Finally we are about to put 2017 in the rearview mirror! For so many, the challenges of dealing with floods, hurricanes and heat have been almost too much to endure. Hopefully by now most of us have recovered and are moving (albeit slowly, perhaps) towards the normal.

So let’s change our attitudes and look toward the upcoming holiday season to get us back on track and embrace the many traditions this time of year brings. Comfort for the soul. Check out our Best Bets for several uplifting activities this month.

I also encourage you to make a special effort to reconnect with your friends and neighbors to regain your sense of belonging. To that end, we called upon our friend, Trish Leonard, and the staff of TLC Marketing and Creative Services, to help us put together some simple, unique ideas for holiday entertaining. Let’s create energy through a hearty handshake or warm embrace. We all need to regain our sense of community.  Our paradise!

Now is the time for all of us to enjoy the spirit of love, giving, healing and hope as we relish being in the comfort of family and friends as we celebrate our faith and look forward to a prosperous New Year.

For those of you who have an itch for adventures abroad, our travel feature, written by Estero seasonal resident Phill Morgan, takes us to the United Kingdom and London. If you are among those making a journey, please travel safely and enjoy.

And it is time, once again, to revisit the best of our 2017 dining. We hope we have included some of your favorites and invite you to try any of those you missed the first time. Dining out is a stress-free way to enjoy time with friends and family!

In addition, the first week of December is Restaurant Week in Fort Myers and Naples. This is your chance to try something new while raising money for local causes.

For the sports-minded, just a reminder of the upcoming 45th Anniversary Culligan’s City of Palms Classic to be held for the second season at the beautiful Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.

Also in this issue, our Village Connection takes a look back at the recent Veterans Day celebration, the first for our young community. Kudos to Councilman Jon McLain, Carol Sacco and the Village staff, and the host of volunteers and participants for a truly memorable day.

On behalf of my wife, Ann Marie, our Editor-in-Chief, Laura Cummings, and our production partners at Presstige Printing, we wish you all the joys of the season, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah and Kwanza. Our hope is that each of you will find ways to keep the spirit and meaning of the holidays in your hearts the whole year through and that all of the beautiful memories of the past — and those that you create new — will change your paradigm for a truly Happy New Year! Here’s a toast to us all.

Until next year…

Remember, Life is GOOD!

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