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There comes a time around early September when we begin to plan this December issue each year.

It is really odd to have temperatures in the upper 70s and we’re talking about Christmas here in the Northeast. This year we took things a step further by focusing our cover concept for this holiday issue on New Year’s Eve.

But once you get beyond that initial shock of having to think about winter before fall has even arrived, there’s comfort in burying yourself among thoughts of the holiday season.

For one, this issue features two of my favorite recurring features in northforker magazine: our gift and giving guides. The gift guide gives this anxious gift-giver a cheat sheet to the holidays, as I get to leave it to my colleagues to find fun local ideas for under the tree. The giving guide is a great reminder of where our thoughts should be for the season of giving — with those who need it most.

I also find some of the listings in our holiday happenings to be among the nicest on the North Fork. Try the Holiday House Tour in Cutchogue, for example, and you’ll get a great sense of the thoughtfulness and creativity of the people of the North Fork. The Holiday Bonfire in Riverhead and the many tree lightings across the North Fork show the closeness of small-town life.

This is the 10th and final issue of northforker for 2019 and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done once again this year. Looking over all the covers I’m reminded of how much planning and hard work went into it and how it truly is a team effort.

So I’d like to again use this space to thank the northforker staff and contributors who helped us through another year of tremendous growth.

First off, I’d like to thank our associate content directors Michelina Da Fonte and Cyndi Zaweski, who spent more time this year than anyone developing the ideas for northforker. They lived and breathed this product and their contributions, which sometimes go unnoticed, are a big reason this print publication has been a success.

As I’m out and about in the community, there’s one contributor whose work I hear complimented most frequently, and for good reason. Photographer David Benthal is an incredible talent and his ability to capture people through portraits that jump off the page is truly second to none.

Our creative director Eric Hod is the quietest contributor of all, but the aesthetic he has created for this magazine speaks louder than any voice. I feel incredibly fortunate to count him as a colleague.

The same can be said for Sonja Reinholt Derr, our director of sales and marketing, who is a great ambassador for northforker. She was our earliest champion and will continue to be incredibly influential as northforker evolves into the future.

Thank you also to our copy desk staff — Decia Fates, Jill Johnson and Luke Sisson — for once again saving us from making so many potentially embarrassing mistakes throughout the year.

I also wanted to thank all of the many freelance contributors who helped make 2019 a special year, most notably Lauren Parker, a part-time Mattituck resident who contributed articles for most of our issues this year.

And, of course, without our sales staff, this magazine wouldn’t exist — but I’m sure they would deflect the credit to our advertising clients who truly make it all possible.

Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge our owners Andrew and Sarah Olsen, who care deeply about this magazine covering their hometowns and have trusted all the aforementioned people to bring this publication to life. Thank you for giving us a place to be creative in this wonderful corner of the world.

We’ll be back March 26, 2020, with the first of nine new issues. Until then, we’ll see you
at Happy holidays!

Grant Parpan

Content Director