Take a break; you deserve it! Here are people, places and things worth a busy woman’s time.

In December …

The 2012 Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which holds a lighting ceremony for the new one tonight. (Gregory Scaffidi/Tishman Speyer)

The 2012 Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. (Gregory Scaffidi/Tishman Speyer)

… Visit the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and go ice skating. The tree, topped with a 9 ½-foot-wide Swarovski star and dotted with 45,000 lights, will be on view until 11 p.m. Jan. 7.

200171335-001… Take some time for yourself. Organizers of this month’s Self Care Day encourage women to participate in a 30-day challenge, find a self-care buddy, walk daily and banish negative talking. Carol’s Daughter is also a supporter.

… Count your blessings! It’s good for your health. See “Fierce Facts: 5 Reasons to Be Thankful.”

… Make a commitment to protect yourself by practicing safe sex. To commemorate World AIDS Day, Dazon Dixon Diallo of SisterLove shares good news about the drop in our HIV infection rate and how we can keep the progress going!

… Tell us how you’re focusing on family, friends and self-reflection. Comment below or on our Facebook page. You can also drop us a line at info@fierceforblackwomen.com.

… Give the children in your life books as holiday gifts. It fits the principles of Kwanzaa and helps children remember the reason for the season.

FiercePH2… Minimize family drama. See “‘Tis the Season to Zip Your Lips on Your Cousin’s Hips” and more health news.

… Plan your 2014 budget, organize your tax materials and make end-of-year donations. For other tips on becoming Financially Fierce, read “Wealthy Habits That Last a Lifetime” by financial expert Deborah Owens.



Twitter Tuesdays!

Thanks for joining our first TweetChat! We had a great time, and some participants have committed to hosting meetups around the country. (See below.) The Fierce family will reconnect on the first Tuesday of each month. Check out this #Trending calendar periodically to learn about guests and topics. And if you aren’t already tweeting, sign up at Twitter.com and follow us @fierceforbw. Then link your Twitter account at TweetChat.com so that we can have more great girl talk. Use the hashtag #fierceforblackwomen.



Singing Sisters

dv1413016Many residents have a tradition of caroling through their communities. Others join sing-alongs of Handel’s “Messiah.” Here are a few sing-alongs (and play-alongs) scheduled around the country — plus a soulful, all-star version of the “Hallelujah Chorus” produced by Quincy Jones below:

Wednesday, Dec. 11:

7:30 p.m. with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Master Chorale.

Friday, Dec. 13, and Sunday, Dec. 15:

7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, at Greater San Diego Community Chorus and Orchestra at the University of San Diego’s Founders Chapel.

Sunday, Dec. 22:

9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.

3 p.m. with the Michael O’Neal Singers at the Roswell United Methodist Church in Roswell, Ga., near Atlanta.

Walk It Out!

Congratulations to those completing their 40-Day Gratitude Trek with GirlTrek. The Solo Trekkers and Trek Teams have been walking 30 minutes a day for 40 days straight!


Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs thebestmanholiday-mv-2

Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs in The Best Man Holiday. (Universal Pictures)

BFF Flashbacks

Remember all the things you shared with your friends in college? The Best Man Holiday attempts to capture those moments in a 15-year reunion with the original cast from 1999. The film resonated with the Fierce audience, which contributed to a $30.6 million opening — one of the largest among recent films with predominantly black casts, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Exit polls indicated that 75 percent of moviegoers were women and that 63 percent were over age 35. See more movies below, under Out & About. And read a real-life story of enduring friendship: “The Cape May Ladies Say Goodbye” by Jackie Jones. We want to hear about your friendships, too! Comment below or on our Facebook page. You can also drop us a line at info@fierceforblackwomen.com.


Where to Find Fierce Founders

Meet Sheree Crute and Yanick Rice Lamb at the New York Black Expo on Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.


Dance It Out!

“Multiply your workouts with some fun,” advises trainer Gigi Anita Nash, who loves and teaches belly dancing, but also recommends Zumba, Z-Fit, salsa or Samba. “Doing something fun means you will do it.”

In the Motor City? You can also “Hustle for History” during weekly dance classes at 5 p.m. on Sundays at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.


Strengthening Body and Mind

“Nurturing the spirit is the first step. Protecting the body is the next. Even if you are struggling with a health problem like hypertension, your choices can have a huge impact on your health.” To learn more, read ‘The Truth About Black Women’s Health” by Fierce editor-in-chief Sheree Crute.


On the Homefront

A-Cupboard-Full-of-Coats-199x300Curl up withA Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards (HarperCollins), who continues to receive acclaim for her debut novel, most recently as a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Fiction Award.

