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November 26, 2021

For the first time in Disney’s history, there are several Black Santas appearing at both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida. Because, as it turns out, there’s no good reason Santa has always and exclusively been depicted as white. And, representation really matters. It’s key not only for children to see characters like Santa who look like them, but it’s also key for children to see a Santa who may not. Why? Because by the time children are tweens, “racial biases and beliefs are effectively ‘set,’” which also means there’s not a lot of time to teach children about diversity. So, shout out to Disney, because time is of the essence.

And, then for your holiday weekend reading pleasure, how about one good long story to really dig in? Here’s one about a new kind of luxury travel where the customer is purposely abandoned in the middle of nowhere and left to find his or her way out alone. There’s a little more to it than that, but not a lot, truth be told. In this case, the writer is dropped off somewhere in Morocco and left to walk about 18 miles through the Atlas Mountains, spending two nights alone before reaching his final rendezvous point. The result is a mix of adventure, beauty and discovery. And also the knowledge that the whole affair was, admittedly, a bit contrived while still offering excitement and fulfillment, too. The writing here is a journey in and of itself.