The December Issue

Always anticipated by readers for its bevvy of inspiring ideas and recipes, the December issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine is something of a balm during this busy time of year. Year to year, the ritual changes: sometimes I will read it in bed while it snows outside; sometimes I will make a cup of tea and sit by the lamplight taking in all its details. This year the ritual changed again: I poured some eggnog (with nutmeg, of course) and sat at the dining room table, which is currently playing host to my amaryllis flowers, and slowly read it from cover to cover.
What I like about this year's issue is its total lack of pretension and its insistence on not forgetting what makes the magazine great. For example, when I saw that one of the main features of the magazine contained a shopping guide I was surprised that my reaction was not disappointment. It actually felt fresh to me and, if I am honest with myself, I was curious what the editors of this magazine recommended for Christmas. Let's face it, few of us have the time to make all of our gifts. So, it was nice to have some stylish gift ideas to ponder.

For those who do like to make all of their gifts (and I know you exist!) the entire Good Things section is devoted to handmade crafting and baking for the holidays, as is much of the Good Living section. Both sections feature a link to marthastewart.com/holidayhandbook where you can download all of the instructions and recipes for the projects and treats in these sections.

There are several extraordinary holiday menus to try in the issue: all of the recipes look delicious to me and I'm most curious about the chocolate eggnog creme brulee! (If that sounds too 'out there' for your liking, there is an entire spread on festive desserts).

All in all, it's a very nice finish to the year, I feel. It was a great year for the magazine, in fact. Stay tuned for my annual review of the issues coming sometime in December.

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