Bet on Black coverBet on Black: African-American Women on Fatherhood in the Age of Obama edited by Kenrya Rankin Naasel (Kimani Press). It features 22 poignant essays by writers such as Harriette Cole, Corynne L. Corbett, Karen Good Marable, Ayren Jackson-Cannady and Fierce publisher Yanick Rice Lamb. Read Yanick’s tribute to her father, “Daddy, My Brother Barack and Me.”

Amel Larrieux_1448.170x170-75Mary-J-Blige-Preps-First-Christmas-AlbumListen toA Mary Christmas. Mary J Blige’s voice sounds extra rich with renditions she’s made all her own. And Tamar Braxton, who’s
celebrating baby’s first Christmas, offers Winter Loversland for the holiday season.tamarbraxton2

… Amel Larrieux’s recently released Ice Cream Everyday.

Never My Love: The Anthology, a four disc or digital retrospective on Donny Hathaway. The set includes 23 previously unreleased songs and duets with Roberta Flack. The late singer’s legacy continues through his daughter Lalah Hathaway, who recently released a new single, “Shine.”

The Expats by Grammy-nominated, Ethiopian-American singer Wayna.

"Scandal" star Kerry Washington,  (ABC/Michael Ansell)

“Scandal” star Kerry Washington, (Photo by Michael Ansel/ABCl)

Watch … Whatever you want for the holidays whether you’re looking for family-oriented fare, wanting to sing, longing for uplift or feeling grinchy. ‘Tis the season for holiday overload on TV.

… HBO’s “Getting On,” an adaptation of a popular BBC series, co-starring Niecy Nash as part of the geriatric staff in a hospital’s long-term care unit.

Screen Sisters: Shonda Rhimes shared directing love with Debbie Allen and Ava Duvernay, right.

Screen Sisters: Shonda Rhimes recently shared directing love with Debbie Allen and Sundance winner Ava Duvernay, right. (Twitpic: @avaetc)

… “Scandal” at 10 p.m. EST on Thursdays. Can they (almost everybody) handle the truth? This week it’s time to man and woman up after the most recent scandal-overloaded episode and the previous stomach-turning, cliff-hanger guest directed by filmmaker Ava Duvernay, the first African-American woman to be honored as best director at Sundance for Middle of Nowhere. Speaking of the truth, real-life super-fixer Judy Smith who inspired the character Olivia Pope said for the record that she did not have sexual relations with any president. Just before before a “Scandal” viewing party in her hometown, Washington, D.C., Smith also warned the audience that the latest episode would anything but boring. What an understatement!


Out & About

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958.

Dance …

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the New York City Center for its annual holiday run through Jan. 5 with world premieres and classics like “Revelations.”

Music …

Reeves-D_1314_583x336Grammy Award-winning singer Dianne Reeves will join the San Francisco Symphony as part of her multi-city tour at Davies Symphony Hall at 7:30 Dec. 11.

Art …

Poster features sculpture on site where the Nobel laureate was arrested in 1962. The bars forming Mandela's portrait represent his 27 years of incarceration.

Poster features sculpture on site where the Nobel laureate was arrested in 1962. The bars forming Mandela’s portrait represent his 27 years of incarceration.

South African pays tribute to Nelson Mandela upon his passing in an insightful essay. Mandela’s life is captured in a new exhibit and a new film starring Idris Elba. The exhibit, “Nelson Mandela: Character, Comrade, Leader, Prisoner, Negotiator, Statesman,” is at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Library Gallery at Howard University in Washington. It will be on view through April 27 to mark the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s election as the first president of the Republic of South Africa. In the film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Naomie Harris co-stars with Elba as Winnie Mandela.

Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. (Long Walk to Freedom Ltd.)

Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. (Long Walk to Freedom Ltd.)


More Movies …

Filmmaker Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me, The Caveman’s Valentine) adapts a Langston Hughes’ play for the screen with Black Nativity. The star-studded cast includes Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Nas aka Nasir Jones.

Oscar buzz surrounds 12 Years a Slave, featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Alfre Woodard. Based on a true story, the film is being debated for its core and graphic content. (One woman says that she sets aside up to six hours to view heavy films, so that she can watch a lighter movie afterwards.) Here’s gender studies scholar Rebecca Wanzo’s take on the film.

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, a long-awaited documentary on the celebrated novelist by Pratibha Parmar, will be featured at the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), which runs through Dec. 15 in New York. Some ADIFF films are also available for purchase.

Fierce Fridays and Meetups!

Want to become a Fierce ambassador? You can host a meetup or Healthy Happy Hour at a tea room, juice bar or another great spot in your community. Sisters on the West Coast are going to walk the stairs in Los Angeles. Watch for other meetups in cities such as Atlanta, Brooklyn, Houston, Washington. Please send your ideas and contact information to info@fierceforblackwomen.com.

Calendar submissions for #Trending can be sent to info@fierceforblackwomen.com at least two weeks in advance.