Holiday Gifts

Publisher's Note

Every family has its own Christmas morning tradition. At our house, the kids pile up at the top of the stairs while Dad and Mom go down to check that Santa did in fact arrive, turn on the tree lights and get a pot of coffee started.

After those interminable five minutes, the kids, now on the bottom step, are released and like hounds after a raccoon, take off running and howling for the family room. Presents are sorted and piled. Video cameras are unleashed and the festivities begin.

As a kid, I loved everything about the process—waiting to run down the stairs, taking turns opening presents, the feeling of ripping off paper and ribbon and of course playing with those toys after all was said and done.

Now, as an adult and father, I find I don’t really enjoy receiving gifts—something about it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Maybe because I worry I’m not reciprocating at the same level. Maybe because there’s nothing I really want or need that I haven’t found a way to purchase for myself. Or, maybe that’s just part of growing up.

I don’t know.

I do, however, really, really still like giving gifts. Especially to kids—mine as well as my nieces and nephews. I love the look on their face when they open something they really like—and find it amusing when they try to politely thank me for something they think I was nuts to buy in the first place.

The issue you now hold in your hands was born from this simple desire—to find a way to give a holiday gift to all our readers.

We started this particular tradition four years ago. Gradually, it’s grown from a few samples of cool or unusual projects completed in the past year to an entire issue celebrating your success.

Our hope is that by shining a light on project possibilities, we’ll get your creative juices flowing and watch as you charge forward into 2013—leaving your stamp on your community and the industry as a whole.

When you do that, make sure you snap a photo and send us a write-up. We’ll publish it next December and start the whole process over again.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Rodney J. Auth