Dear Readers,

Here's to the holidays! In this special issue, sponsored by Kraft Foods but independently created by the editors of PEOPLE, we invite you to step away from your swamped schedule and ring in the season with a glass of prosecco (page 60), a basil martini (page 50) or a cup of hot cocoa (page 39). Our cover couple, Peter Facinelli (Twilight; Nurse Jackie) and Jennie Garth (90210), have figured out how to carve out spectacular time with their three children to create a memorable Christmas morning for the whole family (page 30).

Starting on page 16, we go around the world with the likes of Gilles Marini (France) and Mario Lopez (Mexico), who share their special family celebrations. Plus we've documented American Idol Kris Allen's game night (page 28) and Hollywood mom Keisha Whitaker's tea party with her daughters (page 26). We've also asked experts to create nine easy and budget-friendly parties that will have your guests clamoring for more. Finally, we bring you plenty of ideas for creating your own rituals, finding inexpensive gifts and, in these challenging times, giving back to your community. We hope this issue entertains you and inspires you to have a very merry season.

Sincerely,

Paul Caine

President and Group Publisher, Time Inc. Style & Entertainment Group