Posts tagged with "holiday season"

Rita Azar illustration for 360 MAGAZINE travel stories

Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress and Staying Mindful While Traveling

The holiday season is typically the busiest time of the year for traveling. People enjoy going to see family members or exploring new locations as they have time off from their jobs and schoolwork. This year, traveling may come with a bit more stress and anxiety due to the pandemic that people are facing around the world. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help reduce holiday stress, as well as stay safer while traveling.

“There may be fewer people traveling this holiday season, but there will still be a lot who do, and they need to know how to make it more enjoyable,” explains Katie Sandler, personal development and career coach. “Mindful travel is the key to reducing stress, staying safer, and making the most of your time traveling. This year will be a great exercise in mindfulness, which is something to be excited about.”

As an expert at using mindfulness, Sandler helps people not only reduce their stress, but also reach new goals. The key to traveling safely during the pandemic, as she points out, is in using the technique throughout the experience. By remaining mindful, travelers will go about their experience in a way that is conscientious and intentional. Just as with many things in life, this is an issue that comes down to learning to be more focused and plan ahead.

Sandler has created a recipe for mindful safe travel in the era of COVID, which includes the following tips:

  • Forget being spontaneous. This is not the time to be spontaneous. In order to help reduce risks and stress. Figure everything out ahead of time. Know about everything before you go do it. This goes for restaurants, excursions, and even visiting others. Call ahead so you can plan out as much as possible.
  • Know the rules and regulations. The rules today differ by city and state, so it’s important to know what they are for where you are heading. Get the information you need so that you are prepared. Whether it means all meals will be takeout, you will have to wear a mask, or you need to limit the number in your party, avoiding surprises will help keep things stress-free.
  • Get tested before you go. Getting a COVID test before you travel is a good way to help reduce stress and the spread of the virus. This way you will know that you are not unknowingly spreading it around wherever you may go.
  • Create a checklist to use. A checklist is a great way to ease the hassle of ensuring you have everything covered. Make a list of what needs to be packed, calls that need to be made, things that must be done before heading out, etc. This will prove much easier than trying to simply remember everything.
  • Make reservations wherever possible. This is a great time to make reservations for everything possible. Whether it’s at a restaurant, a tour company, or something else, this is a great way to help them limit the number of guests allowed in any one place at the same time.
  • Be kind and patient. People you come across while you are traveling are doing things differently, too, and it may cause them to be stressed out and provide slower service. Take that time to remind yourself to be in the here and now, and focus on being kind and patient.

“The holidays are a special time, and most of us still want to travel,” added Sandler. “While we shouldn’t live in constant fear of the virus, we should strive to keep being keenly aware of the situation and our surroundings. When we do that, we will reduce the stress and anxiety, help to keep everyone healthier, and still be able to enjoy life, even more than when we travel without being so focused.”

Through her personal development and career coaching services, Sandler has helped people in many different ways. From helping them to identify things holding themselves back to being able to achieve personal goals, she brings a crucial, helpful outsider’s perspective. In addition to personal achievements, she helps many people with their career goals, as well as working with companies to provide their team with impact training. Through her efforts, companies have been able to reduce absenteeism rates, motivate their team, reduce stress levels, engage their employees, and create a better workplace.

Sandler offers impact retreats, corporate impact events, and one-on-one coaching services. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in mental health counseling, has a strong foundation in mindfulness-based stress reduction, and has worked in hospitals and private practices. She has also spent time as a research assistant at Johns Hopkins. Upcoming retreats include Reignite in Tulum, Mindfulness in Mykonos, Rewire and Renew in The French Alps, and Mindfulness & Mindset in The Hamptons. To learn more about Katie Sandler and her services, or to see the retreat schedule, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.

Gaylord Opryland Country Christmas Nashville

Winter Happenings in Tennessee

Although traveling may look different this year, Tennessee has great activities to offer for the upcoming winter. This list is new, trendy and sure to please everyone.

Nolensville – Artist Kim Radford painted the “This Girl Can” mural on the side of Mama Java’s Café as part of the statewide Walls for Women project to celebrate Tennessee’s role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Clarksville – Start a new holiday tradition with a mini-glass blowing workshop like designing your own ornament at Erin’s Farm. Afterward, stop by the gift gallery for goods, crafts and artworks produced by local artisans.

LafayetteThe Barn on Church Street is a magical place for a wedding or event. Steeped in history, the 100-year-old barn has been lovingly renovated to maintain the charm of a barn while providing modern conveniences.

Knoxville –Stroll the Downtown Peppermint Trail among more than 100,000 lights and garlands which create a winter wonderland and restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars and boutiques feature peppermint specials.

Chattanooga – Delight in a million sparkling lights, decorate a gingerbread cookie, experience the icy borealis lights, visit Santa in his North Pole Workshop and indulge in holiday treats during Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights.

Southeast Tennessee – The new Tennessee Gravel website showcases ways to enjoy beautiful backroads around the Blue Ridge Mountains and Cherokee National Forest, including day trips, overnight backpacking adventures, bike races and events.

Johnson City – The Windsor Speakeasy is known for its unique craft cocktails, seasonal cocktail menus, inconspicuous exterior, low lighting, leather and velvet pieces. The speakeasy is in downtown Johnson City, but you may have to hunt to find it.

Dover – Learn a new hobby and handwork skills with the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm Old Time Skills Workshops, including traditional Christmas decorations. Safety protocols will be observed. Masks and social distancing will be required.

New Restaurant, Attraction & Shop Openings

Nashville49 new restaurants, bars and cafés have opened this year, including Yolan (directed by James Beard Award winner and Michelin-starred chef, Tony Mantuano), and three new concepts by James Beard Award-winning chef, Sean Brock: The Continental at the Grand Hyatt, Joyland and Audrey.

