Featured in December 2013

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Photo by Christopher Baker

Thoughts, p. 8

The Simple List, p. 12

Editor’s Note, p. 29

Your Words

  • This Month’s Question, p. 31
    What is a great gift for the person who has everything?
  • What to Read This Winter, p. 34
    What book makes you feel grateful?

Holiday Gift Guide

  • 50+ Gifts for $50 or Less, p. 37
  • For women, p. 39
  • For men, p. 49
  • For teens and tweens, p. 57
  • For kids, p. 63
  • For anyone, p. 71
  • Stocking stuffers, p. 79

Life Lessons

  • Good Read, p. 85
    Why is home so important during the holidays? Five writers reflect
  • Modern Manners, p. 95
    Catherine Newman on how to shush a chatty relative nicely, welcome a new neighbor, and more

The Guide


  • What Am I Supposed to Wear?, p. 101
    From “cocktail” to “come as you are,” puzzling party dress codes explained
  • Seven Pieces, Five Outfits, p. 109
    Festive wardrobe staples you can easily mix and match


  • Attention, Holiday Shoppers, p. 119
    Expert advice on how to keep your spending under control


  • Pretty Smart, p. 127
    The latest beauty products and tips that save time, money, and your sanity
  • Five-Minute Eyes, p. 133
    Step-by-step how-tos for bold (and flattering) looks
  • Road Test, p. 141
    Makeup palettes


  • You’re Healthier Than You Think, p. 143
    Rest easy: a reality check on the likelihood of having Lyme disease, gluten intolerance, and more
  • 5 Minutes and You’re Done, p. 148


  • Personal Shopper, p. 151
    Fun and fanciful papers and trimmings for gifts, plus alternatives for the wrapping-averse


  • I Read the News Today. Oh Boy., p. 161
    If, how, and when to talk about tragic events with your children



  • Your Essential Guide to Holiday Survival, p. 170
    Dozens of solutions to keep your schedule, your stuff, and yourself organized this season
  • Take a Bough, p. 178
    Three simple and stunning DIY wreaths
  • Embellish Your Story, p. 182
    Make an LBD really sparkle with striking hair and jewelry
  • Here Comes Santa Claus, p. 190
    Over 40 years later, a son and his mother revisit the annual hometown Christmas parade


  • The Big Easy, p. 194
    Six dishes (mains and desserts) that prove dramatic doesn’t have to be difficult
  • Make-Ahead Holiday Brunch, p. 203
    Harried hosts, rejoice! A delicious spread that can be prepared (days) early
  • Things Cooks Know, p. 210
    Simplifying strategies, techniques, and tips—from the Real Simple kitchen to yours
  • Quick Takes, p. 212
    10 ideas for holiday sides
  • Simply Sweet, p. 217
    Apricot-walnut rugelach
  • Five Easy Dinners, p. 219
  • Nutritional Index, p. 230



Credits, p. 238
Where to buy products featured in this issue

Clip and Save: Real Simple to Go, p. 239