Editor's Note

Good Times

By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

Photo by Courtesy Carnaval De Quebec, Xavier Dachez


nother holiday season is here and, as per usual, I didn’t quite see it coming. I tell time by the things I have to do, my personal calendar driven by schedules, assignments and deadlines. So when those important dates pop up, it never seems as if enough time has passed for it to be “(insert any date here) already?” I suspect I’m not the only one.

So this year, I’m focused on making merry, rather than keeping busy. Accordingly, our December issue is all about having fun. 

This month we feature The Nutcracker ballet, put on every year by the Ventura County Ballet Company. VCBC invited us behind the scenes to glimpse a little of what it takes to bring this well-loved production from the rehearsal studio to the stage. Lots of hard work, of course — but there’s so much passion and joy there, too. From the tiniest ballerinas to the gravity-defying pros, that love of dance is what shines through during every performance, making The Nutcracker one of our most enduring holiday traditions. If you’re already a fan, perhaps our pictorial will help you appreciate the ballet in a new way. And if you haven’t yet taken in this most festive of seasonal spectacles? Perhaps you should.

Speaking of festive . . . Oxnard transforms from a picturesque seaside community to Ventura County’s own City of Lights in December. The Plaza Park pagoda, Christmas Tree Lane, Channel Islands Harbor’s Parade of Lights . . . every corner of Oxnard twinkles this time of year. An evening walking through the historic district will put anyone in the holiday spirit.

If you feel like traveling farther afield, the friendly snowman Bonhomme will welcome you with open arms to Carnaval de Québec, the spectacular winter carnival that takes place every January and February in Québec City. Picturesque streets bedecked with frost, elaborate sculptures made of snow, the breathtaking ice palace — it’s the stuff of fantasy, and there’s plenty of time to plan a trip.

Of course, you can always enjoy the creature comforts of home by staying in and whipping up a few batches of cookies. Chefs from around the county shared some of their favorite holiday recipes with us this month, and they are as easy to prepare as they are delicious. Make some for guests, or as gifts, or just to enjoy yourself — and fill the house with the scent of sugar and spice and everything nice.

December is a time for family and festivities, good food and good company, fun-filled days and nights that sparkle. I hope that everyone finds some joy and light this holiday season, and throughout the New Year as well.


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