Earlier this week, I had dinner with a friend who is a teacher. It was Monday, the first day of school after the Connecticut tragedy, and we talked a little bit about how the news had affected her class of sixth graders. She told us about the project she’d assigned: to perform 28 acts of kindness — one for each person lost — to record them on a list. As she talked, I realized that was something I, too, wanted to do, to honor life by spreading kindness, to keep a list to remember. Dear friends, will you join me? It can be the smallest gesture, like giving up your seat on the metro to someone who’s carrying a lot of bags, or holding the door for a dad pushing a stroller. It can be anonymous, like treating the person in line behind you at the coffee shop. It will probably take a few weeks to complete. I’ve already started my list and while I don’t plan on posting it here, I find myself thinking about it when I’m out, searching for opportunities to brighten someone else’s day.
Chers amis, I wish you a restful, peaceful week. And, if your holiday allows for some relaxing internet surfing, here are a few links to explore…
–Are you guys watching the TV soap, Nashville? This fall, I’ve fallen for its big hair, flashy costumes, whirlpool melodrama — and catchy country music. Even the New York Times agrees that the songs are “showstoppers.” All the performers are great, but the two real-life sisters who play Connie Britton’s young kids are amazing. They’re called Lennon and Maisy and they sing and play all their own music, like in this song from the show, or this awesome acapella and percussion number from their Youtube channel.
–The Obamas’ dog, Bo, admires the White House Christmas decorations in this adorable video. Also, I loved watching the White House pastry chefs recreate the structure in white chocolate (though Bo is strangely absent…).
–I loved reading about the holiday traditions of Asian-American families in this blog post from Pat Tanumihardja, author of The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook. In my Chinese-American family, we always make sticky rice stuffing with chasiu, boiled peanuts and chestnuts. Yum!
–And finally — one year (but not this year) I would like to make a bûche de Noël, the traditional French Christmas dessert. If you’re feeling up to the task, Saveur offers a step-by-step guide to creating a cake that resembles a log, decorated with meringue mushrooms. Or, if you’re lazy (like me) here are some pretty photos to admire.
As for me, I’m off to California tomorrow to spend Christmas with my family. I’ll check in while I’m there, but in the meantime I’m sending you wishes for love and peace.