Archive for November 2010

Planning for peak experiences

I know, as an adult, it's not cool to be all excited about a birthday. You're supposed to play it down, mourn your advancing age, etc. Well, I say hooey. I really like celebrating my birthday. It gives me an opportunity to plan fun stuff ahead of time. Studies of happiness find that the anticipation of enjoyable experiences makes them even more enjoyable. And pl… read more »

Why do we give gifts?

I love the look of lots of presents under the tree, especially nicely wrapped ones. A bulging stocking, tables loaded with treats -- all these speak to the abundance of the holiday season. Of course, though, as I'm flipping through catalogs deciding what to get people, I have been pondering why we do this. Gift giving is a rather inefficient exercise. Everyon… read more »

What I am thankful for

Those of you who were here for the most recent 168 Hours Challenge know that I decided that week to sign up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in an attempt to revive my zeal for distance running. We all went to Philly this past weekend (incidentally, we're considering moving there) and I got up bright and early and ran 13.1 miles through the streets. It went wel… read more »

Clearing Our Plates (The Mogul Mom)

(Note: this post from me ran yesterday over at The Mogul Mom. If you're visiting from there, welcome! Please scroll down for more content). By Laura Vanderkam Holiday season is upon us, which means a general feeling of too much to do creeping in with the tinsel. There are turkey dinners to cook, presents to buy and wrap, parties to orchestrate. And so, as the aut… read more »

Microphilanthropy is changing the face of charity

(Note: this is my column on microphilanthropy, which appeared in USA Today last week. This is a taste of what will be covered in my forthcoming book on money) by Laura Vanderkam Picture two scenarios. The first: You could give $50 to a charity that you know, vaguely, helps people with disabilities. The second: You log on to, a non-profit that h… read more »