December 20, 2020

Gift-wrapped goodwill

There are a lot of people on Santa’s “nice” list who deserve a handsomely wrapped holiday present. But the ones who have the greatest need for a gift this time of year are often overlooked and undercounted.

From the homeless and underprivileged to needy families and impoverished children, many people will have to do without this December. But you can make a difference in some of these lives and generate instant holiday hope and cheer by putting some worthy charitable organizations on your gift list.

For suggestions on worthy causes you can donate to, read my newest article for CTW Features, available here.

December 15, 2020

Buzz and Woody strike silver

In Cineversary podcast episode # 30, host Erik Martin and animation professor, historian, author, and ex-Disney animator Tom Sito travel to infinity and beyond in their admiration of “Toy Story,” which turns 25 this year. Erik and Tom examine why this film is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the movie today, how it has stood the test of time, and more. 
Tom Sito

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Pocket Casts, PodBean, RadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at and email show comments or suggestions to

December 13, 2020

Play it smart by socially distancing this holiday season

Can’t decide how big of a turkey to buy for your upcoming family feast? Planning a big Santa shindig this December? You may want to rethink your holiday festivities this year and take pandemic-related precautions if you expect to congregate with loved ones over the next few weeks, the experts agree.

“COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, and new waves of infection will likely occur in the fall and winter – just as the holiday season begins,” says William Li, MD, an internationally renowned physician, scientist, and COVID-19 researcher in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “The holidays are times when large numbers of family and friends gather together and socialize indoors, often over meals. But these are the exact circumstances when the coronavirus can spread.”

To reduce your risks, it’s smart to play it safe and plan extra carefully if you’ll be hosting a holiday dinner or seasonal get-together this year. Learn what the experts recommend by reading my latest article on this topic for CTW Features, available here.

December 6, 2020

How to accommodate everyone’s calendar without chaos this holiday season

Even with the coronavirus lingering, people’s schedules seem busier than ever. And that makes it challenging to coordinate calendars among family members when it’s time to plan for holiday gatherings. Deciding which house will host a party, who will make and bring a particular dish, limits on gift-giving, and picking the perfect date and time can trigger family schisms and stress – especially this year, when relatives may have to adapt their plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But these details don’t have to descend into disarray if you take the right approach. That means grabbing the holidays by the reins early and encouraging a democratic dialogue with your loved ones. I provide plenty of tips on this topic in my newest article for CTW Features, available here.