A cycle was like slogging through mud to run a marathon: It was long, arduous, and a little painful. And even if you don’t like the outcome, it’s time to celebrate the fact that it’s over. Enter the holiday season. Get those lights out, call your mom, hug your brother who voted for “the wrong side,” and get ready to do some serious cooking and some serious eating. You deserve it. With the New Times Media Group’s annual holiday guide, you can make sure you spread the love in all the right places—and if you’re lucky, maybe share a laugh, a tear or two along the way. Maybe you feel like doing your part to help the people in this county who don’t have as much as you do? Or you really want to attend a cool holiday event this year? We can tell you how to spruce up your holiday cocktail party, the most thoughtful ways to create your own gifts from the things around you, and a story about love that survives through strife. Really feeling like you need to see some snow? There are ways to fake it on the coast. How do churches feel about their once-a-year attendees? There’s a story for that. We’ll show you where to find locally grown Christmas trees, and for an extra special treat, we’ll even help you decide what beer to pair with that holiday pie.