Happy Holidays!

At the Helm

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of year for many Lowcountry families, and we appreciate you sharing yours with us by reading this issue. The great American writer Washington Irving once said: “’Tis the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." We couldn’t agree more.

In this issue, we focus on ways to stoke the holiday spirit — whether by attending some of the many festive events on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, by giving a charitable gift to a local nonprofit organization in need, or by sharing special experiences with loved ones. Our story about experiential gifts features suggestions for fun activities —from horseback riding on Daufuskie Island to a taste-test of locally produced mead — that will create memories for sure. The joy of spending time with friends and family is the shining light of this season.



We’re also happy to help you find that unique, unexpected gift for each person on your list, with our gift guide suggestions from local retailers. Practical or luxe, quirky or classic, these presents will send just the right message to the people you are grateful for this year.

This year, we’re especially grateful that Mary Wyman Stone Fraser, wife of Charles Fraser, decided to sit down and chat with Monthly about those magical early days on Hilton Head. Read her reminiscences on the occasion of the Sea Pines Montessori Academy’s 50th anniversary celebration on pages 40-41. We’re also thankful for the beauty that surrounds us. The natural world has its own rhythms at this time of year, and we look at the iconic Lowcountry industry of shrimping in this issue.

Like many of you, we’re planning a party this month—and you’re invited! Again this year, Hilton Head Monthly will celebrate the local businesses, professionals and communities that won our Readers’ Choice awards with a fabulous party Dec. 13 at the The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa. This year’s celebration is sponsored by Shop More Local, an initiative promoting and supporting locallyowned, independent businesses. Come try samples from the winners, dance to live music by Lavon and Louise, keep the party going with the band White Liquor, and congratulate the honorees. Tickets are available at hiltonheadmonthly.com. Click on the Readers' Choice Award banner to purchase.

Our whole team sends you, dear reader, warmest holiday greetings and best wishes. We think the American essayist, editor, critic, and lecturer Hamilton Wright Mabie summed it up best when he said: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!”