MONEY

275,000+ Free Tickets to Selma Available for Students

SELMA, from left: Colman Domingo, David Oyelowo, as Martin Luther King Jr., Andre Holland, Stephan James, 2014.
From left: Colman Domingo, David Oyelowo (as Martin Luther King, Jr.), Andre Holland and Stephan James in a scene from Selma. Atsushi Nishijima—Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

A "Selma for Students" campaign has raised enough money to allow hundreds of thousands of American middle and high school students to see the Martin Luther King, Jr., biopic Selma for free.

The critically acclaimed civil rights drama Selma may not have gotten quite the recognition some feel it deserved by the Academy of Motion Pictures, but a nationwide movement called “Selma for Students” is ensuring that the movie isn’t overlooked at theaters.

The program allows 7th, 8th, and 9th graders to receive free tickets to Selma at participating theaters around the country, including four apiece in cities like Baltimore, Nashville, and New Orleans, and at 11 movie houses in the San Francisco Bay area. The requirements differ slightly from city to city—some give free admission for high school students no matter what the grade—but in general, all you need to do to get a complimentary ticket is to show a student ID, report card, or some other proof of being a student at a participating theater’s box office.

As the Washington Post reported, the idea for “Selma for Students” was born in New York City, where African-American business leaders joined together in early January to create a fund allowing some 27,000 students in the city to view Selma for free. Roughly two dozen other cities have since joined the cause.

In St. Louis, for instance, local efforts are making it possible for some 6,250 teenagers to see the film for free. “It is important that St. Louis students are informed about this moment in history and its connections to the challenges they face today,” Reverend Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation, a partner in the “Selma for Students” campaign in the city, said via press release. “We believe this experience will nurture civic engagement among young people and give them hope that systemic change is possible through cooperative, intentional, and well-planned efforts.”

Altogether, it’s being estimated that more than 275,000 American students around the country will be able to get free admission to the movie, with most attending over the long Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday weekend.

A limited number of tickets are being given away for each theater, and as of Friday afternoon several locations were already “sold out,” including all of New York City and Philadelphia, and all but a few of the participating Regal Cinemas around the country. All who watch the movie are encouraged to share images and responses on social media using the hashtag #SelmaforStudents.

MONEY deals

Why You Should Be Shopping for Christmas Decorations Right Now

Customers browse Christmas decorations while shopping at a Home Depot Inc. store in Torrance, California, U.S.
Customers browse Christmas decorations while shopping at a Home Depot Inc. store in Torrance, California, U.S. Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Walk into pretty much any store that stocks holiday decorations this weekend and you're bound to bump into tremendous deals--easily discounts of 75% off or more.

Every price-conscious shopping strategist is well aware of how quickly and dramatically seasonal items go on sale as soon as the peak-buying period around a holiday is over. It’s tradition for holiday decorations to go on clearance sale immediately after Christmas, and sometimes even days or weeks before December 25.

But now that we’re a week removed from Christmas, shoppers can expect prices on holiday merchandise to plunge even lower. What this means is that this weekend is an absolutely optimal time to buy, provided you’re the type who 1) doesn’t mind sifting through haphazardly picked-over merchandise for treasures; and 2) will actually remember and keep track of this stuff when the time comes to use it 10 or 11 months down the road.

Here’s one indication of how prices have fallen even during the week after Christmas. The deal-tracking experts at dealnews highlighted a few of the best post-Christmas Christmas decorations sales at the end of last week. At the time, a 3.5-foot-high LED Yoda dressed up as Santa and holding an oversized candy cane, for example, was selling for $14.99, half off the original price of $30. By now, however, that same Yoda is marked down to just $7.50, or 75% off the retail price.

Unfortunately, you can’t order Yoda online, not even if the force particularly strong with you is. Instead, you’ll have to call up your local Home Depot and see if it’s in stock, or just head down and browse.

Likewise, shoppers can generally expect to find the lowest prices on decorations in the physical locations of other stores, including Sears, Big Lots, Crate & Barrel, and more, rather than online. At this point, it’s problematic for retailers to sell some of their discounted Christmas items online because inventories are so low.

