UpfrontNovDec2015-652107e4It can be a challenge to work on a holiday issue in October. Temperatures are often still  in the 90s, store  shelves are stacked with Halloween candy and we’re barely half-way through the college football schedule. So mustering up enthusiasm for Thanksgiving recipes  (much less a Christmas gift list) can be daunting. 

This year though, things turned out a little differently. On the day before this issue went to press, the city awoke to temperatures in the low 40s—just the thing to inspire a holiday mood. So much so, I’m even planning to go home this evening, build a fire, pull out my cookbooks and start thinking about holiday menus. 

 Those who are reviewing this issue in its seasonally appropriate time are in for a treat: page after page of holiday ideas, recipes and events sure to make the season easier and brighter. First there’s a feature on the Augusta Players’ annual theatrical extravaganza A Christmas Carol: the Musical.  This heartwarming, beautifully executed production of Dickens’s classic tale has heralded the coming of Christmas for generations. Every school child in the CSRA has thrilled to the lessons learned by Ebenezer Scrooge of the true meaning of Christmas. If it’s not a tradition in your family, take an evening or afternoon off from the holiday frenzy to make it so. And while you’re planning spend a few minutes perusing our Calendar, which is filled with special holiday events every weekend of the season.

And before you settle for your usual default holiday appetizers, consider preparing one of the recipes in Good Taste shared with us by caterer Jennifer Shuford. They would be a delicious and easy addition to any holiday meal or cocktail party. And speaking of cocktail parties, food writer and mixologist par excellence Deb Barshafsky offers a how-to guide to entertaining with three season-worthy craft cocktails—including tips for setting up your bar, managing guest consumption and easy preparation. As an added bonus in Good Taste, De Novo chef Jeremy Collins shares the recipe for his hand-crated Lemon Shrub, a cocktail ideally-suited for sipping by the fire on a crisp winter evening. 

Last but not least is our annual gift guide, a glittering selection of gifts from local merchants certain to fulfill every wish on your list. 

From our family to yours, happy holidays!

-Sherry

This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue of Augusta Magazine.