A Jolly Would Recommend

Gigi Silla (she/her); Washington, DC—

Welcome to “Would Recommend,” the new and improved version of “Gigi’s Corner: A Column,” the column in which I write about things that spark joy in my life and then rate them on a 10 point scale. Sort of like if Marie Kondo wrote Yelp reviews. There are plenty of things in my life that don’t spark joy (when it’s 60 degrees in December because of climate change, Happiest Season on Hulu), but here in the column we like to keep things positive. 

Music 

  • “‘tis the damn season” by Taylor Swift: Adding this to my “Sad Christmas” playlist along with “If We Make It Through December” by Phoebe Bridgers, “Hard Candy Christmas” by Dolly Parton, “River” by Joni Mitchell and the Peanuts version of “O Tannenbaum.” 10/10. 
  • “Always On My Mind” by the Pet Shop Boys: It’s not really a seasonal song, but it was in a Burberry holiday ad I saw a couple years ago with Cara Delevigne and Matt Smith, so I associate it with this time of year. 10/10. 
  • “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by The Jackson 5: So apparently this song isn’t about adultery? And ‘Santa Claus’ is really the kid’s father dressed up as Santa Claus? But my question is: where are we supposed to get this backstory from? Is dressing up as Santa Claus something most kids’ fathers do? Because my father never did. Should I feel neglected because of that? If you have the answers to any of these questions, please let me know! I mean that genuinely! You can fill out the contact form here to get in touch! Sometimes even advice columnists don’t have all the answers. Anyway, this song is still very fun, so I’m only going to take off 3 points for lyrical ambiguity. 7/10. 

Television 

  • Dash & Lily on Netflix: This show is so goddamn cute. If The Queen’s Gambit kinda stresses you out and you just need something to watch to make you forget about the real world for a little bit, this is the show for you! Plus, it features a half-Asian family! What more could you ask for!! 10/10. 

Movies 

  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) on YouTube: This movie holds up incrediblye well for something made in the twentieth century. The clay-mation is delightful and the gay subtext surprisingly unsubtle for the 1960s. 10/10. 

Food 

  • Orange Rooibos Tea from Trader Joe’s: Yes, this is the second time I have reviewed a tea from Trader Joe’s, but they just have really good teas, okay? The orange flavor makes the tea sort of Christmas-y if that’s important to you, but it’s not quite as aggressively seasonal as, say, peppermint, so there’s something for everybody in this tea! 10/10. 
  • Claire Saffitz’s Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies: I am continuously enamoured with Claire Saffitz, formerly of the BA Test Kitchen. What a wonderful human being. She just has such a calming presence, like she would be able to answer any question I posed to her with 100% certainty. I haven’t actually made these cookies, but it’s super fun to watch Claire make them in this video from Tthe New York Times Ccooking YouTube channel. 8/10. 

Miscellaneous 

  • Anti-capitalist gift exchanges: Give the gift of rebellion this holiday season by adding precisely zero dollars to Jeff Bezos’s bank account. Make a gift out of things you already own or out of the immense love in your heart instead. Possibilities include but are not limited to: a zine of original or other people’s poetry, a playlist, some baked goods, homemade jewelry, a knitted item of clothing. 11/10. 

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