Always a time to share
Christmas is the anniversary of a special birth and a time to be with loved ones. A week of indulging in lively excesses and frivolity before the New Year begins, and we must behave like adults again.
What started as a religious celebration has evolved over the years, and while some may lament the decrease in the religious significance of Christmas, others relish the occasion that allows people to get together and make merry over good food and better wine.
Planning a Christmas magazine which caters to these different views is always a challenge and this year we hope that we have a little something for everyone.
For a healthy dose of festive spirit, our family fun section recommends a range of events and activities that allow for quality bonding time. The section also includes a carols schedule for those who want to enjoy the angelic voices of local choirs and, when the children tire out, the dining section gives ideas on where to go for a family-friendly Christmas meal.
Then there are those who just see Christmas as a time to indulge. We've been a bit naughty this year, with a gifts section targeting different personalities based on the Seven Vices. The 10-page fashion spread is a hauntingly beautiful spin on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (page 48). The sheer decadence of these pages is an indulgent escape to a more beautiful world at a time when we so often associate luxury with guilt.
A Christmas magazine wouldn't be complete without hearing what Santa has to say. Mr Claus gives us a first-hand account of what Christmas is going to be like 50 years from now in Robin Lynam's story, Santa's Escape Clause (page 20). Two of his best impersonators share their experiences of talking with children over the years in Your Jolly Good Elf (page 24).
Lastly, to prepare you for the New Year, we have Peter Hill's humorous take on New Year's resolutions and how we can never seem to keep them.
Whatever Christmas is to you, here's hoping you have a very merry one.