Picture of Sheri Burns
A Traditional Holiday

For the first time in almost a decade, the Gulczynski clan will be grounded for the holidays. Those of you who read this magazine regularly know that it’s a tradition for my family to take off to some great destination for Christmas and ­enjoy one another’s company in new and interesting surroundings. We’ve found it to be a wonderful way to spend time together, and it’s ultimately less stressful than staying at home.

Mom bears the brunt of the stress since she does most of the planning, but everything is decided and confirmed before the Halloween pumpkins are out.

But this year, we’ve decided to spend the holidays the more traditional way — and I have to tell you that, despite my love of travel, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

As the end of the year looms as it always does, with a million and seven things for me to do, I keep finding myself daydreaming of hanging out with my sibs and parents, a fire in the background, a glass of wine in my hand, and a competitive game of Scrabble in the works.

Or perhaps we’re all in the living room watching a movie together, or in the kitchen whipping up some fabulous meal. Whatever the case, I know I can count on there being nonstop eating, drinking, and laughing, with a couple of decadent naps thrown in for good measure.

It’s hard to imagine a Christmas­ in a place with no decisions to be made, subway stops to decipher, or activities to plan. And this year, every hour of the day won’t be filled with running to the next event or site on our list.

Is it possible that we’ll come away bored? My guess is it’s more likely that we’ll come away relaxed.

Check back in with me on January 1, and I’ll share the highlights (and maybe even the lowlights) with you.

If, unlike us, you want to hit the road for the holidays, the pages of this issue are filled with lots of ideas. You can go skiing in Japan or diving in Mexico. You could let a family in the Bahamas adopt you (how cool would it be to have a Bahamian­-style holiday?) or explore the art underneath the streets of New York. Or perhaps you want to head to that most ultimate of vacation spots: Hawaii. We even have Matthew Fox outlining everything you need to do when you get there.

Be sure to check out our UpFront section as well. There’s a beautiful piece on a beautiful city in Italy: Bonassola. Once you see and read about the things there are to do there, you might find it difficult to just stay home.

And if you’re struggling with taking time off at all, check out the vacation survey in UpFront. The numbers are downright depressing, and you need to do your part to change them. However you decide to spend the holidays — on the road, with family, with friends, or just hanging out at home — please don’t spend them at the office. All of that work will be there when you return. So make the most of your holidays, and ­enjoy!

Signature of Sheri Burns

Sherri Gulczynski Burns