Pope Francis POY, Lift, Social DM, Boston Holiday Shopping


Top Story: Pope Francis Name Time’s Person of the Year

Pope Francis

First making headlines back in March when he broke the long line of European popes, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, since named Pope Francis, was revealed to be Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2013.

Time’s Person of the Year reflects the world’s biggest newsmaker. Pope Francis beat out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden and even American pop star Miley Cyrus among other finalists.


Pope Francis took over the papacy from Pope Benedict XVI, who made headlines himself when he became the first pope to resign in more than 600 years, nine months ago and has been making news ever since.


At a time when the Catholic Church could use a heavy dose of revitalization, Pope Francis has “brought accolades from reformers, raised fears among conservatives, and drawn widespread adulation from people around the world for his man-of-the-people ways,” CNN reports.


“He’s changed perceptions of the church from being this out-of-touch institution to one that is humble and merciful,” said Time magazine’s international editor Bobby Ghosh. “He’s changed the focus of the church from being focused on doctrine to becoming more about service. And he’s changed the tone in which the church speaks to one of compassion. It’s all about the poor. This is the church as it used to be in its — arguably its best period in the past. And Francis seems to be bringing that back.”


What do you think of Time’s decision to spotlight Pope Francis as Person of the Year for 2013?


Tool of the Week: Lift


“Need motivation? Give yourself a Lift.” That’s the tagline for habit-forming mobile app Lift. We’ve all heard the adage: it takes three weeks to form a habit. Lift helps you build those habits to achieve the goals, big or small, you’ve always wanted to achieve.


The app comes from an incubator backed by Twitter’s co-founders and is designed to keep you on track through continuous positive reinforcement.


Lift helps you achieve your goals through three steps:


After you create an account, you choose the goals you want to form into habits, anything from drinking more water to reading. Not surprisingly, the most popular habits focus on leading a healthier lifestyle. Once you’ve chosen your goals, the app then encourages you to check off each one as you fulfill them daily. The app tracks your progress and rewards your perseverance with streaks, beautiful visual graphs and encouragement from friends on similar paths.


Even if you don’t check in daily, simply choosing your goals makes you more mindful of what you want to accomplish for yourself. Will you try it?


Under the Radar: Social Networks Fight Over Direct Messaging



In the latest attempt to stay relevant in the ever-evolving social media landscape, services focused on upping their one-to-one messaging capabilities. This prioritization of one-to-one connections is heavily influenced by the rampant success of ephemeral messaging app SnapChat, which now receives more than 400 million messages daily.


Tuesday, Twitter updated its mobile application to accommodate photos in their existent direct messaging function. Following on Twitter’s heels, Instagram unveiled its latest feature, Instagram Direct, on Thursday. Both allow users to send photos to other users whom they are connected to. Instagram takes it one step further, giving users the option to send to groups or to send video.


As Twitter works to incorporate more visuals, Instagram moves toward incorporating more text. Essentially, both are attempting to have it all.  Who do you think will come out on top? What feature would  you like to see these apps incorporate?


Around the Hub: Holiday Shopping Spree


It’s time to kick your holiday shopping into overdrive. At this point, if you haven’t started checking off your gift list (like me), put your running shoes on because it’s time to get going. Here are a list of holiday markets to help you find that special something for all your special someones:


Sowa Holiday Market

This 10th annual holiday spectacular will feature the very best of New England’s independent designers, artists and crafters presenting an immense assortment of handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationery, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories and more.

  • Location: Benjamin Franklin Institute, 41 Berkeley Street, Boston
  • Date: Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 15
  • Hours:
    • Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm
    • Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm
  • Admission: $5


The Newbury Handmade Market

19 Boston-based Etsy artisans and entrepreneurs come together for a pop-up shop featuring jewelry, ceramics, soaps, notecards, leather goods, candles, clothing, terraria, photography, paintings, prints, and more.

  • Location: 301 Newbury St.
  • Date: Now through Dec. 24
  • Hours:
    • Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
    • Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
    • Sat 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
    • Sun 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.


Downtown Boston Holiday Market

The 5th annual white tent returns to host a variety of artisan vendors, including jewelry makers, gourmet food makers, sculptors, photographers, woodcarvers, and much more.

  • Location: Summer Street Plaza
  • Date: Now through Dec. 28
  • Hours:
    • Mondays-Saturdays: 11 am-7 pm
    • Sundays: 11 am-5 pm
    • December 24: 11 am-2 pm
    • December 25: closed


Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery

This 4th annual pop-up returns with limited edition and one-of-a-kind items including hand crafted jewelry, clothing, accessories, home goods, art, photography, holiday décor, and toys.

  • Location: 2 Brookline Place (entrance on Pearl Street), Brookline
  • Date: Now until December 24
  • Hours: Tuesdays – Saturday, 11am – 7pm


Harvard Square Holiday Fair

One of the oldest and most popular fairs in Boston returns for its 28th season to showcase an eclectic mix of New England craftspeople and world travelling importers.

  • Location: First Parish Unitarian Church, 1446 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
  • Dates:
    • December 6-8
    • December 13-15
    • December 18-23
  • Hours:
    • Weekdays 11:30 am – 7 pm
    • Saturdays 11 am – 7 pm
    • Sundays 12 pm – 6 pm


Of course, then there are your classic shopping destinations – brand stores, mall complexes, and shopping streets. If you’re looking to looking to stick to your favorites, here are some events to spice up your shopping spree:


Fort Point Holiday Stroll

  • Date: Today, December 13
  • Time: 4 -8 pm


Arts Stroll & Shop

  • Date: This weekend, December 13 -15
  • Schedule:
    • Fri, December 13, 6pm-9pm, The Street at Chestnut Hill
    • Sat, December 14, 12pm-6pm, The Street at West Newton Square
    • Sun, December 15, 12pm-6pm, The Street at Newton Centre


Newbury Street Holiday Stroll

  • Date: Saturday, December 14
  • Time: Noon – 4:00 pm


Back Bay Holly-Days

Every Tuesday Prudential Center will host a pop-up “Sweet Spot” in Center Court with hot cocoa and decadent desserts provided by participating restaurants. You can also pick up a flyer featuring shopping discounts available at Prudential Center and throughout the Back Bay.

Donations of canned goods or new hats and gloves are being collected for The Greater Boston Food Bank and Pine Street Inn respectively. All donors will be entered to win a Prudential Center gift basket valued at $155.

  • Location: Prudential Center
  • Date: Now until December 17
  • Hours: 5 – 7 pm


Where are your favorite holiday shopping destinations?

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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