everyone has the opportunity to close their e-mails, open their Netflix, crack a book, or choose to listen to a podcast as a way to unwind, enjoy the little things in life, and remove any guilt that the workforce may cast for not being productive.
No, the holidays are for the indulgent and the warm-hearted. It’s a time for people to appreciate their loved ones, but more importantly: for a culture binge. Yes, you can watch the entire series, no judgments. Consume the entire book, encouraged. Or listen to that podcast for days, no worries.
If you need some recommendations, here are our favorites:
With an apt title, this movie is perfect for the holiday time. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet switch houses during the holiday season, in hopes to heal their breaking hearts. One in London, one in Los Angeles, two very different women upend their holiday plans in order to escape the realities of their breakups. As they learn to overcome their character “flaws,” they become stronger and learn to feel stronger and vulnerable. It might not be the best Nancy Meyers movie, but it’s the most seasonal.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
This newest edition to Netflix is the last film Chadwick Boseman filmed before he passed away. It tells the story of Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, an acclaimed black and queer blues singer, portrayed by the renowned Viola Davis. The film gives the glitz of the 1920s but the reality of a divided, oppressive American for black performers. Boseman gives an astonishing performance with monologue that will break your heart, which will be healed only by eggnog and Christmas cookies.
Films with changing points of views are hard to do, but Richard Curtis’s film does it wonderfully. The stories of love are unique and relatable and timeless. Even as a child, Thomas Brodie-Sangster acts out everyone’s idea of romance and following someone to an airport to announce his love. Nothing too depressing, nothing too complicated, this film is just made for enjoyment.
A Christmas Carol
The creator of Christmas himself, Charles Dickens, encompassed a timeless idea of Christmas that still holds a salient truth to this day. Everybody knows about Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy, bitter man too worried about making money than enjoying the holiday season. As old as this story is, it still holds value in modern day. We all know a Scrooge, encourage them to read this story. It’s a short one!
A Promised Land
Barack Obama’s latest memoir recounts his story growing up, into his first political office, and into his presidency. He ponders over his strengths, shortcomings, criticisms, and praises in a book to last you through the whole break. The book holds a place in the past and a projection of the future as his Vice President is positioned to become our next President come January.
This 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier has gained popularity this year because of a Netflix adaptation featuring Lily James and Armie Hammer. The story is of a woman trying her best in living up to his husband’s previous wife and her legacy. This raw portrait of a second wife is du Maurier’s more famous work for a reason. It also has the added benefit of having a Netflix adaptation to see the glamorous estate realized.
You’re Wrong About
This podcast is for people who want to challenge their perceptions of what they know. Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall tackle the most famous and controversial topics including the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Stonewall, or even a more dramatic topic like Princess Diana and Jessica Simpson. They thoroughly research each topic, relay the public perception of the time, and challenge it to call a most humane approach to public outcry. Honestly, I’m the biggest Jessica Simpson defender now. Never thought that would happen.
This podcast is for the history gossips. Dana Schwartz digs up the forgotten or lesser-known pieces of royal history and narrates it in vivid prose. From famous royals like Anastasia to unknown monarchs like Caroline Matilda, listeners will appreciate a much more approachable method of learning embedded in the gossip of the time. My favorite story is about Marie Antoinette and an expensive necklace.
The Heart and Hustle Podcast
Since we’re in Capricorn season and many people will be looking forward to accomplishing new professional goals, this podcast will help people who want to launch their own business. They talk about everything from motivation to taxes and contracts. This podcast will give you a blueprint to succeeding in your goals for the next year.