Among the photos of presents, parties, and booze-reddened relatives, another common theme seems to have emerged on Facebook in the past few weeks. A sizable chunk of my female friends, at least, have recently posted images of themselves grinning while holding up a jazz hand with a ring on it.
“Doesn’t it feel like everyone is getting engaged right now?” a friend from home asked the other night.
It feels that way, it turns out, because they are.
According to WeddingWire, 33 percent of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, making every January look a lot like Christmas for wedding planners, venue owners, and bridal shops facing a rush of newly engaged couples.
If you’re to believe pop culture, Christmas is the holiday when would-be lovers become actual lovers, and mistletoe’s what makes it happen. The plant has served as fictional romantic catalyst in films ranging from 1995’s While You Were Sleeping to 2013’s Fir Crazy and on countless TV shows in between. When it’s not mistletoe pushing the couple into an unexpected kiss, it’s some other seasonally acceptable condition, like a Sugar Plum Fairy costume (2011’s A Christmas Kiss) or bringing a fake fiancé to meet the family (2012’s Hitched for the Holidays, 2004’s A Boyfriend for Christmas, and so on).
A time for good food, comfort, joy, and … “you could be so pretty if you only lost a little weight.”
Read more. [Image: Paramount Pictures]
Despite minor setbacks, the holiday that marks the birth of Christ is vanquishing its foes in an unparalleled rout.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
We’re about halfway through December, a time when many city streets start looking like they’re culled straight from a fairyland. Above, a smattering of sparkly, glistening, holiday decorations from around the world.
Time once more for one of my favorite holiday traditions: the 2012 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Every day until Tuesday, December 25, this page will present one new image of our universe from NASA’s Hubble telescope. Be sure to bookmark this calendar and come back every day until the 25th, or follow on Twitter (@in_focus), Google+, Facebook, or Tumblr for daily updates. I hope you enjoy these amazing and awe-inspiring images and the efforts of the science teams who have brought them to Earth. I also must say how fortunate I feel to have been able to share photo stories with you all year, and I wish a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and peace on Earth to all. (Also, choosing the “1280px” viewing option below, if you can support it, will be a good option.)