Nashville – The National Museum of African American Music will showcase the roles African Americans have played in shaping and creating all genres of music. The museum will integrate history and interactive technology to share the story of more than 50 music genres and subgenres. Stay tuned here for information on the grand opening.

Pelham – Explore an underground room three football fields long. Hear about geology, lore and Grundy County’s unique history. Take a daily tour behind-the-scenes of The Caverns’ world-famous music venue and end with a photo op on the iconic stage.

Knoxville Live from the Bijou is a reduced capacity, in-venue experience and live streaming series of concerts every Friday night. Safety measures are in place inside the venue. Proceeds support the artist and sustain the venue.

Pigeon Forge – The new REI Co-op store offers top-quality outdoor gear, rentals, expertise and experiences in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Johnson City – The Women’s Suffrage Mural by Artist Ellen Elmes is depicted in three stages. The design honors the history of the Women’s Suffrage Movement with a focus on Tennessee stories, including a historic 1916 march in Johnson City.

New Breweries and Distilleries 

Clarksville – The locally-owned Strawberry Alley Ale Works in historic downtown combines chef-inspired food and expertly made craft beer.

Franklin – Curio Brewing Company on the Franklin’s Masters & Makers Trail brews coffee and beer. The kid-friendly atmosphere offers the family a spot to gather safely while still enjoying experimental brews. 

Johnson City Watauga Brewing Company is a three-story brewery, rooftop bar and restaurant featuring upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian southern roots. Little Animals Brewery on Main Street offers barrel-aged sours, Saison beers, IPAS, lagers and vintage British beers.

Kingsport – Gypsy Circus Cider, Tennessee’s first cidery, takes pride in using locally-sourced, fresh-pressed apples. With a newly renovated outdoor cider-garden, there’s room to socially distance while enjoying a drink. 

New & Reimagined Hotels

Memphis Canopy by Hilton pays homage to the soulful spirit of downtown while infusing a hip, modern feel. Chef Fabio Viviani showcases American cuisine with Spanish and Italian fare at the hotel’s restaurant, Curfew.

Nashville – New hotels dot Nashville’s skyline including the 262-room Virgin Hotel, 591-room Grand Hyatt, 297-room The Joseph Luxury Collection, and the 346-room W Hotel.

Knoxville – The new Graduate Knoxville is just steps Neyland Stadium with Rocky Top lore and bursting with Big Orange pride, including Saloon 16, a high-end watering hole opening in partnership with Peyton Manning. The new Cumberland House Knoxville, Tapestry Hotel by Hilton is ideal for families, leisure and business travelers alike. 

Sevierville – The new boutique Historic Central Hotel downtown features two-and-three bedroom suites, located in an old, renovated bank building.

Winter In-Person & Virtual Events Across Tennessee

Memphis – (Nov. 19-Dec. 12) Nearly 50 artists offer online booths for holiday shopping at the Pink Palace Virtual Crafts Fair.

Obion Co. – (Nov. 19-Dec. 18) Collect stamps with the Happy & Healthy Holiday Passport for a chance to win a Northwest Tennessee getaway. Visit stops like Discovery Park of America, Blue Bank Resort and Higher Ground Coffee Company.

Nashville – (Nov. 19-Dec. 23) Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Store and Hatch Show Print online this holiday season to find clothing, accessories, home décor and historic prints from one of America’s oldest letterpress print shops.

Union City – (Nov. 19-Dec. 30) Put on your cheeriest holiday pajamas and explore one million twinkling lights without ever leaving your car during Discovery Park of America’s Let It Go Light Show. The cost is $10 per car. Be sure to ask about the North Pole Milk, Cookie Kit and 3D glasses.

Nashville – (Nov. 19-Jan. 3) Twinkling lights, Christmas trees, shimmering ornaments, holiday movies, selfie spots, letters to Santa, gingerbread decorating, carolers, carriage rides and more abound during Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas.

Pigeon Forge – (Nov. 19-Jan. 3) Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas features 5-million glistening lights, award-winning shows, culinary delights, seasonal shopping and holiday do-it-yourself kits to take home, including gingerbread houses.

Sevierville – (Nov. 19-Jan. 3) Immerse yourself in custom-built light displays synchronized with festive music, Santa’s Beach Party display and Santa’s Village during Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. Tickets start at $25.

Memphis – (Nov. 19-Jan 8) Christmas at Graceland kicks off the holiday season with a virtual holiday lighting, special Christmas tours, an overnight package at The Guest House at Graceland, Nativity scene, Santa and his sleigh and other fun activities.

Sevierville – (Nov. 19-Jan. 10) Glide across the rink with outdoor ice skating at Wilderness of the Smokies. Skates are available to rent at the rink. Guest admission is $10 for the entire stay and public admission is $17.99.

Gatlinburg – (Nov. 19-Jan. 31) Gatlinburg SkyLift Park transforms North America’s longest pedestrian bridge into a dazzling winter wonderland with a tunnel of 40,000 synchronized lights and dancing trees during “Lights Over Gatlinburg.”

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – (Nov. 19-Feb. 15) Many of the region’s entertainment and tourist attractions transform for the holidays with light displays, unique shopping and award-winning shows during Smoky Mountain Winterfest.

Nashville – (Nov. 20-22) Nashville Ballet will open its 2020-21 performance season with a virtual production of Community. Community celebrates the spirit of the city with works by three artists whose careers blossomed at Nashville Ballet.

Clarksville – (Nov. 20-Dec. 18) Enjoy vintage and modern holiday classics at Roxy Regional Theatre in the heart of downtown. Admission is $5, refreshments are available in sealed packaging and the theatre limits seating for social distancing.

