My family will be joining me in the Boston area for Christmas this year, for the first time, for only a few days surrounding the 25th. If we were in NYC, near where I grew up, I'd know exactly what to do - see the windows, Rockefeller Ctr, St. Patrick's, the Grand Central train show...but I don't know what the Boston equivalents of these sightseeing traditions are. One caveat: Boston seems big on performing arts events for the holidays, and we probably aren't going to be able to coordinate schedules for ticketed events. I'm looking for things you can just drop in to. [more inside]
My favorite part of the holidays is the FOOD. I love all the rich, sweet, and special seasonal eats, and I love to make them for my people. Unfortunately, this year, I Just Can't. Thinking about planning and cooking is stressful rather than exciting right now. How can I make nomming as low key as possible in terms of planning/effort, but still awesome? Wanting specific suggestions for Thanksgiving, periChristmas, and New Year's. Family will be visiting at various points. This is in the U.S., and we have a Trader Joe's and a Costco nearby.
This will be my fourth winter living in a place that gets snow every winter. Every year I get VERY VERY excited when it snows for the first time. Other than squeeing joyfully, what is something I can do each year to celebrate the first snow of winter?
I'm looking for a great pre-filled advent calendar that I can order online. Ideally under $30, and I want a surprise variety of things! [more inside]
Two upcoming road trips for the holidays plus one young toddler who could make it all pretty miserable. Please share any tricks for keeping the little guy busy in the car. [more inside]
Our Indian neighbors have invited my family to their Diwali party on Saturday. I'm unsure of the etiquette that surrounds attending the festivities. Stuff I've read online mostly boils down to "bring a nice gift (not alcohol) and wear your good cloths.". Are there any no-no's that might be lurking so I can prepare myself and my children to be respectful of the holiday? Many of the articles I've read suggest high quality dried fruit as a gift. Are there good alternatives?
We are completely lost for ideas. The last 4 years our non-profit group has held our holiday party at a Thai restaurant, at which, 2 employees couldn't eat because, peanuts. Our budget is around $42 per person (give or take). We are 30 employees. We need a private room. We are located in West L.A. Staff is willing to travel as far south as Culver City-ish. [more inside]
I am about to be interviewed for a part-time seasonal, retail position. This would simply be something to supplement my main income, and very temporary. I have about 15 years of high level retail management experience that I gained prior to the full-time non-retail management position I now have. I heard that the hiring managers sometimes do not want to hire people who are vastly overqualified, so my question is this: Should I reveal how much retail experience I actually have, or should I try to downplay it?
Where should we go for a beach holiday from Boston in February? [more inside]
I'm looking for books about Canada, specifically Montreal, and also books set in Montreal. What would you recommend? [more inside]
I escaped a long-term abusive marriage homeless with a lot of hermit like attributes. It's been about three years of clawing and crawling out of that hole, and while I'm not completely out, I do have an apartment, job, friends, and enough money to feed me and my kid three squares a day. That deserves a celebration and I'm determined that I'm going to spend a long weekend with my best friend in London in December as a combo birthday/holiday gift to myself. I want to see Hyde Park done up for the holidays, do a Jack the Ripper tour, eat in a pub, and visit a museum [more inside]
I need men's shoes that are both great for all-day walking and look stylish. [more inside]
I finally found a stylist I love, and I want to get my shit together re: tipping/gifts. [more inside]
What are my SIM options for a two week visit to Australia (Sydney) followed by a 1 week visit to NZ (Wellington then drive down west coast of south island to Queenstown)? [more inside]
Last Christmas season, I went to a restaurant store and bought a cake. It was nicely wrapped, and could easily keep for several weeks. It was not a fruitcake. It definitely had cake like texture, though not light like an angel food cake. It had different flavors, like chocolate, or coffee, or raisin chocolate. It looked like some sort of a bundt cake. [more inside]
My parents are embracing retirement and planning to escape Minnesota for January and February. They're not too picky about where they stay, as long as it's on the beach and the weather is warm. Complication: they're bringing the cat. [more inside]
I work Sunday-Thursday. This is a relatively new schedule for me and something just came up that made me curious about how people handle this kind of schedule. In the US many holidays are set so they happen on Mondays. This gives most people a three day weekend. But as someone who works Sunday-Thursday, it just gives me a single day off during my work week. I've been told that Friday holidays can be shifted to the Thursday or the Sunday that bracket the holiday. A coworker works Tuesday-Saturday and when there's a Monday holiday, he takes it on Tuesday. If you've had a similar schedule, how were holidays handled?
