These Are a Few of My Favorite Things This Year

December 7, 2012

With the year winding down, it’s a great time to reflect…

…especially on a few of our favorite things.

It’s kind of a tradition in blogging, and probably everywhere else too, to wrap up the year by telling everyone what your favorite things were this year.

I’m bringing you my list a little bit early, so you have some time to make a few last minute purchases for Christmas, or plan your lazy Christmas vacation accordingly.

Here are my favorites this year, from books to movies, to blogs to charitable causes, along with links so you can easily buy everything on my list!

What to Read?

With a full time teaching schedule, not to mention all my extracurricular activities, my reading time is valuable and limited. What did I enjoy549105954 this year?

Love DoesI didn’t try to find out about this book. I just saw a bunch of whispering online about it. So I bought it on a whim at the store, read it, immediately sat my wife down to read it, and then bought twelve copies for all my friends for Christmas. Don’t be an idiot. Read this book.

A Year of Biblical WomanhoodWhether we agreed with all of Rachel’s conclusions or not, this was the most discussed book between my wife and I this year, and I call that a good measure of success.

QuietFor one raging introvert (her) and one half-introvert (me), a book about the “power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” was indispensable. Incidentally, I was reading this on a plane, until I was conversationally assaulted by a loud-mouth, know-it-all, know-nothing Bostonian for an hour and a half. Typical.

What to Watch?

I used to have a movie playing all the time as background noise. Now, a movie has to be really special in order for me to plop down for two hours. Other than the requisite movies that everyone saw like Batman, what movies did I watch and feel like I had just been told a really great secret?

Safety Not GuaranteedStarring “April” from Parks and Recreation (Aubrey Plaza) and “Pete” from The League (Mark Duplass). A guy the-way-movie-poster-2010-1020554773puts an ad in the paper looking for a partner to travel back in time with him. It’s funny and warm and even a little mysterious.

The Way – Yeah, I know this movie didn’t come out in 2012. It came out in 2010. I don’t care, I just watched it. It stars Martin Sheen, but you probably didn’t watch it because A) it’s directed by his son, Emilio Estevez, the Mighty Ducks guy, and B) his brother Charlie was having a public meltdown about that time. I watched the movie, then watched it with my wife, then I told her we had to go cross-country backpacking next summer, which we are.

Who to Follow

I discovered a bunch of great blogs this year, with a surprising number of ladies in the mix. Who were my favorites?

Addie Zierman – How to Talk Evangelical gives me blog envy every time I read it.

Sammy Adebiyi – Sammy’s been writing for a while, but this was the year that I really found myself starring his blog posts on a regular basis. Like this gem – Ten People Who Christians Are Better Than.

Prodigal Magazine – I’m not just listing Prodigal because my good friends, Darrell and Ally Vesterfelt head up this collective of storytellers. I’m not just listing it because I contribute to it every couple of weeks. I’m proud to be a part of it because it’s crammed with great stories and real people, many of whom you aren’t going to find in many other places online.

Who to Support

Everyone knows the biggies, from Charity:Water to One Days Wages. Those are all great causes.

But honestly, this year, my attention went to lesser known people, who don’t have as big a platform. Instead of donating to the largest homeless shelter this year, our church donated 500 meals to one of the smallest. We contributed one sixth of their holiday meal budget, which is pretty cool for a micro-church like ours. We are helping rebuild a women’s ministry in our inner city that reaches out to women trapped in drug abuse and prostitution, something I’m very proud of.

It’s great to throw a couple of bucks in the red kettles and whatnot. But don’t forget the little guys in your own community. They’re sweeping up the work that falls through the cracks. And they need your help.

So, what were your favorites this year?

6 responses to These Are a Few of My Favorite Things This Year

  1. Huh, I never would’ve expected to see Indie Game: The Movie. Do you play any games?

    It’s realistic, but I found the language to be a bit much. Jonathan Blow is my favorite developer out of the bunch, but he just gets a few minutes of screentime as the sort “wise man” who’s already made a game.

  2. So honored to be listed here among your favorites. Thanks so much Matt.

  3. Prodigal is a good site. One of my regular reads.

  4. oh my dang!! i LOVED The Way! It was really good!!

    How are you!? Hope you’re well.