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Letter From Rach: Keep it simple, Santa!

Each month, Rachael pens a personal letter to the readers of her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. Here’s what’s on Rach’s mind for December, and what’s cookin’ in the magazine. Don’t forget to get your copy of the issue, out on newsstands now!

Every year I talk about how to make your holiday the happiest it can be, and I know I’m a bit of a broken record, but I truly think the key is to keep it simple. Serve buffets instead of sit-down dinners (see our suggestions on page 104). Mix one great cocktail or punch or cup of good cheer instead of setting up a full bar. And make what you know! If you stick to what you’re good at, whether that’s casseroles, roasts or cookies, you can’t go wrong.

In my family, the designated baker is my sister, Maria. (A few years ago I tried to make Christmas cookies and I’ve never been more miserable to be around in my life!) Don’t miss her huge feature on page 96, where she shares her recipes and fun family stories. And my husband, John, is the cocktail maker. Here’s his Scotch Toddy recipe, perfect for when you’ve spent the day dashing through the snow: Pour two ounces of blended scotch whiskey (we like Johnnie Walker Black) and half an ounce each of hone and fresh lemon juice into a warm mug. Top with hot water, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist, grated nutmeg, a cinnamon stick and a couple of allspice berries.

As for gift-giving, I’m all for bringing lasagna and letting my friends keep the Rachael Ray Bubble and Brown dish I ade it in. (Shameless plug!) For other homemade food gift ideas, check out page 35. We’ve also got 51 amazing gift picks for $50 or less on page 63. (It was too hard to pick just 50!) And on page 14, there are still more ideas, compiled by me and my buddies, for the not-so naughty to the super-nice.

Remember: Holidays are not about the dollar amount you spend—they’re about the timeyou spend with the people you care about, showing them that you appreciate and love them. That’s a gift that should be at the top of all of our lists this season.




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