Articles

When Santa Rinpoche Came to Town

by Lavinia Spalding. Posted Dec 20th 2013 10:30 AM
Dolly Spalding

When I was young, I was a stickler for Christmas traditions. If my father forgot to wear the Santa Claus hat, I pouted. If we didn't watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," I cried. If hot cocoa wasn't served with breakfast, I was capable of a four-star conniption. Dinner was roast goose or Yorkshire pudding -- any substitutions and I about lost my mind.

By all accounts, I wasn't actually a difficult child, but when I was 10 we moved from New Hampshire to Arizona, and I didn't adjust well. I missed our farmhouse and my friends, and I clung to these annual rituals because they made our new house feel like a home. And then I continued clinging, for 20 more years, until the Christmas I learned to let go.
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Christmas in Cappadocia

by Sean McLachlan. Posted Dec 20th 2013 10:30 AM
Winter - Cappadocia, Turkey
Zafer Yazici, Flickr

I used to hate Christmas.

Christmas was not a happy time in the McLachlan household. A holiday that emphasized the joys of family did not go over well with a group of people who couldn't stand each other. Gifts were grudgingly given and indifferently received. The turkey was consumed in edgy silence. The worst of it all was that everyone was expected to paste on smiles and pretend they were having a great time.

That all changed when I spent my first Christmas away from home, in 1993. I had just started a year crossing Asia, and mid-December found me in Cappadocia, Turkey.
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7 Remote Spots to Completely Escape the Holiday Madness

by Anna Brones. Posted Dec 17th 2013 01:31 PM
Tree house in snow
Getty
You just can't bear the idea of another stressful holiday season, with out-of-town in-laws overstaying their welcome and ugly sweater parties. So what's your best option? Cut out of town and escape civilization entirely.

Nothing's better for avoiding this time of year than holing up in the middle of nowhere where you can't be reached. So look no further than these seven spots.
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Discover Something New at Home in Cleveland

by Joe Baur. Posted Dec 17th 2013 11:00 AM
Detroit Superior Bridge over Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Getty Images/Radius Images
The "Cleveland is surprisingly not awful!" narrative has become unbearably trite. As Clevelanders, we're well aware we do not suck.

If you're heading home for the holidays, you'll find a city constantly changing, young people eager to play an active role in Cleveland's future and enough Christmas Ale to get you through the cold sting of winter along the shores of Lake Erie.
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Discover Something New at Home in Minneapolis

by Doug Mack. Posted Dec 17th 2013 11:00 AM
Minneapolis skyline and stone arch bridge at dusk with Mississippi River in foreground.
Alamy
Minnesota's two favorite conversation topics remain unchanged: the weather's still weird; the Vikings still abysmal. The past year has mostly been a matter of anticipation and discussion of what's coming soon: a new light-rail line connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul (next summer) and massive redevelopment in Minneapolis' Downtown East, including a new Vikings stadium.
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