As for what’s left behind in individual stores right now, it’s something of a crapshoot. Major retailers are desperately trying to unload these items to make way for the next season’s merchandise—the stuff they have a prayer of selling at full price—so it’s hard to tell in advance what you’ll find in the clearance aisles of each store location.

Depending on the item and the retailer, it is sometimes possible to buy ahead online and pick up at your local store. That’s the most efficient strategy for shoppers. Those who simply venture into a store to browse can also be assured that whatever leftovers they find will be dirt cheap. Here are a few options:

Big Lots: The discount retailer’s Christmas Clearance sale knocks 50% off all seasonal items, including lights, ornaments, trees, wrapping paper, and Christmas pet gifts. (“Selection varies by store,” Big Lots warns.)

Crate & Barrel: A winter clearance sale knocks off up to 60% on seasonal merchandise, and there are even deeper discounts on items specifically geared for Christmas, including this Glitter Twig Garland now priced at $8.98 (originally $29.95); many items are available for online purchase but the retailer warns “quantities are limited.”

Home Depot: 75% or more off a wide range of ornaments and artificial wreaths and Christmas trees, and much of it can be purchased online and then picked up at a store.

Sears: Up to 70% off artificial trees, holiday collectibles, lights, and indoor and outdoor decorations—much is available for purchase online with free shipping, though there may be even lower prices at physical Sears locations.

Target: 50% or more off holiday costumes, ornaments, decorations, and such

Walmart: A huge mixed bag of Christmas clearance deals, such as a Santa tree topper for $6.97 (originally $16.98)

Yankee Candle: 50% or 75% off seasonal items, with the biggest discounts generally available for Christmas-y goods like Balsam & Cedar ornaments

TIME Holidays

It’s New Year’s Day and Everyone Is Googling ‘Hangover Cure’

hangover
Getty Images

Google searches reveal that Jan. 1 is the most hungover day of the year, by a lot

You may not fully remember what you did for New Year’s Eve 2014, but Google has a pretty good idea.

The number of people Googling the phrase “hangover cure” surges January 1–a point illustrated clearly in this chart posted by Wonkblog’s Christopher Ingraham. It’s the biggest day of the year (by far) for searches on ways to heal a booze-addled brain after one too many champagne toasts to ring in the new year.

Next down the list for the year’s most hungover days are the Saturday after Halloween, followed by May 17 (for unknown reasons; personally, I suspect it’s because it’s the day after a particularly entertaining friend’s birthday), and then July 5.

Read more at Wonkblog

TIME Holidays

The 8 Best New Year’s Eve Scenes in Movies

Ring in 2015 with a look back at some of cinema's most memorable New Year's moments, from When Harry Met Sally to The Godfather: Part II

New Year’s Eve tends to be a big holiday in movies because it’s an opportunity for boozy bashes, dramatic kisses, shocking confessions and new beginnings. It also makes soundtrack choices so much easier, because if you’re unsure, you just go with “Auld Lang Syne” and you’re set.

So, as we get ready to usher in 2015, here’s a look back at some of cinema’s most memorable New Year’s Eve moments, from the romantic to the silly to the totally bizarre.

  • When Harry Met Sally

    “It’s not because I’m lonely and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve,” Harry says, before — spoiler alert — officially declaring his love for Sally. And then they kiss. At the stroke of midnight, because of course.

  • Trading Places

    Merry new year! Who wants some beef jerky? A total classic.

  • Sex and the City

    It may be corny, sure, but you also have to admit the displays of friendship in this scene are heartwarming. Plus, this version of “Auld Lang Syne” is beautiful. Just accept it.

  • 200 Cigarettes

    This is a whole movie about the holiday, set in 1981, so we’re counting the whole film instead of just one scene.

  • The Gold Rush

    A lonely Charlie Chaplin gets stood up for a New Year’s Eve dinner — but soon, the scene shifts to a lively dinner party dance sequence where Chaplin memorably uses dinner rolls as feet.

