1. Today is my last workday and then the agency is closed until 2021. I’m going to sew a coat and eat a lot of cookies and not post anything, so here’s some things to read until then.

2. Watch this before it gets taken down: The full 1986 special “A Muppet Family Christmas.” I didn’t see it in 1986 and it wasn’t even on my radar until I read this Paste Magazine article about it (which includes the best summary of the Muppets ever: “The variety show icons remain, at their purest, a family of co-dependent anarchists”). We watched it last week and I nearly died from happy nostalgia–the Muppet Show cast! The Sesame Street cast! The Muppet Babies! The Fraggles!!

3. If you think about it, training an AI to do classical voice leading makes sense. Blob Opera from Google Arts & Culture is a lot of fun (and can play Christmas carols if you want, too).

4. Don’t fall for any articles coming up about how productive people were in 2020. We went through a pandemic that didn’t have to be this bad and oh, also an attempted coup and a whole bunch of other rage-inducing stuff, on top of whatever we were dealing with personally. As Anne Helen Petersen says:

“Whatever you’ve done this year in your personal or professional life, it’s enough. […] You are beloved and worthy of rest. Not because of your capacity to work, or your relative capacity to subsist on fumes. You are beloved and worthy of rest because you are human, not a robot. This year has emptied us. Give yourself permission to continue to seek fullness.”

5. And finally, even in a year that wasn’t full of exceptions, every single one of them bad, Christmas is hard for a lot of people. Maybe it’s bad memories of early family trauma. Maybe it’s missing someone who isn’t here now. Maybe it’s thinking, like Charlie Brown, “I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.” Guess what? Whatever you are feeling is how you’re supposed to feel. Feelings are just feedback, like being cold or hungry. So be nice to yourself. Listen to that feedback. Do you need to not do that holiday thing that makes you feel bad? Don’t do it! I, a person on the internet, give you permission to feel and do what you need, rather than what you think you “should,” this Christmas (and always).