The holiday season is in full swing and for the first time in nearly a decade, my husband and I won’t be in New Orleans for Christmas. This year, we are spending the holidays with family in Kentucky. On the one hand, I’ll miss the traditions we’ve cultivated on our own, but on the other, I’m looking forward to meals and celebrations with family and extended family. The pandemic has taught us many things, but especially to visit loved ones as often possible and to cherish time spent in their company. We plan to do that, and to relish revisiting the traditions we grew up with as well as, perhaps, make new ones. 

For anyone staying in town, there is of course so much to do, it’s challenging to jam it all into the allotted time frame. Saying no becomes the survival skill we all need — until fear of missing out takes hold. Thankfully, in those rare moments when we’ve managed to either do everything we wanted to do that day (or say no when we needed to say it), we can cozy up on the sofa or in our favorite chair with a soft, fuzzy blanket and a warm beverage and just enjoy a quiet moment in our sanctuary. If your sanctuary could use more cozy-ing, as always, we have you covered with home items that will make you want to stay put in this issue’s “Trendwatch” spread. Meanwhile the inspiration you’ll find in our home tours this issue is incomparable with gorgeous abodes in the Garden District and Uptown, as well as our annual bathroom feature and — if that’s not enough — a primer on working with contractors (in case your place needs a little more TLC or you need  an altogether new place). 

Gardeners won’t want to miss the pro-tips on winter gardening we have for you in “For the Garden.” Speaking of gardens, The Soup Garden — a seasonal pop-up on  Magazine Street — shared one of its recipes with us in “Gatherings.” I can’t wait to whip up a batch. If that’s not your thing however, you can let them make it for you and grab a few servings to take home. (Tip: Purchase a couple containers to hand off to your unhoused neighbors to supplement your annual giving.) 

Wherever you find yourself this season, I hope you have a nourishing meal and that you are warm. We can always count on locations and traditions changing, but as long as we have food and shelter, everything else is simply lagniappe. Cheers!

Glad Tidings