In the world of magazine publishing, we’re used to living a little more ahead of schedule than most people. We’re busy planning our winter issues in the heat of summer, and our summer issues before spring has even sprung.
So for this, our December/January issue, we’re glad that a few locals who probably tend to live more in the present were willing to talk about their Christmas holiday traditions way back when the Halloween pumpkins hadn’t even been carved yet. The families that writer Sylvia Whitman interviewed about their holiday celebrations probably hadn’t given their tree trimming and festive meals a thought before we got to them. But by the time you read here how they mark the season in Venice (where the holidays are a really big deal; just ask those who line up their chairs for the downtown holiday parade days ahead), we’ll all be in the spirit. It helps that our shopping writer, Heather Dunhill, also ferreted out some great local buys to spice up your entertaining style for this busy season of get-togethers with friends and out-of-town visitors.
Speaking of visitors, if you’re looking for ways to introduce them to the wonders of our area, you couldn’t do better than to turn to editor-at-large Kim Hackett’s story, “The Bucket List.” We originally asked Kim for just a few ideas for this piece, but she kept coming up with more great things that everyone who lives or visits here really must do to take full advantage of our outdoor activities, arts and culture, and, of course, dining. See how many you can already check off before you try the new ones, and remember—some things are definitely worth doing more than once.
There’s lots more to sample in this issue, from our roundup of great appetizers at local eateries to suggestions for relaxing (or invigorating) strolls around town to Brad Edmondson’s reminiscent feature about long-lasting mom-and-pop motels on Casey Key. We hope you enjoy reading, and that you have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.