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‘Tis the season when we seem to want it both ways. We practice traditions and look forward to a new calendar. We worship and we plan parties. Friends and family seem closer even as we reach to include acquaintances and strangers.

Food offers one of the surest ways to bring people together in celebration. So this month’s Kentucky Living leads with holiday recipes from a chef who delights in preparing festive meals from locally grown food.

Find out how Holly Hill Inn’s Ouita Michel recognizes the season in this month’s Chef’s Choice.

Even old family gatherings can welcome new ways. Computer games and e-mail are bringing the clan together for evenings at home or staying in touch over long distances. I know people I never thought would even look at a computer, who have spent time chatting by Internet video with relatives on the other side of the world. Read how screen time can mean family time in “Gathering the Family Electronically.”

And if ever a tradition needed revival, it has to be the writing of thank-you notes. Believe it or not, people are hard at work bringing attention to this custom of politeness. Pick up tips on getting your own thank-you etiquette back on track with this month’s feature about this craft of courtesy.

Heart of the cooperative
The most profound change for Kentucky Living from this December to January will be the retirement of Ron Sheets as president of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives.

As my boss, and the boss of Kentucky Living editors before me, Ron has guided and supported the magazine for nearly 30 years. He instinctively understands how this package of electric co-op news, state culture, and personalities helps strengthen local communities all across Kentucky.

Ron will be ably replaced by Bill Corum, who has worked in this building in other capacities for the past few years, after a broad range of experience at Meade County Rural Electric Co-op based in Brandenburg.

In the meantime, please read how I feel about Ron Sheets in my tribute, “A big heart.”

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