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Can you feel it? Even in the balmy air we’ve been experiencing lately, it’s beginning to look and smell a lot like Christmas, even if it doesn’t quite feel it yet. I have serious doubts as to whether Jack Frost will be “nipping at your nose” anytime soon, but I’ve been wrong before. Fingers crossed. Anyhow, the absence of chilly temps doesn’t mean that holiday traditions don’t carry on.

Noted cookbook author and chef Johnathon Scott Barrett shares, in the Coastal Illustrated feature, what to serve for your upcoming holiday soirees. He goes into great detail about Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and the oft-overlooked Twelfth Night, an Epiphany celebration. You’ll find some new favorites and some old stand-bys, but adding any of these dishes to your meals will ensure happy guests. So, put the air conditioner on blast, don your sweaters, throw a log on the fire and pretend you’re in an old Andy Williams Christmas special.

Our holiday theme continues in the Home section, where we spoke with three local decorators and asked about their tips for Christmas décor. Cece Bowen, Elizabeth Zachry and Heather Jowers all have timely tips for creating a simple, elegant holiday aesthetic in your home.

One of the first things to read, especially this time of year, are our Events pages. Our super-full calendar has a ton of fun things to do, from Christmas concerts to light displays, stage plays and art exhibits. There’s even an Elvis festival or two. And after you’re done with all those activities, be sure to make a ‘Tis the Seasontini and relax. It’s suggested by our beverage columnist, Jim Henderson, who has some other worthwhile tips for holiday movies to watch at home and a hangover cure for those who need it.

You may prefer to read a good book. Literary columnist Cary Knapp suggests “Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. An uncomfortable, but excellent story about determination and grit, it examines one of the many struggles Black girls and women faced.

Jonathan Sweat is the focus of the Local Q&A. He’s the son of Dwight Sweat and is making his mark on his family’s multi-generational store, Sweat’s Furniture. We learn about what Jonathan enjoys doing in his spare time, and his plans to continue learning the family business. Our Realtor Q&A is Janice Morgan of Signature Properties. Janice has been in the Golden Isles for several years, and began her real estate career after helping her family move multiple times to new posts for the U.S. military. She also talks about how she likes to spend her free time and her favorite Golden Isles landmark.

In our real estate story, reporter Gordon Jackson talks with local Realtors about the effect snowbirds have on the local real estate market, and finds out some interesting information. And, in our gardening column, horticulturist Anne Ditmer emphasizes the importance of proper nutrients in maintaining healthy gardens.

In Cheri’s Shore Things, you’ll find a fabulous selection of gift ideas, all from local merchants. While there aren’t any “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” you will definitely find several of your favorite person’s favorite things. Happy shopping.

Finally, our Captured pages are filled to the brim with all kinds of people you know. We made the rounds to some great events including Taste of the Wild to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia – held at the brand new Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort in Darien, the Glynn Academy Baseball Booster Club oyster roast at The TreeBar at Bennie’s Red Barn, Meet the Pros, sponsored by the St. Simons Rotary Club and held at the A.W. Jones Heritage Center and finally The RSM Classic, the PGA Tour event hosted by Davis Love III.

My wish for you as the holidays begin their whirl is to find a little time to put on your Christmas pajamas, pour a refreshing beverage and take delight in the season upon us. Enjoy the issue.