December 2009

Editor’s Letter—December 2009

It’s the first weekend in December, and that means everyone is knee deep in the holidays, so it’s time to get braced for not only the hustle and bustle of the season but the inevitable exhortations on how Christmas and Hanukkah have lost their true meaning.

As SNL’s “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers would say, “Really?

The urge to give gifts is hardwired into humans. There is evidence that presents were exchanged before the written word was developed. (Which invites the question: What exactly was done for thank-you notes pre-cuneiform?) We not only want to give the special people in our lives gifts, we need to. So don’t fight the urge.

That said, what to give is not the same as what to buy. Buying is easy, gifting—finding the right thing for the right person—is challenging. Or so we found when we put together our “IST List.” We did our darnedest to think of presents for the pickiest among us and came up with ideas for all manner of “ists,” from the androgynist to the shootist to the technologist. As for the altruists in your life, if you don’t know their cause du coeur, consider a Good Card from Kevin Bacon’s sixdegrees.org, which permits the recipient to designate the charity.

Nothing says “holiday”—at least in L.A.—more than seeing a film. And all Baker Street Irregulars (you know who you are), as well as their friends and families, are beyond curious about Robert Downey Jr.’s turn as the man in the deerstalker cap in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. If that’s the case for you, prepare for a treat in “The Game’s Afoot,” as Downey and Ritchie riff on feeling motivated, making movies and getting stitches.

For those who think they’ve seen everything, we have a surprise gift: an exclusive preview of never before published shots and personal tales of Michael Jackson from The Official Michael Jackson Opus, a luxurious limited-edition, oversize tome bound in leather, which drops on December 7. You have never seen the King of Pop like this.

Gifts come in many guises. And one of the most precious is the ability to offer skilled profes­sional attention in a crisis. That’s what the ER nurses at Cedars-Sinai give 365 days a year. In “Saving Grace,” Elaine Kagan profiles some of the 98 gutsy, relentlessly dedicated nurses who work the front lines of Cedars’ tier-one trauma center.

We hope you enjoy this issue. It was put together with love and passion, and we can’t wait to share it with you. At its core, the season at hand is about sharing—be it presents, resources or time. Find something you have to give and share it with someone. The only requirement is that it come from the heart.

Enjoy