Peace on earth, good will toward men. And shopping. And parties. And eating and drinking too much.
In a word, overindulgence. That's what the holidays are about. And this year, we have another reason to get wild and crazy: The Mayan prophecy of a global cataclysm on Dec. 21.
As usual, we've managed to take a few simple facts, whip them around in a New Age blender, and completely misunderstand them. The prophecy isn't Mayan, and 2012 merely marks the end of a cycle on the ancient Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, not the end of the world.
But who cares? In an age when Presidential candidates can blithely lie their way through entire campaigns, facts have clearly lost their relevance. What matters is how we're feeling.
This holiday season, we're shaking off the fears of the past four years, and the economic lethargy of the past 11 months, and starting to feel good again. And there's nothing wrong with that.
So indulge — in the select luxury items that start on the facing page, and in the many holiday activities that follow. Whether your tastes run to music, theater, movies, food and drink, seasonal events or recreational outings with the family, there's a great time to be had over the next month. Go for it. Lord knows, you've earned it. Explore the full festive guide below.