Chattanooga – (Nov. 20-Dec. 31) Holiday under the Peaks at Tennessee Aquarium features festive decorations, holiday music, a seasonally-themed scavenger hunt and a trip on The Polar Express in the aquarium’s IMAX 3D Theater.

Nashville – (Nov. 20-Jan. 10) Over a million lights adorn the gardens during Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights. Enjoy seasonal favorites like real reindeer, a Poinsettia tree, trains lit up for the holidays and a unique story of the Nutcracker exhibit. 

Gallatin – (Nov. 21) Bledsoe Creek State Park celebrates Native American Heritage Month with a lunch and learn. Bring a picnic and learn about Native Americans who lived and hunted in the area 11 a.m. at the Visitor’s Center back porch.

Columbia – (Nov. 21) A Very Maury Christmas features over 30 vendors and boutiques 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Memorial Building downtown. A $5 entry fee will be accepted at the door benefiting aMuse’um Children’s Museum.

Gatlinburg – (Nov. 23-Jan. 3) Twinkling lights, visits from Santa, special events, fire pits and a whimsical stroll through the Treetop Skywalk make for an Enchanted Winter at Anakeesta.

Clarksville – (Nov. 24-Jan.1) Stroll and be captivated by light displays with over two million lights and a popular light tunnel during the half-mile Cumberland Riverwalk during Christmas on the Cumberland open nightly, weather permitting.

Clarksville – (Nov. 26-Jan. 2) Stay in the safety of your car to experience the Clarksville Speedway’s Drive-Thru Christmas Lights. Load up the car and cruise the one-mile track to take in the glow and sounds of the season. The cost is $25 per car.

Livingston – (Nov. 27, Dec. 4 & 11) Christmas in the Country 5-8 p.m. on the historic downtown square includes local merchants, carriage rides, performances by local dance students, a live nativity scene and pictures with Santa.

Castalian Springs – (Nov. 28) Journey through Christmas through the Ages: A Victorian Holiday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Historic Wynnewood. Learn about Christmas traditions, tour the home and enjoy hot cider.

Collierville – (Nov. 28-Dec. 19) Take horse-drawn carriage rides around the Town Square, snap pictures along the Holiday Photo Stroll and experience a quarter of a million holiday lights during Christmas in Colliervilleevery Saturday.

Townsend – (Nov. 28, Dec. 4, 12 & 19) The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center’s Christmas in the Village features a pioneer celebration, living history interpreters and an Appalachian Village full of handcrafting demonstrations, lights and décor.

Franklin – (Nov. 28-Dec. 26) Holiday Magic on Main downtown features downtown merchants along Main Street offering special discounts and promotions, pop-up appearances by Dickens characters, period dancers, live music and holiday décor.

Cookeville – (Nov. 30-Dec. 24) Take a night drive to see Cookeville’s decorated homes during the Christmas Tour of Lights. A free map is available at Cookeville City Hall. Find and print it here. New this year with the map is a Christmas scavenger hunt.

Savannah –(Dec. 1-31) Downtown businesses deck out in starry lights during December for Christmas on Main. The Savannah Christmas Parade 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 is unique with a “reverse” parade with floats stationary and viewers drive through to view. 

Hornbeak – (Dec. 1-31) Soak in the season with more than 400,000 Christmas lights, enjoy s’mores by the fire, visit with Santa, listen to Christmas music and enjoy the enchanted Winter Wonderland at Blue Bank Resort. The resort also teams up with Discovery Park of America each year to offer a “getaway package” through the holidays.

Kingsport – (Dec. 3) Grab Christmas gifts & support small businesses while shopping safely during Jingle & Mingle 5-8 p.m. downtown.

Columbia – (Dec. 4-5) Tour homes festively dressed for the season while benefiting the Athenaeum Rectoryduring the Maury Christmas Historic Home Tour. For ticket information contact The Athenaeum at 931-797-3316.

Bell Buckle – (Dec. 4, 5, 12, 19) The Bell Buckle Night Market 4-8 p.m. Dec. 4 kicks off Bell Buckle’s Olde Fashioned Christmas with local artisans, a fire pit, outdoor games and a scavenger hunt. The fun continues each Saturday with sleigh rides.

Jonesborough – (Dec. 4-26) Gingerbread houses, replicas of historic buildings and more will be on display in store windows during Main Street Jonesborough’s new walkable holiday contest and display, Jonesborough’s Gingerbread Village

Kingsport – (Dec. 5) Kick off the holiday season at 6 p.m. with Kingsport’s Virtual Tree Lighting. Due to COVID-19, the annual Christmas parade has been canceled.

Columbia – (Dec. 5) Get ready for the Christmas in Columbia “Night of Light” Christmas tree lighting and Columbia Main Street Christmas Parade in the Historic Downtown Square. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m.

Columbia – (Dec. 5-6, 12-13) Enjoy a fun-filled day of holiday vendors, food trucks, pancakes with yummy toppings, Christmas cookies, crafts, letters to Santa and more during A Blue Barn Christmas Market and Winter Festival.

Johnson City – (Dec. 6) Scott Miller and special guests perform at a drive-in concert at 4 p.m. at The Mall at Johnson City. Tennessee Hills Distillery craft cocktails will be available for purchase. The suggested donation is $100 per vehicle.

Cookeville – (Dec. 6-Jan. 3) Christmas in the Park kicks off with a live-streamed tree-lighting at 6 p.m. at Dogwood Park. The Christmas Tree Lightshow synchronized to holiday music begins at the top of every hour every night 5-9 p.m. 

