Enjoy your December DeSoto Magazine!

The Most Wonderful Time

Great memories rise during the holidays like the sweet bubbles of my mom’s pecan pie. I think of my youthful anticipation, when the delight of decorating the tree didn’t sate my desire to rip open the presents waiting beneath its boughs. I recall those delectable aromas of past holiday meals with family and friends and traveling to destinations far and near to enjoy the magic of holiday lights.

You’ll find lots of holiday delights in this our “Holiday Wishes” issue, starting with the renovation of Storyland in New Orleans’ City Park. This children’s park dedicated to beloved literary characters has a new lease on life, just in time for the annual Christmas in the Oaks holiday lights celebration.

Beale Street in Memphis welcomes its first hotel, the Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis. The hotel will be a happening place when the Memphis Holiday Parade rolls on Dec. 11 on Beale and the guitar icon drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

The Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama, features miniature worlds of stone, mortar, and glass created by a former monk named Brother Joseph at St. Bernard Abbey. It’s a special visit this time of year, for one of Brother Joseph’s most elaborate displays is a massive nativity scene.

But if you’re craving all things Christmas, don’t miss our story on Grapevine, Texas, known as the Christmas Capital of Texas — for good reason! Writer Karon Warren and I visited this wonderland of 1,400 holiday events — including being bundled up as we navigated an ice show, as the photo shows — and came away filled to the brim with holiday spirit. It’s quite the experience, as the story explains.

Most of all, we at DeSoto magazine wish you and yours a merry Christmas, and may the New Year bring you joy and prosperity.

Cheré Coen