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I’ll make no apologies for saying I’m a winter kind of gal. I like the cold. I like the warm comfort foods, snowball fights and sledding. I like sweaters, scarves and fuzzy socks while I binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix.

However, it’s the anticipation of gatherings with friends and family that I look forward to the most.

Erin Wisdom wrote a fun story about Friendsgiving (page 20). She shares the story of a local family, the Robertsons, and how their tradition with close friends has grown over the years. It was inspiring to learn how the bonds we have with our friends are just as unbreakable as those with family.

It got me thinking, maybe I should start my own Friendsgiving tradition. I spend so much time with pockets of close friends that they truly feel like sisters, brothers and cousins. My love for them is just as strong as that of my kin. The Robertsons opt for an Italian dinner and a game of football in the backyard. I’m not sure what we will serve, but it will likely be similar to a traditional Thanksgiving.

In our close circle, there aren’t many Thanksgiving dinners to go around. I’ve discovered not everyone has a half dozen homes to go to in order to celebrate. Most go to just one, so the thought of a second dinner with turkey, ham, stuffing and deviled eggs is enticing.

For this year’s issue of The Holidays, we wanted to embrace the truly close-knit community that represents Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. Our area is unlike any other with blossoming small businesses, robust chambers of commerce and grassroots organizations to spearhead activities. We hope this issue represents those warm traditions that bring a smile to our hearts.

There are also plenty of stories inside to help bring new traditions to your home including a Christmas pickle, alternative desserts, Christmas Eve boxes and welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.

There are how-to’s and guides to get you through the holidays. We broke down the ins and outs to getting cards and packages to recipients during the holiday rush at the post office as well as a fun gift-giving guide for EVERYONE on your list.

Happy holidays from all of us at Josephine magazine.