Winchester – (Dec. 11-12) Step into a Hallmark movie during Santa Claus is Coming to Town downtown with carriage rides, pancake breakfast, live music, special guests and all merchants will be open late for holiday shopping.

Knoxville – (Dec. 11-Jan. 3) Holidays on Ice moves to the Civic Coliseum for the season on the same ice where the Ice Bears play hockey. Enjoy skating on a 180-foot rink while listening to music. There may even be a “Peppermint Panda” sighting. 

Gallatin – (Dec. 12) Join Grammy Award-winning country star John Berry for his 24th annual Christmas Songs & Stories at 8 p.m. at the Palace Theatre. The show will practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines for safety.

Shiloh – (Dec. 27) Shiloh National Military Park celebrates its 126th anniversary with a birthday party at 2 p.m. at the visitor’s center with cookies and a time of fellowship. Learn stories with a tour of the battlefield which covers 4,200 acres.

Columbia – (Dec. 31) The Mule Drop benefitting Center of Hope held on Historic Public Square will ring in the New Year. Rubik’s Groove will keep the party going until the Mule Drops. Fireworks and confetti cannons will ring in 2021.

Birchwood (Jan. 11) The 2021 Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival is canceled due to COVID-19, but online events start Jan. 11. The viewing area at the Hiwassee Refuge is still open to guests. Please follow all CDC recommendations.

Knoxville – (Jan. 30) Indulge in amazing treats from area chocolatiers, restaurants & bakeries 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. during Chocolatefest at World’s Fair Park. Tasting tickets are $25 and benefit Knoxville’s Ronald McDonald House.

Gallatin – (Jan. 24) Meet incredible vendors who make any wedding day a dream day, taste yummy samples of sweets and savories from area caterers and make planning a breeze at the Sumner County Bridal Show.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.  

Whispers - a window into the home of Rolls-Royce

Whispers – a window into the home of Rolls-Royce

“Rolls-Royce found itself in a unique situation at the onset of the global pandemic. It had recently unveiled an Application named Whispers, which acts as a gateway for clients to immerse themselves in a digital world of luxury, curated by Rolls-Royce. This access to thousands of clients ensured the marque could maintain direct and personal contact with its customers around the world despite the limitations of the coronavirus pandemic. Today, we go even further, bringing a comprehensive suite of online live video options for Whispers members to specify their motor cars, speak with Rolls-Royce product specialists, executives and craftspeople, or even witness a unique moment in the manufacture of their motor car, from the comfort of their own homes.” Verena Masters, Head of Whispers, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce Whispers is the marque’s digital world of curated luxury, an application created to meet the demands and tastes of an eclectic network of global clients. Over the course of 2020, Whispers has expanded and evolved, providing an engaging and inspiring experience for its unique online global community. Until today, Whispers has been the reserve of owners of Goodwood created Rolls-Royce motor cars. By popular demand, Whispers will now be available for partners of owners, providing a more holistic access as we approach the holiday season.

Already the epitome of customer-centricity, the Application has been evolved to consider the current restrictions faced by so many clients around the world, who, due to Covid-19 movement restrictions, are unable to travel to the Home of Rolls-Royce, in Goodwood, West Sussex. Many clients expressed a wish to maintain even closer contact with the marque, and in answer to these demands, Verena Masters, Head of Whispers, embraced the unique opportunity presented by the Application. Written dialogue is already available via the popular community messaging function. This function has now been developed to facilitate face-to-face video interactions, for more natural communication between clients and the marque. Now, patrons can experience Rolls-Royce’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence from wherever they are in the world, in the comfort of their own home.

A comprehensive suite of online live video options enables real-time communication with the marque’s executives, product experts and craftspeople. Clients may even view their motor car, live on the production line, at the marque’s manufactory –  witnessing the ‘marriage’ – a seminal moment as the powertrain meets the chassis,  or the fitting of the Spirit of Ecstasy.

New Ghost has naturally ignited considerable demand for this service. One-on-one live consultations with Rolls-Royce specialists and designers have provided detailed and personal product insights, which enable remote commissioning to take place. Materials and colours are defined, Bespoke accoutrements are envisioned, and unique motor cars are brought to life in consummate Rolls-Royce style – with effortless ease.

The curation of cultural and exclusive opportunities continues on Whispers courtesy of the marque’s Luxury Intelligence Unit. Most recently, members have enjoyed editorial inspiration on topics ranging from the forefront of moving-image art, guidance on how to cultivate a woodland, and even, the philanthropic endeavours of other Whispers members.

Rare and whimsical products continue to delight. The Whispers Concierge is in demand as signed first edition Harry Potter books, unique Hermés handbags and Yeezy Boost 380’s are sourced for members from around the world, as attention turns to the holiday season.

In an additional enhancement of the Whispers Application, members can now virtually exhibit their automotive collections for the network of fellow Rolls-Royce clients to peruse and admire. With the ability to search by name, location and even by car, members are able to connect with local, like-minded members, be it for business or leisure purposes.

The ticket to entry into the rarefied world of Whispers is a Goodwood manufactured Rolls-Royce motor car. For further information, please contact your local dealer.

Diwali light illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Diwali 2020

By: Elle Grant

Over the course of mid-November, the annual five-day festival, Diwali, took place from November 12th to November 16th. Known as the festival of lights, for those who follow Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, major religions in South Asia, this is one of the most important religious festivals of the year. It lasts the aforementioned five days, from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika. (the corresponding dates in the Gregorian calendar usually fall in late October and November).