I would like to visit a city in the US that is not commonly thought of as a vacation destination, but still has a lot to offer a tourist. However, as a woman of colour that does not drive and will be travelling alone, I would like a safe and friendly choice. I would like ideas for places with a lot of history and fine dining, which are easy to travel by foot/ public transportation, and friendly towards different looking people. Examples of what I am and am not looking for inside... [more inside]
My wonderful wife needs to get away from everything and enjoy a week of high quality, woo-free me time this summer — but where? [more inside]
Trying to remember a film I saw on television years ago. I was either German or Swiss and was about a heavyset man on a ski holiday. I remember it was very nearly silent (but was not a silent movie; it looked relatively modern) and everything was a sort of a disaster for him, and I remember it being unexpectedly sweet, and that's all I remember. Hope me!
Recommendations please! More about what I'm after inside. [more inside]
Can any MeFites help two Brits pick the perfect North American holiday? [more inside]
My wife and I have some friends willing to watch our kids and 50,000 Delta skymiles each. We'd like to spend a long, car free weekend in a city that is new to us. We want to have a hotel room from which we can walk to nice restaurants and fun or interesting attractions (we like good museums and parks, for example). We've been to Boston, D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, and New York. Can you suggest somewhere new in the U.S. or Canada that would be fun to visit?
My wife and I are planning a two-week trip to Scotland in early July. Our base will be Edinburgh but we plan a couple of nights in the Lake District (a family link) and then have 10 or so days in Scotland. Interested in hearing from people who have been there recently, what you have done (and avoided). Any advice would be welcome. [more inside]
We are planning a week in Spain, and the itinerary looks rushed. Our tastes are rather... not Rick Steves. Help us simplify the itinerary. [more inside]
My wife and I are flying to Portugal this summer (last 2 weeks of July), and plan to travel by car from Faro in the south to Porto in the north. We have a couple of weeks and want to get a feel for the country which we know very little about. Any general or specific ideas on what we should see, what we should avoid, etc. [more inside]
I've got 2 nights in Berlin, then 2 nights in Hamburg, then 3 nights unbooked before I fly back out of Berlin - where should I spend them? This is around the start of May. I like cities, interesting places, staying in hostels, don't have a huge amount of money. (I've not been to Berlin before and it's possible the answer is "more Berlin").
What person's given birthdate is the most commonly known and celebrated or honored throughout the world? besides Jesus on Dec. 25...... [more inside]
Taking my girlfriend to Rome for Valentine weekend. She doesn't know. Want to give her a clue every day to lead her to it. need some assistance
I need to plan an awesome 4-5 day getaway for my wife's 40th birthday sometime in late March / early April. The less time we can spend traveling the better. We are based in Austin Texas so anywhere in the U.S. or parts close by wouldn't be out of the question. I am willing to spend 3 - 5k. I am looking for specific recommendations on a city / town / resort we can go to simply have an awesome time. [more inside]
Where can a family of four Floridians drive to have a fun vacation? [more inside]
I'll be at Lake Taupo in NZ for New Year's Eve, then am looking to spend the next five-six days (leaving Auckland on the evening of the 7th) wandering the north island. So far, aside from a night tomorrow, I've nothing booked or solidly planned. Suggestions? [more inside]
I was legally raised but mostly neglected by a single mother who spent most of her time trying to find a husband, going to clubs, the racetrack and otherwise leaving me to my own devices since I was old enough to use a microwave oven safely. I moved 6 hours away as soon as I was able and now only see her once a year, but it's the worst few days of every year. While I believe that people do the best they can, with competent help I came to realize that I actually don't like my mother. And that's okay. I don't respect her choices and I don't like the black cloud she brings to every phone conversation and in-person visits. Pure and simple, she's a nasty, unpleasant person. [more inside]
I would like to build up a large playlist of songs celebrating Yuletide, Solstice, and winter in general, but leaving out Jesus and the Christian god. Can you help? [more inside]
This will be the first Christmas in my life where I'm alone - no significant other or family. While I've never thought of myself as much of a holiday person, the idea is beginning to weigh on me and I'm looking for suggestions as how to spend the day (and days leading up to it) in a happy manner. Extra challenge: I'm quite extremely broke. [more inside]
Every year I buy a bunch of gifts, schlepp them home, and wrap them surreptitiously in a secret corner of my mom's house about 3 minutes before I have to give them over, all in the name of national security. Am I being stupid? Can I do this differently? [more inside]
I go to a no-tip hair salon. I do not see the owner. Is it appropriate to give a cash tip for Christmas?
