Your Guide to the Holiday Season | theSkimm

Your Guide to the Holiday Season

Published on: Dec 16, 2019fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
National Lampoons Xmas VacationWarner Bros.

The Story

Time to get out the ugly sweaters and peppermint bark. Holiday season crunch time is here. 

The Gifting

Sometimes fancy soap doesn’t cut it. We have gift recs for everyone, even for that person who's impossible to shop for.

For when you haven’t been checking your family’s wish list twice...

Here are the presents that will make you the family least until next year.

For when you have that annual holiday party you (almost) forgot about...

Wine is great...but these gifts will really set you apart from the crowd.

For when you want to impress at the office white elephant exchange...

This year, get something that won't sit under a desk or in a closet until next year. We've rounded up creative ideas people will actually want. And they're all $25 or less.

BTW, the last day to ship packages and cards is coming up.

Dec. 21: USPS Priority Mail deadline

Calling all procrastinators: today's the last day to send your card or gift in the mail if you want it to arrive by Dec 25. You're welcome.

But if you leave it to the last minute (no judgement), we have some thoughtful gifts that can be delivered with a simple “click send.”

The Spending

We’re not going to sugar(plum) coat it for you. The holidays can be pricey. 

For when you’re trying to gift without draining your bank account...

Yes, you can give thoughtful holiday gifts without spending a million dollars. Here are some ideas.

For when you’re trying to save during the season...

These tips will help keep your budget on track.

For when you feel like you see holiday ads earlier every year...

You’re not imagining things. Skimm Notes explains the holiday creep, and the anti-consumerism protests happening in response. 

The Down Time

You may have gifted, hosted, partied, and even saved. But don’t forget to take some “me” time. Grab a cup of tea, throw on that new PJ set, and dive into some of these reads.

For when you need a book before bed...

Here are some of our favorite books to help you kick stress out of the holiday party, relax, and get sleepy.

For when you need to make family dinner less awkward...

To avoid discussing your job, your SO, your life choices, or your about one of these books instead. Read them before your big family meal, and your dinner conversations will thank us later.

But if all else fails and you just need to sit in a dark room for a couple hours...head to the movies.

Christmas Day movie releases

The best way to spread Christmas getting elbow deep in a bucket of popcorn. Here are all the movies hitting theaters today…

- “Little Women.” Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet...annnd Meryl Streep are just a handful of the actors taking on the latest adaption of the literary classic. Get ready to watch the four sisters’ coming-of-age stories, plus something new: there are reports this film will touch on sister Jo’s sexuality. Watch the trailer.

- “Just Mercy.” There’s already some Oscar buzz around this one. It's based on a book by IRL lawyer and civil rights advocate Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan). Also starring: Jamie Foxx. He plays a death-row inmate, who Stevenson believes is innocent. He goes to Alabama to give the inmate, and other wrongfully-convicted death-row prisoners, justice. Watch the trailer.

- “1917.” Time to watch a couple WWI British soldiers as they race to deliver a message before a catastrophic attack. Director (and first-time screenwriter) Sam Mendes based the movie off his grandfather’s stories from WWI. And he’s also trying to put the audience in the thick of it (think: showing the movie in one continuous shot). This strategy is getting him some awards buzz. Other faces to look out for on the battlefield: Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and Richard Madden. Watch the trailer.

The Giving Back

While many find this time of year to be cheerful, that’s not the case for everyone. Here’s how you can help.

Plus, here’s how some Skimm’rs are giving back to their communities – not just during the holidays, but year-round.


Finding the perfect gift, running through the airport, and pleasantly listening to everyone’s career and life advice can be stressful. Deep breaths. And remember: it’s a time of year to appreciate the ones you love.

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