Diwali as a festival has deep meaning within the communities it is celebrated. Its name comes from the Sanskrit term dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” In turn, the lighting of Diwali candles is an essential part of the celebration. The festival generally symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. In this context, light symbolizes knowledge and wisdom, while darkness is a symbol for all negative forces including wickedness, destruction, violence, lust, envy, injustice, greed, oppression and suffering. The third day of Diwali is celebrated on Saturday, November 14, 2020. While it is widely celebrated by a vast proportion of the world’s population, precisely how Diwali is celebrated varies by culture.

Across, South Asia, different regions celebrate different deities first and foremost with the festival. Among Hindus the most widespread custom is the lighting of diyas (small earthenware lamps filled with oil) on the night of the new moon to invite the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In Bengal the goddess Kali is worshipped with the event. In North India the festival additionally celebrates the royal homecoming of Rama to the city of Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, the 10-headed king of the demons, thus connecting the festival with the holiday of Dussehra. In South India the festival marks Krishna’s defeat of the demon Narakasura. The celebration of Diwali offers just a glimpse into how culture varies across South Asia.

Homes of those who celebrate reflect the importance of the day. Many begin the holiday with a deep cleaning of their home, from top to bottom. Floors inside and out are covered with rangoli, consisting of elaborate designs made of colored rice, sand, or flower petals. The doors and windows of houses are kept open in the hope that Lakshmi will find her way inside and bless the residents with wealth and success. Other ways Diwali is celebrated include visiting loved ones, exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, feasting, feeding the poor, and setting off fireworks. Delicious food is a large part of the celebration. Yet how this holiday is specifically celebrated this year has been affected by the ongoing global pandemic caused by the spread of COVID-19.

Before Diwali even took place, experts warned of the danger of gathering for the event, in the vein of warnings being made for the coming holidays of Christmas and Hannukah for Christian and Jewish populations of the world. International lockdowns in places like Europe have put a damper on the plans of many. Yet many are finding ways around the restriction of movement and celebration; many are planning calls with families across different continents, in which there will be singing, games, and tasty foods shared through screens. Some say it has even brought them closer as a family.

Like many holidays, Diwali assuredly looks different this year. Yet the resilience displayed by those celebrating, to find a way to connect with family and friends during this special spiritual time, again reflects some of the best of human ingenuity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Christmas In Croatia

By Patrick T. Cooper

This year has been anything but ordinary. Extraordinary would even be an understatement! Most who dare to read this article are grappling with the thought of where your first travel destination will be post-pandemic. Well, forget pulling out all of those dusty ornaments and slaving in the kitchen to prepare the family meal. Croatia is calling you to blend your love of travel with holiday traditions to make your season a memorable one.

Croatia offers a unique old-world feel with a hip awareness that locals will eagerly share while illustrating the countries fair and flare. The gift of travel is evergreen and never antiquated. Give the gift of lifetime memories well beyond the impact of material goods. This past year should be your throttle boost to knock off the destinations of the world that you have always hungered to see. Christmas in Croatia is not just a catchy title but a rhythmic vibe that will have you singing in the city streets.

The aha moment is forthcoming once you maneuver through the city cafes at the center of Zagreb. Beyond the city’s annual Festival of Lights is a community that is welcoming, warm, genuine and excited to educate you on the rich culture of this region in the world. While travel has been practically extinct this year, this story gives you ample time for planning to experience The Ultimate Holiday Gift – Christmas in Croatia.

Christmas in Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 mag

The Bucket List

Positioned on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. The Croatian economy is dominated by the services and industrial sectors as well as agriculture. Tourism is the paramount source of revenue, ranking Croatia among the 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country measures 21,851 square miles and a population of 4.07 million, most of whom are Catholic.

Zagreb, Croatia’s northwestern capital, is riddled with distinguished 18th and 19th– century Austro-Hungarian architecture contributing to your eyes dancing as you wonder about the city. Most infatuated upon my arrival, I, of course, had to make the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as my initial stops. From the colored rooftop of the church to the edifice of the cathedral, I hastened to mark three destinations off of my travel bucket list.

At this point, I have piqued your curiosity, similar to anxious adolescents on the night before Christmas. Never fear, I will be the calming hand to give you a Croatia travel cheat sheet. The path is now lit!! Continue reading and start preparing to soar into the unknown and craft memories to enhance your personal journey.

Lights in Zagreb

By day, Zagreb’s main square is perfect for people watching. A brief stop in Dolac’s open-air market will intensify your cultural submersion. Prepare to indulge in the ultimate Christmas experience by evening. The city literally lights up!! The splendid display of the holiday spirit is like no other in the world. Advent on European Square, Advent on Zrinjevac, Ice park, and Advent in Tunnel are all close in proximity and offer an array of souvenirs, decorations, food and beverages to heighten the beginning of your fairy-tale in Croatia.

Truffle Hunt in Istria

Everyone loves a day trip to Istria which includes phenomenal hunting. Fetching some of the world’s most renowned mushrooms is quite an adventure. Prior to exiting the field, fuel up with your personalized truffle cooking class at Karlić Tatufi. Opting for the scrambled truffled eggs and a variety of truffle-infused pastries is the perfect breakfast to start the day. Excitement ensues watching the eagerness of canine energy to hunt the delicacy of the Croatian culture. The benefits of eating, education and exposure culminate in creating a magical endeavor.

Truffle photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Rest in Rovinj

From the sleek curbside appeal, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is perhaps one of the sexiest hotels that I have visited. Modern, yet minimalist furnishings and features make this property award-winning. Beyond the architecture, you prepare to be rewarded with elegantly appointed seafront views overlooking St. Katarina Island and the Old Town of Rovinj. Completed in 2019, this hotel represents a collaboration with Milan studio Lissoni Architecture by Piero Lissoni. From its beaches, pool, dining and spa the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is an unforgettable designed stay.

