Welcome to Sunday! The top five stories on our website this week are displayed below.

Editor’s pick: My favorite holiday movie is the 1966 version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I can remember lying in front of the TV in my pajamas watching it with my mother and siblings. The spooky narration by Boris Karloff and catchy jazz vocalizations still make me smile decades later.

In a 2020 piece from our archive, S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate, who studies religion and film, describes the yearly tradition of gathering to watch favorite movies as a sort of secular ritual. The pleasure of this ritual is connecting people to “the power of family, true love, the meaning of home.”

Rodriguez-Plate’s article also mentions a handful of holiday classics that I’ve never seen. I’m adding them to my watch list this year in hopes of starting a new tradition.

Emily Costello

Managing Editor

Damage in Mayfield, Kentucky, after a tornado swept through the area on Dec. 11, 2021. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Why the southern US is prone to December tornadoes

Alisa Hass, Middle Tennessee State University; Kelsey Ellis, University of Tennessee

Tornadoes in December aren’t unusual in the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley states, but the Dec. 10-11 outbreak was extreme and far-reaching.

Understanding how much protection a vaccine offers is not as simple as it sounds. Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment via Getty Images

How effective are vaccines against omicron? An epidemiologist answers 6 questions

Melissa Hawkins, American University

For a number of reasons, as time goes on vaccines become less effective. So how do researchers calculate how well vaccines are working?

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