Each year, I wait for December with childlike excitement. As November crawls to a close, my giddiness for the holiday season soars exceedingly high, as all that’s wonderful in the world to me comes fluttering in like a snow storm: love, warmth, and connection.

This year, I’m reflecting on why the holiday season has such a magical hold on so many of us. Chances are if you read Rue, you’re like my fellow editors and me and have an undying fascination with making a house a home. We’re happiest when we’re nesting, decorating, and creating a space that nurtures our families, our growth, and our need for restfulness. The blessing of the holiday season is that it gives us special permission to throw ourselves unabashedly into that endeavor. We deck the halls, bake for loved ones, fill our homes with deliciously scented holiday candles, and bring joy to houseguests through thoughtful gifts. In short, it is our time to dive into all that we equate with home.

And yet, as I read the many stories that make up the pages of this issue, it struck me how differently we each define home. San Francisco designer, Scot Meacham Wood (pg. 44) learned at a young age that home can be anywhere in the world as long as you’re surrounded by the treasures you love. In Charleston, artist Samantha Sidney (pg. 130) created a playful home, that she admits isn’t for everyone, but that makes her family smile endlessly. And perhaps most poignantly, blogger Susie Allison (pg. 72) sheds light on how we can keep the cozy feeling of the holidays in our homes year round.

As we reflect back on the wonderful year 2014 has been and look forward to the possibilities of 2015, we toast to you for gifting us with your continued support and friendship. From our home to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays this season!

xx, Crystal