  • The Godfather: Part II

    It’s New Year’s Eve in Havana — and the New Year’s kiss in this scene is probably not what you expect.

  • Radio Days

    Diane Keaton singing “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” on New Year’s Eve? Um, yes please.

  • Ghostbusters II

    It’s New Year’s in New York, and the Ghostbusters manage to hitch a ride on the Statue of Liberty to defeat their enemy.

MONEY holiday spending

The Best Bubbly for Your Buck

pouring champagne
Kyoshino—Getty Images

Ring in the New Year with some great Champagne—without ringing up a huge tab.

Today is the day to spring for some bubbly. Two-thirds of all Champagne is purchased for a special occasion, and 22% of all Champagne sales are in the month of December, according to a recent survey from the Guild of Sommeliers.

Of course, part of the reason Americans save Champagne for New Year’s is because it’s so pricey. A retail bottle of Champagne sells for $44 on average, the Guild of Sommeliers found. Order Champagne at a restaurant and you can expect to pay a whopping $117 a bottle.

But you don’t need to spend over $100 to raise a good glass of sparkling wine. For a New Year’s toast that won’t break your budget, try these excellent sparklers instead.

Cheap Tricks: Prosecco and Cava

When it comes to sparkling wines, there’s only so low you can go. It’s tough to get quality for under $15, says Muser, general manager and wine director at Grace in Chicago. “Below that, the pickings are pretty slim.”

But it’s not impossible.

“Nothing is ever going to be as good as Champagne,” says Michael Muser, who was also one of Food & Wine’s top sommeliers of 2014. “But there is a whole world of incredible sparkling wine out there.”

Cava and prosecco, for instance, tend to be easier on the wallet while still satisfying the pickiest of partygoers. Some even prefer it.

“Prosecco and cava are easier to drink than champagne for most people,” said Max Working, sales manager at Astor Wines and Spirits in New York. Champagne is recognized for its high acidity, he explains, and since prosecco and cava come from warmer climates — Italy and Spain, respectively — they offer a fruitier taste.

While the two share similar flavor profiles and price points, prosecco is often a little sweeter than cava. However, Ceri Smith, owner of Biondivino Wine Boutique in San Francisco and another of F&W’s sommeliers of the year, has noticed a trend away from sweeter sparkling wines towards brut proseccos or ones that have been fermented in the bottle with sediment, or col fundo.

Regardless of how it’s labeled, if you’re looking to avoid sweet, she recommends steering clear of the mass marketed brands, which tend to be cloyingly sweet.

However, there are a lot of great small producers out there, like Sorelle Bronca and Drusian, that still fall in the $15 to $20 price range.

If cava is more your style, Muser says you’ll be hard pressed to find a sommelier that highly recommends anything besides the ones made by Gramona, which run $15 to $20 a bottle.

Middle ground: Cremánt

If you’re looking for a Champagne experience without the Champagne price tag, consider a French sparkling wines from outside the region.

“When I’m shopping for bubbles outside of Champagne but inside of France, I love the Loire Valley and Alsace,” said Muser. One of his top picks from Alsace, Lucien Albrecht Cremánt d’Alsace, hovers around $20 a bottle.

When scanning labels, Working advises that you be on the lookout for Cremánt, which is the term used to identify non-Champagne French sparkling wines.

“In many ways, it’s fairly similar to champagne, but comes from a different place,” Working said. “It’s still French, but significantly less expensive.”

Outside of France, both Muser and Smith highlighted Ferrari in Trento, Italy. Muser recommends Ferrari Perlé, which offers a flavor profile that is very similar to champagne but costs only $20 to $26 a bottle.

The high end: Champagne

If you decide you want to go the traditional route and pick up an official bottle of bubbly from the Champagne region of France, expect to spend at least $40, says Working.

The dividing line these days, he continued, has more to do with whether you want to support a large, well-established brand or a smaller producer.