Inspired by this thread, I'd like to go all out wrapping Christmas gifts for my wife this year. What ideas, concepts, methods, etc. have you used in the past, or seen online that are sure to impress? [more inside]
White Elephant gift for work: Something yellow, under $15, can buy in-person in SF [more inside]
How do you secure a Christmas lawn ornament to the ground? I'm talking about the plastic 40 inch high decorations, like the Santa Clauses, and Mrs. Clauses and snowmen. [more inside]
I have good reason to believe that I'm on the verge of getting a job offer in the next week or so. But my current company is closed (paid holiday) between Christmas and New Year's (12/23-1/2). If I do get the offer, am I obligated to give notice and be off the books before the break? [more inside]
I plan on serving spiced cider this Thanksgiving, and I'd like recommendations for a brown liquor to spike it with. [more inside]
I'm home for the holidays and seeing many friends after years apart. I have five days, each consisting of brunch, lunch and dinner with others, and am looking forward to unimaginable quantities of free alcohol. I am a seasoned (pickled?) drinker that does not normally get hangovers but never have I been on such a social whirlwind with so many opportunities to celebrate. Does anyone have advice for overcoming the potential weaknesses of the flesh to rise to this challenge? Or, how to pace myself when offered so much free deliciousness? Details below [more inside]
I seem to remember that it used to be a thing that your kid could send their letters to Santa to a particular address and they'd get a nice reply from "Santa." Now that I'm old enough to have a kid of my own who wants to send a letter to Santa, I'm not sure where to send the thing. [more inside]
I know there are hundreds of these, but none that address my rather geeky, very special seattle snowflake of a boyfriend. Details below. [more inside]
For the annual students' holiday banquet at my college, faculty/staff sign up for a table that they decorate and serve food for. This year a colleague and I want to do a sleep theme, but need some ideas. [more inside]
I just became the person to put together a 125 person holiday party (I have the caterer, location and liquor confirmed as of today) for our top-level donors. How do I execute on the phrase "looking forward towards the future" which is the somewhat vague theme that I was given from my boss to make the decorations, theme, etc, come together in one beautiful swoop? We're hiring a designer to do decorations but I am supposed to come up with what I want first to give this person direction. Our budget is reasonable but not extravagant. [more inside]
My good friend and I would like to plan a holiday for 7-10 days in February. Because Carnival will be happening around then, we are leaning toward South America. But where? [more inside]
So, my brother and his wife are flying over from Australia, and my brother-in-law from India, in December. We're all Indian, and we generally get together (us and my parents) once a year or so for around a month. Usually the trips are in India and feature a few exciting things to look forward to: last time we stayed in a few resorts along beaches in South India, and stayed in a house in the country, a houseboat tour through backwater canals, that kind of thing. I'm wondering: what kind of similar-ish things can we book and where? [more inside]
We are planning a long-awaited big summer vacation for July/August 2015. For many years, I've kept Croatia as a possibility for a trip like this, as it seems like it has a bit of everything we like - interesting cities, access to the outdoors and it seems to be a fairly 'easy' trip to enjoy without a huge amount of planning. For various reasons, I'm wondering if you could suggest other options. I've included a list of our desired trip components and would love specific suggestions! [more inside]