I've always thought of this time between Christmas and New Year's as a bit of a dead zone: no one really goes to work and if you do you're pretty much slacking off anyway. Retail is busy, naturally, but for a few days all there really is to do is hang around the house, hit the gym and go see movies, as I have been doing.
I'm not one for year-end lists, mostly because I'm not into looking back, only forward. That, and I think year-end lists are kind if silly. I do, however, believe in recommending good films.
That said, you might as well go see Blood Diamond this week, since it's probably going to win a lot of Oscars anyway. I warn you that it is violent and kind of scary sometimes, but a fabulous film none the less.
Then, and you knew this was coming, buy Tom Zoellner's book, The Heartless Stone, which is about the diamond industry and what happens after the rocks leave Africa and go around the world for cutting and polishing, etc.
Also, if you want a good laugh at the expense of a delusional feminist, please read Peggy Orenstein ridiculous essay about her beefs with princess products aimed at little girls. I'm all for supporting the sisterhood, but denouncing little girls' toys because they promote beauty and kindness is a form of krazy that I'm not prepared to deal with. And don't even got me started about her remark about how she doesn't want her daughter to fall in love with Aryan features. For someone who likes to wave her flag of equality for women, she does a good job spreading the Haterade around. This is why I didn't major in women's studies.