When you pay for recognizable brand, a large part of the price you pay is going to business costs like multinational marketing campaigns. However, those companies tend to put out a more consistent product, and if you’re trying to score some coolness points at your New Year’s Eve party, a recognizable, guaranteed product is arguably the way to go. Working suggests Champagne Pol Roger as a solid entry-level brand that will enable you to dip your toes in the Champagne pool for about $42.

When you buy from a smaller producer, on the other hand, “more of the cost of the bottle is going into the wine,” Working says. The product, however, may be less consistent, and at upwards of $40 a pop, you might not be in the mood to gamble. If you’re willing to give it a go, Working suggests L. Aubry Fils Brut, which runs just under $40.

For any bottle: Tips and tricks

If you want to spray wine all over the place at the stroke of midnight, have fun. But if you’re really looking to get the most bang for your buck, you don’t want to be mopping spilled liquid up from the floor.

Working advises a slow and firm approach to popping a cork, and, when you start to feel the pressure building up behind it, you can actually push against it to get an unobtrusive, quiet whisper instead of a loud pop: Much more sophisticated.

Chilling the champagne also helps avoid an overflow, but you don’t necessarily want to drink sparkling wine when it’s ice cold.

“As wine warms up, it becomes much more expressive,” says Muser. If you shell out the big bucks for an expensive bottle, give it a little bit of time to warm up so you can get the best experience.

And here’s one last cost-saving secret from sommeliers in-the-know: Even if you splurge on the bubbly, save on the glass. Experts agree that sparkling wine tastes just as good — if not better — in a white wine glass as it does in a Champagne flute. “A white wine tulip is by far a better glass to be drinking it from, because it allows the wine to be more expressive,” says Muser. “And you get more out of the wine when you smell it.”

TIME Retail

These Companies Won the Holiday Shipping War This Year

FedEx Corp. aircraft await at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2014.
FedEx Corp. aircraft await at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2014. Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Four companies — Apple, Dell, Nordstrom and Zappos — performed the best, according to StellaService

Retailers angling to give shoppers more time to place frantic, last-minute Christmas orders online were mostly able to deliver the goods on time this holiday season.

Only 7% of packages shipped by 40 retailers tracked by customer-service data tracker StellaService missed their promised delivery dates during the crunch time in the days ahead of Christmas. Last year, when StellaService tracked 25 retailers, 12% of packages were late.

“The retailers did a good job of getting these packages out the door,” StellaService vice president of research Kevon Hills told members of the media during a conference call. “[Retailers] internally ensured that their systems were set up and the infrastructure was in place to get packages out in time.”

Management consulting firm Kurt Salmon also reported retailers did a better job this year. It found 13% of orders did not make it to shoppers in time for Christmas (based on an analysis of nearly 100 last minute e-commerce orders). That was an improvement from a 15% failure rate in 2013.

The data signal a notable improvement from 2013, when a late surge in online purchases blindsided United Parcel Service and retailers and resulted in a few million packages arriving later than anticipated. Since then, firms have invested millions to ensure a smoother process. And earlier this month it was reported that UPS and rival FedEx held retailers to certain volume commitments in the final days before Christmas to avoid another snafu.

Four companies — Apple, Dell, Nordstrom and Zappos — performed the best, StellaService said. That group offered the most aggressive with a shipping cutoff date of Dec. 23, and all four retailers were able to deliver their packages by Christmas.

To evaluate the industry, StellaService tracked four orders that were placed in four separate regions of the country — the East, Midwest, South and West. The orders were placed around the time of the holiday shipping cutoff, the window of time retailers said they would need to guarantee gifts would arrive on time to get prime space under shoppers’ Christmas trees.

Retailers have had to get aggressive on shipment promises in part to react to the threat posed by Amazon.com. Amazon on Friday said its customers ordered “more than 10 times as many items with same-day deliveries” this year than in 2013. The last one-day shipping order Amazon delivered in time for Christmas was sent to Philadelphia on Dec. 23 at 2:55 p.m. The last “Prime Now” order delivered at Santa-like speed was an order placed on Dec. 24 at 10:24 p.m. and delivered 42 minutes later.

