Chicago magazine's December issue hits newsstands Thursday, November 15th. To schedule an interview with one of our writers or editors, please contact Allison Roche at

Your Best Holiday Ever (Cover Story) – Skip the holiday stress and last-minute scrambling this year with Chicago magazine’s compendium to navigating the season with style and ease. From how to host a dinner party your guests will rave about into the new year, to unique and locavore-approved goodies to give everyone on your list, our guide has endless ideas for making this your most memorable holiday on record. Discover the secrets to making an eminently doable gourmet feast from North Pond’s award-winning chef Bruce Sherman, who welcomed Chicago magazine into his home for an expert instructional and shared 11 delicious and amazingly simple recipes you can pull off in your home kitchen without any fussy ingredients. Choose from 57 covetable presents—all made or designed right here in Chicago—for the imbibers, foodies, men, women, culture vultures, and homebodies in your life. And learn how to give your end-of-year donations the smart way with our how-to on assessing a charity, which includes recommendations for 15 local nonprofits we’ve vetted for you.

Chicagoans of the Year 2012 – It’s high time to single out some people who have made good—no, amazing—things happen in Chicago this year. They include a low-key philanthropist, a community-minded playwright, an innovative jazzman, a dedicated educator, and a young teen and a pediatric surgeon linked by acts of bravery. It’s impossible to read about them and not be inspired. Chicago will celebrate the achievements of these special six on Tuesday, December 11, at a luncheon at the Peninsula Chicago emceed by Bill Kurtis of CBS 2 News. 

Holiday Hot List – The 20 shows most worth a visit before New Year’s to get you in the holiday spirit, from perennially popular classics to the little treasures around the corner—and those for tiny tots, too.

Angels and Demons – We review the year in local government goings-on to determine the political heroes and zeros of 2012, which encompass more than just elected officials from Chicago and Springfield.

The $53 Million Bamboozle – How the trusted comptroller of Dixon, Illinois, became the biggest municipal embezzler in U.S. history, according to the feds—and no one noticed.