Good morning, and welcome to the weekend.
Grab your cup of coffee or tea and sit down with a selection of this week’s great reads from The Globe. In this issue, Paul Waldie heads to a shelter near the Polish-Ukrainian border where refugees fleeing the war have gathered to celebrate a traditional Orthodox Christmas. At the Ukrainian House, in Przemysl, Poland, music and Christmas lights adorn the shelter. But despite their best efforts, which include a traditional 12-dish meal, Christmas trees and caroling, debate swirls around whether Orthodox Christmas, in line with Russia’s Christmas, should even be celebrated. Waldie says the holiday cheer is doing little to alleviate the pain felt by around 100 guests – some of whom arrived just a day earlier; many who have lost loved ones or their homes; and some who have lost everything to Russia’s war against Ukraine. For many, Waldie says, celebrating the holidays “only makes them miss their family even more.”
Jason Kirby checks in with dozens of experts, from economists to business leaders, on their predictions for the year ahead. Each one offered a chart that explores issues they think will be critical in 2023. Kirby says the charts yielded warnings and red flags, with an unprecedented number of experts saying the data pointed straight toward a recession. But the process of obtaining the data, he says, has always been fun, with experts playing a friendly game of one-upmanship.
We also hear from Tom Rachman, who ponders whether humans really have what it takes to be happy.
If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Great Reads and more than 20 other Globe newsletters on our newsletter sign-up page. If you have questions or feedback, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ukrainian refugees struggle to celebrate Orthodox Christmas and place no faith in Putin’s ceasefire
This year, Ukrainian refugees are gathering at a safe house along the Polish-Ukrainian border for Orthodox Christmas Eve – but for many, it isn’t easy to get into the Christmas spirit. Many are torn between sticking with their Orthodox tradition or switching to a Dec. 25 Christmas in line with Western nations, as a gesture of defiance to Russia. Paul Waldie joins around 100 refugees in the local Ukrainian House as they debated long and hard about whether to hold a traditional celebration on Jan 6.
2023 in charts: Experts predict what’s to come for housing, jobs, wages and more
Does Canada face a recession? Is this the year inflation will finally cool or will it remain stubbornly high? Predicting what will happen is tough after three years of COVID-fuelled turmoil and uncertainty, but The Globe reached out to dozens of experts to help try to make sense of what might be in store. From inflation and interest rates to housing, the job market and more, experts weigh in on what they think will be critical to watch for.
We cracked the happiness code. Why are humans still a mess?
Tom Rachman flies to Denmark, the land near the top of every happiness ranking, in pursuit of what sparks joy. He was struck with a nagging question: Do we actually want happiness? What’s clear to Rachman is that we do want happiness, but we also value something else – a dose of reality.
‘The brink of famine’: Somalia’s drought and decades of conflict have created a suffering country
Five consecutive rainy seasons have failed to arrive in Somalia, prolonging its worst drought in more than 40 years, and forecasts suggest that a sixth rainy season is likely to fail in the next several months, meaning that the country will endure three full years of drought. These temperatures are expected to push famine and food insecurity to historic highs while hundreds of thousands of people have fled to internally displaced camps to survive. Now, relief agencies are warning of large-scale deaths from hunger, which will likely increase in the East African nation.
Notre Dame’s restoration enters a new phase as architects envision a new mix of the ancient and modern
It has been three-and-a-half years since the fire that devastated Notre Dame, the touchstone of French cultural identity that stands on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris. Now – finally – construction is due to start on a new spire and roof for the Parisian landmark, and the hope that officials can open again in 2024.
‘I’m not going to let one day define me’: Lisa LaFlamme on the year ahead – plus 10 other notable Canadians on the power of a fresh start
There’s power in a fresh beginning. To discard the past and embrace change. As the world adjusts to a new year, The Globe and Mail asked headlining Canadians – from Giller Prize winner Suzette Mayr to Canada’s Drag Race star Gisèle Lullaby – to reflect on their past year and what they hope for in 2023. The consensus: There’s always room to grow.
A city, and a team, pull together after Damar Hamlin’s injury
Damar Hamlin’s catastrophic injury delivered another gut punch to a city already reeling after a mass shooting targeting Black people at a supermarket in May and a snowstorm last month that killed nearly 50 people, reports Marty Klinkenberg. But the team, and its loyal followers, are banding together in their grief: there are “Pray for Damar signs” everywhere. From supermarket cashiers to the housekeeping staff in hotels, everyone is rooting for Hamlin’s recovery.