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Well, this is it — the very last issue of the year. And what a year it’s been. Does every year seem to get busier and shorter, or does it just seem that way to me because I keep getting older? Usually, I’m a bit of a stress case this time of year, and I’m not saying I’m not now, but somehow I’m a little less so.  J.R. Arebalo, Jr., our design director, keeps telling me that I’ve changed, and because he’s always right, I’m going to have to agree with him.

But I haven’t changed in the way he means it (he takes evil pleasure in pointing out to me how old I am). I prefer to think that after 40-plus years, I’m finally getting a grip on how to rule my life. Yeah. Whatever. Good try, huh?

Anyway, despite how busy and crazy things are, I’m somehow finding respite in planning for the holidays.  Maybe that’s just because it’s a nice break from the regular day-to-day tasks, although around here eachnn day is anything but regular.

Take this particular issue, for example. We’ve put together a blockbuster assortment of stories from all over the world. Each of them is my favorite for a different reason.

And while we’ve been doing that, we’ve also been working on adding interesting content to our website. I wrote about our website efforts in the last issue, but if you missed it, go to www.americanwaymag.com and take a look around. And then keep going back, because we’re going to continue to offer all kinds of fun stuff online.

Then, of course, there’s Road Warrior. The winner has been chosen — by all of you — but we can’t reveal who it is until our January 15, 2008, issue. In the meantime, we’re busy taking pictures of all the finalists, culling our favorite photos and haikus from your entries, and assembling that fine issue.

But all of that’s old news. We are already looking way ahead to the future. And while we accomplished a lot this year, we have even bigger plans for next.

We’ll be adding content (and taking away some, as well) and changing our look. And, who knows, maybe this is the year I’ll get a new picture (because even I am growing weary of this one). All I know for sure is that we’ll be even busier.

And rather than think about all that, I’d prefer to just pretend I’m a trust-fund baby and organize all my cooking and shopping and decorating plans for the holidays.

So while I’d love to chat more, I must dash out and join the holiday hustle.

But first, let me thank all of you for a very successful and wonderful year. We’re lucky to have such an awesome group of readers.

I hope that each of you has the merriest of holidays and that you’re all looking forward to a happy and prosperous new year. And maybe at least one of us will get a trust fund for Christmas!

Signature of Sheri Burns
Sherri Gulczynski Burns