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By Real Simple
Updated November 07, 2011
Stephen Lewis

Thoughts, p. 10

The Simple List, p. 14

Editor’s Note, p. 31

Your Words

  • This Month’s Question, p. 35
    What is the greatest gift you’ve ever given?
  • No-Obligation Book Club, p. 39
    Great new reads to tuck into this month

Trends Worth Trying

Holiday Gift Guide

Life Lessons

  • Good Read, p. 113
    Kathryn Harrison buys Christmas gifts months in advance; her husband, Colin, does it on December 24. A she said/he said about holiday shopping
  • Modern Manners, p. 121
    Michelle Slatalla on what to do when your child questions the existence of Santa Claus (no!)
  • Expertise, p. 125
    Five ways to get a thicker skin

The Guide


  • Real Steals, p. 133
    Festive holiday pieces for $100 or less
  • A Show of Hands, p. 145
    Elegant wristwatches—from classic to modern—that will stand the test of time
  • Fit Lab, p. 157
    Party skirts


  • Pretty Smart, p. 165
    The latest beauty products and tips that save time, money, and your sanity
  • Road Test, p. 172
    Brow tools




  • How to Retire Worry-Free, p. 203
    A straightforward road map to finding the right IRA for you
  • Moneywise, p. 210
    Secrets to saving on clothing alterations; a cheat sheet for smartphone wireless data plans; the best way to cash in credit-card rewards points


  • Practical Magic, p. 220
    The easiest way to an elegant outfit? Pair fancy pieces with everyday basics
  • Deck the Halls, p. 228
    From the tree to the mantel to the table, fresh and fabulous decorating ideas straight from the pros
  • The Holiday I’ll Never Forget, p. 236
    Five women recount a very difficult Christmas past—and share what it taught them about resilience and faith
  • Dramatic License, p. 242
    Standout hair and makeup looks that dazzle without going over the top


Credits, p. 299
Where to buy the products featured in this issue

Discounts & Deals, p. 304
Exclusive savings on fireplace accessories

Clip and Save: Real Simple to Go, p. 306