The final week of 2020.

Welcome. It’s the last week of the year, a time when many of us usually visit with family and friends. This year the vacation plans had to be reconfigured: you may stay indoors, with your usual brood, or alone; You could work or look for work; busy or looking for distraction. If you have the time and inclination to read, The Times has a number of culture and lifestyle stories to check out.

I love this examination of the life and work of the artist Ulay by Nina Siegal. Most of us won’t be visiting the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to see the retrospective of his work, but this article is the next best thing.

Ben Sisario’s story about the album that country rock musician Steve Earle recorded with songs by his son Justin Townes Earle, who passed away this summer, is beautiful and transporting.

And don’t miss Dorie Greenspan’s story of decades of Paris New Year’s Eve that ends with an all-American recipe for mulled spice cake with cream cheese frosting.

Hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I do. When you’re done, check out some more “Best of 2020” recommendations from At Home readers.

  • If you really want to escape, read “Nobody Will Tell You This Except Me: A True (As Told To Me) Story” by Bess Kalb. You will laugh and cry and I promise you will feel a lot more hopeful when you are done. – Ricky, 60, Miami Beach

  • This is my second time listening to the Dolly Parton’s America podcast. Because this year everything comes down to Dolly, and for good reason – the woman is made up of relentless positive energy and joy. And wigs. Lots of wigs. – Rebecca, 48, Centennial, Colo.

  • The book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. Doing one exercise every day taught me a long-awaited new skill! – Aurelia, 19, New Haven, Conn.

  • I became an expert in making cereal. I’ve distributed it to family, neighbors, and friends all year round. It was a great achievement and very satisfying to bring joy to others. – David, 58, Scotch Plains, NJ

  • I tried a meditation app called Ten Percent Happier that was recommended by my daughters. I hadn’t seen anything so life changing in a while. I try really hard not to be the woman who tells everyone to try meditation … but you really should try meditation! – Anne, 62, Hood River, Ore.

  • In late March, my husband suggested that we have a special meal once a week. It would be fancier than usual, would include a first course and dessert, and we would dress like we were going out for dinner. We have done this every week and will have had 41 such meals by the end of the year. – Marisue, 83, Orono, Maine

  • The Anthropocene Reviewed, a podcast by John Green, looks at certain segments of our human-centered world using a 5-star rating format. It’s funny, informative, melancholy, and hopeful. – Amanda, 31, Pittsburgh, Penn.

What’s on your mind? What do you think of when 2020 comes to an end? Let us know: Were at home. We will read every letter. As always, below are more ideas for a fulfilling and sophisticated life at home. Thank you for joining us this year. See you in 2021.

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