Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make December 11th, 2023, a bit better.
Taylor Swift was named Time's Person of the Year 2023. This is great news for our copywriter KG because Taylor Swift has been the person of HER year since 2007. It's about Time.
1. Artist of the Week: Lauren Palm
Slowly lowers our poorly cut-out paper snowflakes out of view... Lauren Palm is the artist behind Brengare Studio, specializing in creating handcrafted items of beauty with much of our inspiration derived from the natural world. Our favorite series is her hand-cut paper artwork, teeming with detail.
2. What we're listening to: I've Had It - Apple Podcasts
Join Jennifer Welch, Angie Sullivan, and their special guests on “I’ve Had It." Let this comedic, feel-good podcast expose you to all the things you didn’t know you’d had it with! Don’t ask them to bring a casserole to your event or to celebrate International Snow Cone Day with you because they’ve HAD IT. There is a lot of negativity in the world, but it's fun to laugh about the little things in life that grind our gears!
3. What we're watching: Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas
Star of stage and screen Hannah Waddingham delivers a joyous and stunning holiday special that will have you singing along and grinning ear-to-ear. Plus, you may recognize a few of her Ted Lasso costars along the way...
Last week, McDonald’s officially announced that its universe is expanding with CosMc’s, a new, small-format, beverage-led restaurant concept. CosMc’s is based on McDonald’s beloved, extraterrestrial mascot from the ’80s and ’90s. CosMc (the mascot) is known for its zippy personality, which makes the menu, energy-boosting beverages, and unique treats, perfectly fitting. McDonald’s says CosMc’s menu is “rooted in beverage exploration, with bold and unexpected flavor combinations, vibrant colors and functional boosts.” What this means is a broad range of drinks, from lemonades and coffees to energy-boosting beverages like Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and S’mores Cold Brew. Patrons can customize their drinks by adding fruity boba, flavor syrups, energy shots and more. Back in July, another former McDonald's mascot, Grimace, had his moment in the spotlight at the internet fell in love with the purple monster and his signature shake. It makes sense then, that McDonald's would pull another former mascot for their latest concept. This is no doubt a huge risk for a legacy brand, and we are excited to see how it all plays out. Let's just hope their ice cream machine isn't broken...
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Santa: A Joyful Look at the Confirmation Bias
Children are minimally upset when they find out Santa is a myth; it comes with generally positive feelings, and most children think other children should be encouraged to keep believing in Santa. Conversely, parents feel more upset when their child finds out; 40% experience rather sad feelings, and only 6% feel glad. Some would wonder, why would we go so far as to track him on Google or continue a 110-year-old letter-answering program by the US Postal Service? Well, perhaps the true answer can be found in the story of a little girl named Virginia who wrote her local newspaper asking if it was true that Santa Claus wasn't real back in 1897: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished."
Before he played for the Knicks, Mitchell Robinson played for Chalmette High School. His Chalmette coach was William "Butch" Stockton. In an interview with the New York Knicks during the game Thursday night, Stockton said when his wife became sick, Mitchell came to visit them in the hospital. After Stockton's wife died in September, he invited him to come live with him in New York. He took him up on the offer, and the two have been roommates ever since.
6. Good News of the Week:
An organization in New Jersey successfully created a replicable model to make emergency shelters for disabled communities (yes!)
Occupational therapy students helped make toys more accessible for children with disabilities (Philadephia Inquirer)
Knicks player's former high school coach is his roommate for a heartwarming reason (TODAY)
2,000 white rhinos bred in captivity will be rewilded across Africa to protect the species (GGG)
7. Bonus: Hallmark Drinking Game
There is nothing like Hallmark Christmas films' cheesy, heart-warming, predictable comfort. Is the big city lady going to be trapped in her hometown of Tinsel due to a blizzard? Yep. Is that same woman going to run into her widowed high school ex-boyfriend who she falls in love with and teaches the real meaning of Christmas? Probably. Is her dad also Santa? Maybe. Either way, we love this fun game to play along as we watch our Hallmark favorites unfold.