The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Dec. 5

A cafe where you can get work down, Christmas tree lots and more make our list.

1. Watch The Holiday (A.K.A. The Best Christmas Movie)


If you’ve seen The Holiday, you’ll understand what I mean when I say it has all the components of the perfect feel-good Christmas movie. If you haven’t seen it, allow me to explain. This 2006 film (written and directed by Nancy Meyers) is about two women, played by Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, who swap houses because they both need a break during the holidays. To name a few of the delights of this movie: a cozy cottage in England, two strong female characters, a sweet old former movie writer in L.A. with amazing life advice, two unexpected love stories, a Blockbuster movie store date and a beautiful score to backdrop it all. I am not much of a romance movie person (no Hallmark Channel movies for me, please and thank you!), but this one is so charming. I look forward to watching it every year. 

2. Work at the Bay View Colectivo


The most productive version of me hasn’t seen the sunlight in eight days, has only slept in intermittent and feverish fits, smells of Cheetos and desperation, and can’t shake a five-day long stress stomachache. As a result, I tend to avoid working in public places, where people are apt to complain of both my smell and the groans of misery and terror I frequently emit. But this Saturday, I tried working in a cafe. And I have to admit that Bay View’s Colectivo is kind of the perfect cafe for work. It has a parking lot, and there’s usually a spot open. The upstairs is quiet, peaceful and has a decent number of tables. And the wi-fi is wi-fantastic – no slow connections or glitchy cutouts. Obviously, I will always be a man who prefers solitude and darkness, but on the brief occasions when I emerge from my cave, this spot is where I’ll head. 



Join Milwaukee Magazine and Quad for the third-annual Unity Awards Event on March 8 from 6:30-9 p.m. at GATHER in the Deer District.

3. Buy a Christmas Tree


My holiday tree-procuring expedition led me to two Riverwest stores last weekend – Kellner’s (3258 N. Humboldt Blvd.) and Bliffert Lumber (1014 E. Chambers St.). It’s not that I was looking for the “perfect” tree. It’s that I have trouble making decisions. I went to Kellner’s first, at night, and took in the twinkly white lights and little fire they had going outside. The trees looked great but… I’ve bought mine from Bliffert in the past and wanted to take a gander at what they had. I checked them out the next day and, lo and behold, settled on something in five minutes. Now my tree is up – not decorated – but it’s up. Let the festive season begin!

Kellner’s; Photo by Ann Christenson

4. Read Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley


My book club picked this book for the month of December, and it was a joy to read! It’s about a group of people who run into each other on a commuter train every day and never talk to each other until one day, they do and become influential parts of each other’s lives. I enjoy how it jumps between the perspectives of each of the characters, so we get to see their lives separately and then how they intersect while on the train. It’s one of those feel-good reads that is perfect for this time of year. I recommend it!

Photo by Brianna Schubert

5. Check Out Campy Holidays


It’s no secret, I love Christmas. And this weekend I stopped by the bar that, in my opinion, decks its halls best: Camp Bar in the Third Ward. I checked out the Third Ward’s iteration – though all four bars have the takeover – and it was floor-to-ceiling lights. It was also stuffed with people felling the holiday spirit (and spirits). Because of the crowd, I didn’t stick around too long, but I suspect a weeknight visit would open up a table or two. 
Campy Holidays; Photo by Alli Watters