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Morning Brief: Thriving On Thanksgiving, Cute Critters, And Hot Pots

An aerial view of three ice cream pies in white tins on a white picnic table, and with two blue napkins folded underneath them.
Thanksgiving ice cream pies from Sweet Rose Creamery.
(Lindsey Huttrer)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Nov. 25.

Happy Thanksgiving, Morning Brief readers! We hope you have plans that will bring happiness and coziness; whatever that means for you.

As we go into the day, we wanted to offer some ideas for how to handle potentially difficult moments: preparing for a family get-together if you’re grieving, and discussing sensitive topics, like climate change, with people who may not share your opinions.

When it comes to grief, we’re in a unique situation this year. As Dr. Samuel Girguis, an L.A.-based licensed clinical psychologist, told our newsroom, “I think the best way to articulate the last year-and-a-half, two years … is really a period of chronic stress.”

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To that end, experts — including Girguis — emphasize the need to pay attention to your own emotional needs, articulate them, and plan for how you can best find support. That might mean asking a friend or family member to be your go-to person during a holiday gathering, or having your family’s holiday celebration in a place that doesn’t remind anyone of something painful.

When it comes to discussing topics like climate change, politics, or any other divisive issue, it’s always a good idea to start with things you may have in common — perhaps, for instance, the desire to secure a safe future for the kids in the family. It also pays to keep in mind that you want to have a conversation, not win an argument.

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And at the end of the day, take care of yourself, whether that means decompressing with a loved one or sipping hot cocoa and zoning out to Netflix. We all deserve some peace and rest this holiday season.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • It's going to be a dry and windy Thanksgiving.
  • Bobby Cagle, the director of L.A. County's Department of Children and Family Services, has announced he will step down at the end of the year.
  • COVID spread was rampant for Thanksgiving 2020. One year later, with vaccines and boosters available, things look a lot better.
  • Biologists have one million photos of local wildlife in charred terrain affected by the Woolsey Fire, and they need the public's help identifying the animals.
  • The holidays can be particularly triggering for unhoused people. Here’s a look at what the holidays mean for people who are currently unhoused. 
  • Three white men who chased down and killed Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was jogging though their Georgia neighborhood last year, were all found guilty of murder charges.

Before You Go ... LA's Best Skewer Hot Pot Restaurants

Chuan chuan xiang (skewer hot pot) ingredients at Nice 2 Meet U.
(Kaila Yu for LAist)

Chuan chuan xiang hot pot restaurants originated in the city of Chengdu in China's Sichuan province, and grew in popularity in the 1980s. Since 2018, they’ve been proliferating in Southern California — particularly in the San Gabriel Valley.

Here, we’ve zeroed in on four spots that serve the yummiest versions, complete with fragrant broth, red chile bombs, Sichuan peppercorns, and much more.

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