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I am, unabashedly, an optimist. I love Mondays, for they are an empty slate on which to write a whole new set of goals and plans for the week. While I enjoy the gaiety of New Year’s Eve, I really do much prefer New Year’s Day (resolutions, a fresh start!). And of course, I love each change of seasons — especially the transition from autumn into winter. Cold weather and bare trees don’t get me down. Instead, they signal the start of the holiday season, a time of family and of giving and of an abundance of travel opportunities.

For this winter issue of Celebrated Living, we are definitely seeing the glass half-full. Just turn to the start of what’s become an annual tradition for us, our Gift Guide, and you’ll see that we’re focusing on items that are bright, fun, and even a little whimsical. We have something for everyone: From jewelry and accessories, shoes and shirts, to cowboy boots, handcrafted wares, and tech toys, we know you’ll be able to find the perfect gifts to give, and a few to put on your own list.

While we’re on the subject of giving, turn to page 30 for information on our Readers’ Choice Platinum List Survey Sweepstakes. Give us your opinion on the world’s best hotels, spas, golf courses, and cruises, and you could win a pair of TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches from Little Switzerland. It’s our way of thanking you, our travel-savvy readers, for sharing your thoughts and opinions with us.

If you need to visit a few more cities before you weigh in on your favorites in our Readers’ Choice survey, be sure to check out “The World’s Most Stylish Cities” on page 38. These six cities — Mexico City, Copenhagen, Chicago, Miami, Milan, and Tokyo — have some of the hottest shops, restaurants, architecture, and art around. Whether you are headed to one of these cities now or on a future trip, we encourage you to take this issue along and visit the expert-selected spots we’ve highlighted.

Undoubtedly, winter is the favorite season of many of our readers because it means ski season in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are ready to try something different, though, be sure to read about heli-skiing and snowcat-skiing in “Powder to the People” (page 50) by Larry Olmsted. I’m not a skier, but all that incredible, untouched powder almost makes me want to give it (another) try.

Optimism, it’s said, is contagious, and I hope that our enthusiasm toward winter shows in this issue and that we are able to spread a little of our cheer your way. Enjoy the magazine, and enjoy your winter!

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Lori Stacy
Celebrated Living