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Seasonal greetings 

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You should have some fun this holiday season. It's so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in gift giving, party planning, and frantic family events that you forget to relax and enjoy the time with friends and family.

Keep in mind that this is a season for celebrating. There should be good food and drinks, pleasant company and laughter, movies and bundled-up caroling. Ignore the commercials and the pressures to host the perfect gathering; turn your attention to making memories and those quirky stories that everyone will still recite five years from now. Really, aren't the events that you don't plan for usually the ones that you remember down the road?

Whatever occasion you celebrate between now and the end of the year — Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, the release of the new "Star Wars" movie — take a deep breath when you're feeling overwhelmed and look for the fun, small things that will make you joyful.

We hope that City's annual Holiday Guide can give you hints on how to incorporate a little more fun into your season.

Egg nog has been a holiday tradition for centuries — a lot of you might remember that crystal bowl coming out at parties — but it doesn't have to always be the store-bought kind. City dining writer Katie Libby talked with several local bartenders for their favorite egg nog recipes that you can make at home.

And once you have glass in hand, take a couple of hours to slow down and watch a holiday movie. Adam Lubitow, our film critic, breaks down a list of great seasonal movies based on genre — and gives you a few lesser-known alternatives, so you can finally put away that worn-out VHS of "Die Hard."

If you're still looking for a few trinkets to give to family, or just want to decorate your home, Arts & Entertainment staff writer Rebecca Rafferty profiles four local artists who create their own ornaments, from the quirky to the stunning.

We are well aware of the traditional holidays of the season, but a growing number of Rochesterians are also celebrating the winter solstice. City's editorial intern, Olivia Lopez, talked with a couple of groups that welcome the coming light of the new year.

Given the timing of this year's Holiday Guide, we have decided to hold on running a list of events happening this season. But check City's December 2 regular issue for a full list of holiday-related activities happening in December.

Stress might be inevitable during the holidays, but we hope you can find some time to unwind and let loose. Let us know how you're celebrating by leaving a comment below this article online at rochestercitynewspaper.com.

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