StellaService’s Hills said that overall, carriers were more communicative about the amount of capacity they could fulfill this year, and they held retailers to those promises.

“It made for a better holiday season for a lot of folks,” Hills said.

But those promises come at a cost. Hills said retailers foot the bill for last-minute orders. And it is important for them to make (and ultimate complete) those orders online to boost revenue and keep as much market share as they can. Additionally, if packages arrive late this year, it could result in a shopper turning to competitors for the next holiday season.

And while it appears this year was an improvement, the top retailers weren’t perfect. Nine of the top 40 retailers missed delivery to at least one region. Those retailers were Best Buy, Costco, Crate & Barrel, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Staples, Toys ‘R’ Us and Wayfair.

Staples and Toys ‘R’ Us missed delivery in multiple regions, and Staples even cancelled an order without notifying the shopper, according to StellaService.

It is difficult to assign blame when orders are delayed, with mixed messages coming from the parties that track shipping trends. StellaService said packages that were delayed were often packaged and shipped on the same day by the retailers, suggesting they did their part to get orders out the door quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the carriers were to blame, as StellaService said it can’t speculate on the internal conversations between the retailers and shippers.

Kurt Salmon, meanwhile, more squarely blamed retailers.

“Major carriers (UPS, FedEx and USPS) were not to blame for any of the failures Kurt Salmon analyzed,” the firm said. Last year, the woes were almost evenly split between retailers and carriers.

Still, retailers are learning new tricks along the way. Toys ‘R’ Us, for example, marketed their omnichannel capabilities aggressively on their website once the shipping cutoff passed. Toys ‘R’ Us told customers that orders could still be placed online and picked up at retail stores, using their physical presence in shoppers’ neighborhoods to their advantage.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Holidays

What to Know About Boxing Day

Behind celebrating the day after Christmas

Friday is Boxing Day, and if you’re a Yankee or just a non-Brit, you might not know what that is. In fact, even if you celebrate it, you may not know exactly what it is.

Every year on the day after Christmas, the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, and other countries celebrate the holiday, which has loose traditions and vaguer origins. In many countries, Dec. 26 is a shopping holiday much like Black Friday in the U.S., when products are sold for much-reduced prices. Celebrants enjoy the holiday through food, soccer, pub visits, seeing friends, and even an annual fox hunt.

Its origins are shrouded in speculation, but here’s what TIME said about Boxing Day’s beginnings.

The best clue to Boxing Day’s origins can be found in the song “Good King Wenceslas.” According to the Christmas carol, Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century, was surveying his land on St. Stephen’s Day — Dec. 26 — when he saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snowstorm. Moved, the King gathered up surplus food and wine and carried them through the blizzard to the peasant’s door. The alms-giving tradition has always been closely associated with the Christmas season — hence the canned-food drives and Salvation Army Santas that pepper our neighborhoods during the winter — but King Wenceslas’ good deed came the day after Christmas, when the English poor received most of their charity.

King Wenceslas didn’t start Boxing Day, but the Church of England might have. During Advent, Anglican parishes displayed a box into which churchgoers put their monetary donations. On the day after Christmas, the boxes were broken open and their contents distributed among the poor, thus giving rise to the term Boxing Day. Maybe.

So enjoy your soccer and your shopping!

READ NEXT Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kwanzaa

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Parenting

Tips for Every Age: How to Raise Grateful Kids

Carlina Teteris—Getty Images/Flickr RF

How to talk to your kids without sounding preachy

The weeks after the holidays can feel like a big let down. After all the expectation—and stress—of the season, both parents and kids may feel a sense of disappointment after all the gifts are opened and the treats are eaten.

But is it possible to flip that script? Can parents encourage kids to stop thinking “what have we got to look forward to now?” and start concentrating on everything they’ve just enjoyed?

We talked with Christine Carter, director of the Greater Good Science Center Parenting Program at UCBerkeley, and author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, to get her practical tips on unleashing the power of gratitude.