Grand Park hotel photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Chocolate in Opatija

A chocolate Santa Claus is such a treat!! Literally one of Opatija’s sweetest events happening the first weekend of December is when you should be ready to taste and experience the finest chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers. Everywhere the eye can wander, you shall see white, milk and dark chocolate creations that elevate from edibles to works of art.

By all means, secure your global selfie stamp by posing with famous individuals like Gustav Mahler and Isadore Duncan of Opatija at the Open Air Theatre at the Park Angiolina.

Chocolate Santas by Patrick Cooper for 360 Magazine

Castles in Rijeka

Korzo is the main promenade in Rijeka. It is the focal point to capture the hustle of the city and a quick coffee in a multitude of cafes. At nightfall, it is the climb to the Trsat Fortress that will illuminate your love for Rijeka, Croatia. Never before have I seen such a delicate display of holiday savoir-faire. From carriages to castles dripping in bright lights, prepare to spend your upcoming holiday in this historical winter wonderland. Croatia is certainly worth planning an entire year in advance.

Sing Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Carly Rae Jepsen – It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries

Listen to “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries” HERE

Pop dynamo Carly Rae Jepsen is bringing some much-needed Yuletide cheer a little early with her cheeky new song “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries,” out today on 604/Schoolboy/Interscope Records. The snappy, synthy jingle—which grapples with vegan boyfriends, political uncles, and grandpas on edibles—sees the Grammy-nominated star doing what she does best: finding the joy in every situation, even when tears are falling. “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries” is available now at all digital retailers.

Crafted with acclaimed songwriters and producers Benjamin Romans, CJ Baran, and James Flannigan, the disco-pop merriment of “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries” was a chance for Jepsen to embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly of her favorite time of the year. “I love the old fashioned movies and the family traditions and the excitement of gifting presents and decorating the tree and and and… my list is endless,” she says. “But each year the pressure to have the perfect Christmas always ends in tears. I call it Christmas versus expectation.”

“Christmas holiday is my favorite time of year. I love it,” says Jepsen.  “But so often emotions run high and expectation versus reality is something I’d like to shed some light on and hopefully some laughs too in the process. So if you are lucky enough to get to be with the ones that matter most to you this year- embrace it! And if things go south just remember, “the secret is to sing a little song to survive… that it’s not Christmas till somebody cries!”.

This is the Canadian artist’s second gift to fans this year. In May, she released Dedicated Side B, a sleek set of dance-pop pleasures filled with all the unbridled optimism Jepsen first displayed on her 2012 debut album Kiss. The album is a companion piece to 2019’s Dedicated, which features the buoyant singles “Party for One,” “Now That I Found You,” and the Jack Antonoff-produced “Want You in My Room”—all of which were named among the top songs of the year by outlets including Rolling Stone, Billboard, Stereogum, and Pitchfork.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s pristine, prismatic pop has long been the blissful soundtrack for first kisses and swirling romances, but the multi-platinum Grammy, Juno and Polaris Prize nominated Canadian star’s knack for distilling a sea of emotions into brilliant songcraft has wooed critics as deeply as fans. The singer, songwriter, and actress first burst onto the international scene in 2012 with the sly and sublime “Call Me Maybe.” That blockbuster hit from her breakthrough album, Kiss, topped charts in over 47 countries, sold over 20 million singles, and was certified Diamond in the U.S. It also earned her two Grammy nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Since then, she’s amassed even more acclaim across the music spectrum. On her 2015 synth-pop stunner E*MO*TION, Jepsen collaborated with Sia, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, and Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), expanding her sonic palette with shimmery synths and euphoric dance beats that channel the sugary rush of new flirtations. Noisey declared it the pop album of the year, while the beaming single “I Really Like You” went platinum. Her 2019 follow-up, Dedicated, covered even more musical and emotional ground, as our most hopeful romantic continued to chase her bliss through a breakup. The Atlantic called the album “brilliant” with its “godlike bops.” Jepsen returned again in May 2020 with a gift for her fans: Dedicated Side B, a buoyant set of dance-floor candy that affirmed her status as pop’s undefeatable ambassador of love.

Advice for the Holiday Season

This holiday season is going to be one of the more unusual ones. Between a pandemic and a polarizing political year, the family get-together is going to look a little different. What do you need to know to make it go as smoothly as possible? Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, cross-cultural trainer, author and founder of Access to Culture, has offered her advice. 

Plan and Prepare in Advance but Be Flexible

A good host prepares their holiday gathering well in advance, but keep in mind you may have to practice being flexible. If COVID numbers rise, as they appear to be, you might have to postpone or cancel the festivities this year. Invited guests to a holiday celebration should respect the host’s decision to make changes, even if it comes at the last minute.  

Follow CDC Guidelines and Local Regulations

To keep everyone safe, follow the latest recommended CDC guidelines such as maintaining six feet of distance from others, providing proper ventilation, frequent hand washing, mask-wearing, smaller gatherings, and spending more time outdoors if the weather permits. Make sure and let your guests know in advance the protocols you will be following and that they are expected to follow as well. 

When in Doubt, Stay Home

In years past, maybe you would still attend Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner if you had a little cold or were slightly under the weather. This year, however, it’s just not worth the risk. Keep in mind in this pandemic-driven world that it’s not only about your health and well-being but also about being respectful of the people around you. 

Remember Your Manners

This holiday season is going to be especially challenging for all of us as we continue to manage the pandemic. The best thing we can do is be on our best behavior by practicing patience, acting with civility and respect, and being kind to each other. Don’t be a rogue guest. Avoid discussion about sex, politics, and religion. Don’t ask prying questions. Focus on gratitude and treat others how you want to be treated.

