The ‘nostalgia’ category

Quarantimes Week 42: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things — 2020 Edition

December 29th, 2020

Beautiful Nutcracker ornaments from my mom, made at Danforth Pewter here in Vermont

Beautiful Nutcracker ornaments from my mom, made at Danforth Pewter here in Vermont

Phoebe asked me how many Christmases she has had, and doing the very complicated math, I replied, six. That led me to realize that this was in fact my fiftieth Christmas alive. Fifty Christmases!

Luckily for me, they’ve gotten better and better and better. There’s nothing as great as celebrating Christmas with 5-year-olds. 

Possibly one of the best gifts I've ever given my kids.

Possibly one of the best gifts I’ve ever given my kids.

This year was particularly over the top because Phoebe lost her first tooth on Christmas Eve, necessitating a visit from both Santa Claus and the tooth fairy on the same night. What are the odds? (For di-di identical twins conceived naturally by a 42-year-old woman, maybe pretty good.)

Phoebe asked me how her new adult-sized tooth will fit in her mouth where her teeny tiny baby tooth was, and I had to admit I have absolutely no idea… but good luck with that, kiddo.


All that Christmas spirit was a rush, and now that it’s over, it’s easy to feel let down. But the giving does not have to end!

Do you guys belong to a Buy Nothing Project? It’s my new favorite thing, and I wanted to share the joy. On Facebook, you can join your local Buy Nothing group and be part of a community of sharing — both giving and receiving. A few weeks ago I was able to give a family in need a box of Christmas lights for their tree, for instance. We had them lying around and we weren’t using them this year. 

Check it out:

 The Buy Nothing Project


I’m going to keep it short this week so I can share some of my favorite items of consumption from the last year. I would also love to hear yours! “Year in Review” lists are more interesting if they come from your actual friends.

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Favorite book of the year:

Of all the books I read this year, I most enjoyed the novel Greenwood by Michael Christie. Once in a great while, a book is so captivating that I read the last line and then immediately flip back to the beginning and start again. This was such a book.

Nature is definitely the theme this year, and on a side note, just finishing up the Wind in the Willows, which I’ve been reading to my kids before bed. It bores them right to sleep, which is great, and I am so into the story and the writing that it’s a win-win.

Favorite music of the year: 

Hands down, Tyler Childers’ bluegrass album Long Violent History.

Favorite podcast of the year: 

Most painfully educational was Nice White Parents, but the most interesting was probably You’re Wrong About, a deep dive into the sordid, sad life of Princess Diana. Also, of local interest, I also really enjoyed weekly dispatches from VPR’s Vermont Edition. I particularly love how the host, Bob Kinzel, sounds uncannily like Fred Willard MCing a dog pageant in Best in Show:

Favorite watch of the year:

I am really not one to ask, as I watch only a handful of things, and this is not going to be a major aha moment for anyone, but I honestly think it’s gotta be Hamilton. I also really enjoyed Jordan Firstman’s impressions on Instagram. And, of course, the beloved: Schitt’s Creek

Favorite recipe of the year:

If we’re going sheerly on how many times I made it, the winner has to be this Speedy Skillet Ravioli Lasagna From Grace Parisi. Comfort food weeknight dinner that everyone in my family will eat. The trick is fancy expensive ravioli from the Co-op.

And a few things I’m working on right now:

For Strivr: 2021 trends and predictions, with analyst Josh Bersin

For Airtable: Database vs. spreadsheet: which is better?

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