The list of the benefits of gratitude is so long “it’s almost ridiculous,” Carter says. “People who are consciously practicing gratitude sleep better, have more energy, and feel more connected to other people.” One study has even proven that kidney function improves when people practice gratitude. And the good news is that it’s contagious. “If I’m feeling strong positive emotion, and I’m sharing that with somebody,” Carter explains, “those emotions spread person to person” through the whole family.

So how can parents get the gratitude conversation started? These are her tips, for any age.

Elementary school kids may be too young to think in terms of classic gratitude, which requires remembering something from the past. But “they understand what a good thing is,” Carter says. “Don’t worry about the time frame. Just ask them to name three good things about their day.” And no matter how old or a young a child, don’t correct them when they express gratitude. “Let them be grateful for whatever they’re grateful for.”

Middle school kids have often learned to be grateful for material things, because they’ve been trained in the etiquette of writing thank you-notes. So it’s good for parents to model being grateful for intangibles, like health and family, or a beautiful day. And as kids mature, questions about what they’re grateful for become more complicated, Carter says. If a parent asks, “what are you grateful for?” a child may feel burdened by everything they owe their parents. So non-verbal expressions can be helpful at this age, Carter suggests, like art projects that focus on gratitude. And parents can also help kids to focus on what they’re grateful for beyond the family, by helping them express words of appreciation about other people around them, with questions like, “What do you enjoy about your friends? Or your teachers?”

High school students can begin to think of gratitude in a much larger context. And context, Carter says, is actually key to gratitude. Relative to many other cultures, many children in the U.S. “live in tremendous abundance,” she points out. And that creates what researchers call an abundance paradox. “We’re much more likely to feel disappointed or even resentful when we don’t get what we want,” Carter explains, “than grateful when we do.” How to cut this knot? Studies have shown that “gratitude only arises naturally without cultivation under conditions of scarcity,” Carter says. So high school kids who have been exposed to scarcity, by doing activities like serving at a homeless shelter, will far more grateful than those who don’t.

And it turns out, sad old truth that it may be, the best way for all of us to feel grateful may be to give, rather than to get.

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TIME Careers & Workplace

6 Things You Should Definitely Do Before New Year’s Eve

woman-using-laptop-holiday
Getty Images

Don’t forget to do the following before you unplug

startupcollective

Question: What is one thing entrepreneurs forget to automate, systemize, or build processes around before they shut down for holidays?

Finances

“Before you take off, ensure that the finances of your business are handled, including paying employees, accepting automated payments from clients, handing pay failures and paying your own invoices. By automating, you won’t return to an empty bank account and overdue bills.” — Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

Time Management

“Entrepreneurs and business owners don’t plan on not being busy. Holidays are meant for friends and family, and although we need to see business boom, you can still plan to focus on your social time without the distractions of a phone, tablet or laptop. Plan your days to be carefree, and “budget” time to check in with work — not the other way around.” — Grant Gordon, Solomon Consulting Group

Holiday Shipping and Returns

“Clearly communicating holiday shipping and return information before shutting down is crucial to customer conversions and satisfaction. You can do this in several ways. Your can use language such as, “final day to order to receive by Christmas” on product descriptions and shipping pages. You can also set up an email autoresponder for the emails typically associated with customer questions.” — Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Customer Support

“You can’t assume that your customers aren’t working just because you’ve taken off for the holidays. You can’t even assume that your customers celebrate the same holidays that you do. So make sure your customers can at least get a basic level of assistance while you’re away. Even writing up fixes for the most common problems they might encounter is a step in the right direction.” — Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

Proper Notifications

“Make sure you clearly communicate to people that you’ll be out of office, whether it’s through an email autoresponder or a message you post on your Facebook page. As long as you take the due diligence to announce your impending shut down, your customers and partners will be mostly satisfied with their inability to reach you. ” — Andy Karuza, SpotSurvey

Team Vacation Tracking

“Because our teammates have different dates they are taking off during the holidays, we wanted to be respectful of everyone’s days off. So, we had everyone update the company calendar with the dates they will be available and unavailable during the holidays.” — Nanxi Liu, Enplug

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

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