Connection. Love. Family. Friends. Gatherings.

The holidays are a special time of connection. Whether you see your loved ones on a regular basis or only at special events, holidays are a time to be thankful for the people in our lives who make us feel cherished and special. One of the most cherished times is the gathering around the table. Favorite family foods and dining traditions are hard bonds to break: Food and love go hand in hand. Food means more than just filling our bellies; itâ€TMs a connection to the others around the table and those who are no longer present.

The feeling of preparing food for loved ones is a specific and extraordinary emotion. We want to make our guests happy and give them a memorable experience.

The holiday season is also a time where life can get completely hectic and we can easily lose focus of what the season means. Remember to slow down while shopping for the perfect gift (hint: check out our Homemade and Homegrown Gift Guide) or that unusual cooking ingredient. Enjoy the holiday spirit around and within.

Local Table would like to thank all the people who make this publication possible—our advertisers, readers, farmers, writers and photographers, Don Johnson, Shana Dellos and our amazing designer, Lucy Kane. Everyone who helps put out the publication does it with a bit of love in his or her heart and I thank you for that blessing. It is not taken lightly.

Love those around you this holiday season. Give lots of hugs and weâ€TMll see you in the New Year!

Lisa Shively