The Family Weekly: Let’s Create a New Holiday

Plus: the dilemma of “white-sounding” names, the case against going out for New Year’s Eve, and moving past a “ruined” wedding

Revelers gather in Times Square in New York
Revelers gather in Times Square in New York (Joe Russo / AP)

This Week in Family

In response to the Family section’s piece about unusual holiday traditions, The Atlantic’s Culture desk has come up with a challenge for readers: If you were going to create a new holiday altogether, what would it be? To get the creative juices flowing, some potential ideas include a National Stress-Bake Day, Resolution Revision Day, and Turn Off the Internet Day. If you have an idea for a day that doesn’t quite yet exist, you can submit it here.

There’s a lot of decision making that goes into choosing a first name for children, but immigrants often have to grapple with another consideration: whether the name sounds “American” (often code for “white”) enough. Several studies have found that white people treat people with anglicized names more favorably than people with more non-white-sounding names, says the Atlantic staff writer Joe Pinsker. He unpacks how immigrants have historically been pressured to assimilate into the U.S., and how that pressure continues to affect people’s name choices.


For those who have envied the hordes of people who congregate in Times Square to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop, it’s worth noting that a lot of these revelers are wearing diapers because of the lack of available restrooms. The Atlantic senior editor Julie Beck makes the case for staying in on New Year’s Eve instead of going out to bars or gathering in public places—options that are all but guaranteed to be chaotic and expensive.

Dear Therapist

Every Monday, the psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb answers readers’ questions about life’s trials and tribulations, big or small, in The Atlantic’s “Dear Therapist” column.

This week, a reader asks about how to move past resentment of a mother-in-law who was hospitalized during the reader's wedding party and "ruined" the weekend.

Lori’s advice: Try to focus on the positive things that happened during the wedding, and make sure to have a conversation about this with your husband.

I don’t know if he shares your sentiments or perspective, or what his relationship is like with his mother. Remember that the goal of the day was to get married to the person you love, which you two accomplished. Now comes the part that’s far more important than a single weekend or party: the rest of your marriage.

Send Lori your questions at