BYOM (Bring Your Own Meal & Mask)

BYOM serves double duty this year, with the ‘M’ meaning meal and mask. In the past, it was customary for guests to bring at least one dish to the holiday gathering. This year, for safety, asking each family attending to bring their own meal is not out of the question. It should also go without saying that each guest should arrive wearing a mask. Hosts need to let their guests know the BYOM rules ahead of time so there is no confusion and awkwardness. 

Drive Instead of Fly When Possible

Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel period of the year for air travel. Although air travel has been deemed rather safe despite COVID concerns, nonetheless it still increases your risk. When possible, turn holiday travel this year into a fun road trip. Consider traveling at off-peak times to avoid contact with the crowd of other holiday travelers.  

Be Aware of “Naive Realism”

Psychologists identify this as our tendency to believe that the way we see the world is the way the world really exists. Your view of COVID, politics or anything else is only one of a range of numerous perspectives. When in conversation with others, remember that your view isn’t everyone’s reality.

360 with Integrity

To kickoff the holiday season, 360 Magazine launched its very own collection of bottles, stemware, and glasses in collaboration with Integrity Bottles. The bottles are sand-carved by hand with the 360 logo, painted, and etched with our trademark in either deep etch (no color), silver, or gold. The collection features seven products.

At 360 Magazine, drinks are taken seriously. The magazine’s Spirits section pays homage to celebrity and libation culture. There, 360 celebrates new drinks, like the JAJA-peño Margarita and D’USSE’s exclusive cocktail, beers, like the Coconut Coffee Stout, and wine-tasting events, like those which take place at Benovia Winery. Thus, 360 knows the value of nice glassware.

Two of the seven products are decanters, fit to hold and present your scotch, vodka, tequila, gin, or rum. The first product shown on the 360 x Integrity Bottles’ webpage is the 360 Magazine Refillable Capital Decanter. This is 750 ML and retails for $69.99. The second, which is the 360 Magazine Refillable Diamond Decanter, is also 750 ML and retails for the same price as its sister product.

Another option in this collection is the 360 Magazine Refillable Liberty Bottle. Like the previous two decanters, this one is 750 ML. It retails for $49.99.

There are four glassware options for buyers. For fervent wine-lovers, this collection includes a stemless wine glass. The wine glass is priced from $19.99. Particularly for those who prefer to drink whiskey, the 360 Magazine Whiskey Rocks Glass is ready and waiting. It is 10 ounces and retails for $19.99. Beer drinkers have two options as well. The collection offers a 16 ounce beer/pint glass that retails for $19.99 for the first option and a gibraltar beer mug, which retails for $29.99.

As the holiday season approaches, a gift from the collection would surely not disappoint.

Integrity Bottles is a small business that started amongst friends. The shop then transitioned to Etsy and then to its own online site. Now, Integrity Bottles has sold more than 3,200 bottles, and earned 265 5-star reviews. They offer customizable glassware, water bottles, accessories, and free domestic shipping for orders over $50. The company is run by military veterans and former law enforcement.

Use the code “360MAG20” for 20% of your first purchase of glassware from the 360 Magazine collection. Also, the code “GIVEBACK” will save you 5% on a separate order, not limited to the 360 Magazine collection.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, NYC, Harlem, apollo theater, Rolls-Royce, cullinan, luxury, bespoke, style, fashion, holiday season

3 Pro Tips to Master Your Holiday-Season Fashion

The holiday season is in full swing, which means you’ll need the perfect outfit for the endless number of occasions on your calendar. From holiday work parties to get-togethers with family and friends, you’ll be diving deep in your wardrobe if you want to avoid wearing the same outfits over and over again during the next few weeks.

To keep your style fresh and your outfits chic, here are three pro tips to help you master your holiday season fashion.

1. Invest in Quality Outerwear

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a region with warm winter weather, you’ll likely be bundling up every time you go outside this holiday season. This means the cute outfit you spent hours putting together will inevitably be covered up by your bulky coat. If you’re headed to a party, this isn’t a big deal, as you’ll likely shed it as soon as you make your entrance.

But if you have an outdoor date to see Christmas lights or are going out for dinner and drinks and need to be able to get from one place to the next without freezing, you might be wearing that coat a bit longer. In that case, it becomes just as much a part of your holiday outfit as your dress or favorite skinnies.

To keep your coat from ruining your holiday look, invest in some quality outerwear. A black wool coat or sleek khaki trench will help keep you looking winter chic without sacrificing warmth. Plus, these styles are classic enough that you won’t need to worry about them going out of style from one season to the next. 

If you live in an area that experiences below freezing temperatures this time of year, a warm, puffy down-filled coat is another good choice. Indeed, it will provide you with a little extra warmth, as well as help you stay trendy this holiday season.

2. Dress Up Your Year-Round Staples

The holiday season and all its parties, glitz and glamour lasts less than three weeks from start to finish, give or take a week if you start celebrating before Thanksgiving. But if you’re buying new holiday outfits every year, only to stop wearing them after Christmas, you’re wasting your shopping budget on items that are useless for more than 11 months of the year.

Rather than starting from scratch for your holiday outfits, look in your closet for items you can dress up for your next party or date. For instance, your favorite little black dress can easily become holiday ready with the addition of a colorful scarf, glittery jewelry or a pair of red or green tights. By only buying a few accessories, you can save your shopping budget for items you can enjoy year round, like a new little black dress.

3. Layer on an Oversized Sweater

While you’re shopping for something new, sweaters are another good choice. The right one can be dressed up or down, and you’ll no doubt stay warm all season. When in doubt, layering an oversized sweater over a dress, skirt or leggings is an easy way to look chic and stay warm this holiday season. Whether it’s tossed over a fitted black dress or a flowy midi skirt, the result is effortless polish. Big, bulky sweaters of all shapes, colors and textures are in right now, so go with what you like. 

