Can you believe it? This is the last speedlink of the year! Let’s just jump right in.

Starting things off, Louise Chapman of Talk Nerdy to Me takes us behind the scenes of blogging. What started out as an online journal has grown into so much more, providing a platform where she can discuss fostering, parenting, marriage and adventure. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into writing a blog post, her outline is a good place to start.

Who said family vacations had to be expensive? Little Miss Mama Tairalyn Ciulla offers her expert advice on how to plan an affordable Whistler trip with the kids. You may be surprised to see “Whistler” and “affordable” used in the same breath, but there are deals to be had, including free tobogganing, free ice skating and free day parking in Whistler Village. I haven’t been up to Whistler in years, so we’re probably due for another visit.

Some people get in a huff if you wish them “happy holidays,” because they might feel like “liberal snowflakes” are too sensitive and this is all a part of the “war on Christmas.” Some non-Christians get offended if you wish them a “merry Christmas,” because they don’t celebrate that holiday. Do they? Well, Taslim Jaffer from The South Asian Buzz offers her perspective on whether Muslims celebrate Christmas. Myself, I’m not religious, but I partake in the spirit of the season. We even got a tree this year.

You know “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song with the leaping lords, piping pipers and milking maids? D. Doug Mains of Dadding Depressed has a slightly different take on the holiday classic, listing off the twelve awkward moments of Christmas. Are you ready for the 12 meddling questions, 11 kids climbing over you, and the 10 minute dump? I’m fairly certain I had more than four failed dad jokes in there.

If you’re feeling a little down around this time of year, you’re not alone. Maria Bernardo from A Blog About Marbles gives her take on winter blues. She’s been feeling “heavy and tired” but taking some natural thyroid medication has helped. While I’ve never been formally diagnosed, I have a suspicion that I suffer from seasonal affective disorder. That’s why it’s so important to get as much sunlight as you can. Vitamin D supplements help too.

It turns out that Folger’s in your cup might not actually be the best part of waking up. If we listen to Craig Kulyk from Create Good Mornings, then we should really focus on having a meaningful morning routine that focuses on soulful simplicity. One of the first tips, by way of Courtney Carver (Be More With Less), is instead of sleeping in an extra five minutes, spend that time “alone on my yoga mat practicing what I had learned in class.”

Last and certainly not least, we turn to webcomic superstar Shenanigansen. He’s the guy behind one of my favorite webcomics: Owlturd. From what I can gather, Shen’s been going through a rough patch lately and his material has gotten a little darker. Arguably, it’s gotten even more insightful as a result too, like his recent comic on the difference between the truth and lies. Some things are worth the pain.