I’ve started to consciously look for ways to make each day special for family and friends, as well as myself. Recent tragedies remind us how important our time together is. Thought-provoking magazine articles and books like Mitch Album’s For One More Day ask how we would spend our time if we only had one more year, one more month, one more week, or one more day, which triggers my sense of priority.

We’ve had a fun-filled autumn weekend with family, roasting weiners and s’mores at the backyard fire pit, decorating pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies, sipping hot Tanner’s apple cider, and munching on my personal favorite—-a Tanner’s taffy apple! I tried to add a few decorating surprises for Halloween, to coach laughter, and soon, we’ll gather for a Thanksgiving feast which includes traditional family dishes. We’ve also planned a special surprise to build anticipation and deter the turkey-induced nap until after dinner.

We all have digital cameras now, making it easy to click and instantly share photos with friends, so there’s little excuse not to capture the moment. Take lots of candid shots and videos. Get out the scrapbooks and remember days gone by. Putting those boxes of old family photos into albums would make for a splendid project on a winter’s day.

We selected festive holiday ornaments for this issue’s cover to put you in the mood for the approaching holiday season. With traditions in mind, we invited friends to share some family holiday recipes and were delighted to learn of their history. In this issue, read about Jenny Armstrong, the executive director of Crittenton Centers, and her passion for her young clients. Who knows? It may inspire you to volunteer your time and begin a new tradition. Read the article about color and how it affects your mood—you might just want to grab a paintbrush and give an old room a new look for the holidays. Hot coffee, cider, or tea on a cold November day? Try one of the new gourmet coffee shops opening up all over town. And you won’t have to leave the area to get those new holiday clothes—just check out the new local boutiques.

art & society brings to your attention many seasonal opportunities as listed in our community calendar, and we encourage you to experience these events with your family and friends. Decorate the house inside and out. Attend a play, visit a gallery, ring the Salvation Army bell. Soak up the sounds of the season with the Peoria Area Civic Chorale, the Peoria Symphony, or Applegate & Co. Don’t be shy when photos are being taken at an event—you’ll smile and remember the fun you had when you find yourself in an upcoming issue of this magazine.

At this time of the year, especially, the art & society staff thanks you for embracing this new magazine, and we urge you to try something new, as well as honoring a loved one by keeping old traditions alive. a&s