Want to talk to Lori? Reach her at editor@celebratedliving.com
ALTHOUGH I AM able to resist temptation in many areas of my life, I’ve always had a little trouble on the gift front. When I was a child, I unwrapped all of my Christmas gifts one year well before the holiday — just to get a sneak peek. Of course, my lousy attempt at rewrapping the packages, complete with ripped paper and tape marks, gave me away. Even now, I prod at packages, shaking the boxes and bags to try to get a better feel for what’s inside. For Celebrated Living’s annual gift guide, though, we are offering not only suggestions for gifts that can be wrapped (and shaken) but also ideas for the gift of travel.

So while you are ogling the luxurious items we have presented, you can also discover great getaways for everyone on your list. From an ultimate ski experience in Colorado and a castle escape in Ireland to an unexpected family-friendly getaway at the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo (where our eye-catching cover image was photographed), these gift-worthy trips will remind you that sometimes the best things come in packages that cannot be wrapped at all.

On the subject of giving, writer Cathy Whitlock caught up with Def Jam Recordings co-founder and hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, who is as well known today for his philanthropy as he is for his business prowess. Simmons has a lot to juggle, including multiple businesses, and he explains how meditation is critical to his success. At a time of year when so many of us are stretched thin, we might all follow Simmons’ example of slowing down each day to calm our minds and find stillness in a world that is anything but.

We are definitely in the giving mood here at CL. This issue, we kick off our annual Readers’ Choice Platinum List Survey Sweepstakes. Vote for your favorite hotels, golf courses, spas, and cruise lines and you could win a pair of Tag Heuer Formula 1 watches, presented by luxury jeweler Little Switzerland. For information, click here. In addition, we are giving away a trip for two to the 20th-anniversary Vail Jazz Party, including Patron Passes to get you the most exclusive access, as well as 50,000 AAdvantage Miles. You’ll find the details on this page. The town of Vail is storybook-charming, and it becomes an even more magical place when the jazz festival arrives. 

I hope this issue gets you "jazzed up" about winter, about giving, and about visiting some of the amazing places we highlight. Perhaps you’ll even receive a trip as a gift this season. And, as always, I'd love to hear from you.

Signature of Lori Stacy