Mastering Your Holiday Style

Whether you’re prepping for a holiday party or a low-key Christmas with family, these pro tips can help you look chic and stylish all season long!

NYBG, VAUGHN LOWERY, 360 MAGAZINE

Annual Holiday Train Show

‘Take a mystical sleigh ride into a capricious world of architecture and history. An annual holiday event worth traveling across the country and world for.’360 MAGAZINE

NYBG’s 28th Annual Holiday Train Show® Showcases Central Park, with New Replicas of Its Iconic Architectural Treasures, Including Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, and the Dairy November 23, 2019–January 26, 2020 NYBG’s 28th

Annual Holiday Train Show showcases Central Park and its architectural features, including the Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, and the Bow Bridge.

The New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show® showcases Central Park—the most popular urban park in America—in the 28th year of this much-loved holiday event. Visitors are transported to a miniature metropolis as model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 175 New York landmarks, each re-created from natural materials such as birch bark, lotus pods, acorns, and cinnamon sticks. The Holiday Train Show runs Saturday, November 23, 2019, through Sunday, January 26, 2020.

New replicas of Central Park’s iconic architectural treasures include Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, the Dairy, the Naumburg Bandshell, and two graceful pedestrian bridges. They are arrayed in a tableau with existing Central Park replicas in NYBG’s collection, including the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater and the Old Bandstand. In addition, famous New York buildings that are either next to the park or just inside it are on display, including the Plaza Hotel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Rose Center for Earth and Space, part of the American Museum of Natural History.

This year, the Holiday Train Show is presented in an immersive indoor winter wonderland adjacent to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory as the Conservatory’s palm dome undergoes restoration, part of the routine maintenance and operations of the Botanical Garden’s facilities. The spacious, climatecontrolled exhibition space is located on the Conservatory Lawn.

Central Park, designed in 1858 by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, occupies not only the middle of Manhattan but also a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers and in the American imagination. Visited by more people than any other urban park in the United States, it has been featured in hundreds of movies. Perhaps even more important, Olmsted and Vaux’s “Greensward Plan” inspired cities across the country to set aside large open spaces as public parks.

A striking feature of their design was the wide variety of buildings and architectural elements they included to complement the natural setting. The Belvedere Castle was built as a Victorian “folly” on the highest natural elevation in the park, offering visitors a “beautiful view”—the English translation of its Italian name. Completed in 1872, the turreted castle includes Gothic, Romanesque, Chinese, Moorish, and Egyptian motifs. In June 2019, the Belvedere reopened after a 15-month restoration.

Bethesda Terrace opens on the Lake at the heart of Central Park. The 1873 Angel of the Waters sculpture crowns the Terrace’s majestic Bethesda Fountain. In one hand, the angel holds a lily, a symbol of purity. Designer Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive a public art commission in New York City, likened the healing powers of the angel to that of the Croton water system, which brought clean, fresh water to the city beginning in 1842.

The Dairy, built in 1870, was intended as a place where children could enjoy a glass of fresh milk, which was not always easy to get in mid-19th-century New York. The hybrid design is a playful combination of a Swiss chalet and a Gothic country church. The Naumburg Bandshell, a neoclassical structure of cast concrete built in 1923, has hosted performers from Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington to the Grateful Dead.

The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater was Sweden’s exhibit at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition in 1876. The enchanting Swedish architecture and craftsmanship, suggestive of a model schoolhouse, caught Olmsted’s eye, and he brought it to the park in 1877.

A theater designed for marionette performances was built inside in 1973. The Old Bandstand was a 1862 Victorian-style cast-iron bandstand designed by Jacob Wrey Mould. It was demolished in 1922 to make way for the Naumburg Bandshell. Also dating from 1862 is the graceful Bow Bridge, the first cast-iron bridge in Central Park. Spanning the Lake between Cherry Hill and the Ramble, its subtle shape is reminiscent of the bow of an archer or violinist. Designed by Calvert Vaux and originally built of white oak, Oak Bridge crosses Bank Rock Bay and is a popular destination for bird watchers. Both bridges are new to the Holiday Train Show collection.

In the Holiday Train Show, more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys hum along nearly a half-mile of track past re-creations of iconic sites from all five boroughs of New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and other locations in New York State. Artistically crafted by founding visionary Paul Busse’s team at Applied Imagination, all of the New York landmarks are made from natural materials such as bark, twigs, stems, fruit, seeds, fungus, and pine cones. American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains travel beneath overhead trestles, through tunnels, across rustic bridges, and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks. Thomas the Tank Engine™ and other beloved trains disguised as large colorful insects delight children as they whiz by.

Founding Sponsors:

Victoria and Robert Zoellner

Sponsors:

Alpine Associates Management Inc.

LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust

Macy’s

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad, bus, or subway.

HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW HOURS:

During the Holiday Train Show, November 23, 2019–January 26, 2020, The New York Botanical Garden is open Tuesday–Sunday, and Monday, December 16, 23, 30, and January 20, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Extended hours, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., December 26 and 29. The Garden is closed all day on November 28 (Thanksgiving) and December 25 (Christmas); it closes at 3 p.m. on December 13 and 24 (Christmas Eve).

PRICING:

All-Garden Pass tickets start at $23 for adults and $10 for children (ages 2–12) and differ during weekends and holiday weeks. Members and children under 2 are free. Advance timed tickets are strongly recommended and are available at nybg.org. Discounts available for groups of 15 or more; contact Group Sales at 718.817.8687. For more information, please visit our Web site at nybg.org