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Peggy Levinson, Market Editor

Favorite thing about the holidays: I like Thanksgiving because the weather is usually perfect. I always make the tired old things, and family likes it, and I don’t have to worry about presents.

Favorite holiday treat: Pecan pie. I could eat the whole thing under the table and stab anyone who tries to get close.

Cook or cater? I cook—because I have it down. Except I buy a turkey from Whole Foods so that I won’t have to get up too, too early on Thanksgiving Day. I also buy giblet gravy because I think it’s disgusting to make.

Best gift you ever received: I got a black-cherry-colored Jaguar one year from my husband that he had bought from a friend who was a used car dealer. It was really too flashy for me and a complete lemon. It only started when it wanted to, and it mostly didn’t want to.

Holiday sweaters? No

Tinsel? No

Real tree or fake? Real

How old were you when you learned the truth about Santa? About 4. My older sister found out and had to tell me.

When does the tree go up? Mid-December—whenever I get around to it

When does the tree come down? On New Year’s Day, unless I have a brain tumor that day

Presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas day? Kids open one on Christmas Eve after church and sushi. The rest on Christmas morning.

Favorite ornament: Ornaments my mother made—very fancy

Favorite holiday candle: Jo Malone pine

Wreath on the front door? Fresh wreath with red ribbon


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Laura Kostelny, Executive Editor

Favorite thing about the holidays: I love the fight to the death for center stage that goes down. My parents are hilarious. My sister and brother-in-law are super funny. And it goes without saying that I’m beyond funny. But the real stars of the show are my niece and nephew Maggie and Max. And we’re all a little bitter about it.

Favorite Holiday treat: Coors Light

Cook or cater? I come from a long line of great cooks, so I leave everything to them. Although, I will say the older we get, the less we care about the big holiday meal. My mother joked that she was going to get fried chicken from Popeyes this year. At least I think she was kidding.

Best gift you ever received: My family moved from Saudi Arabia to Beaumont, Texas, when I was in eighth grade. I had a perm, braces, and glasses and was pretty much an outcast. I got a pair of Guess jeans that I thought could change my life. They didn’t, but it was a nice dream while it lasted.

Worst gift: A Snoopy Sno-cone Maker. Children 6 and up, my ass. You need to be a 40-year-old bodybuilder.

Holiday sweaters? Only in the summer

Tinsel? Sure, why not?

Real tree or fake? Last year was the first year I put up a tree in forever. My mom found a white tree complete with lights at Wal-Mart for, like, $20. And I love it. It feels very retro. I like to light it up and pretend I’m Betty Draper.

How old were you when you learned the truth about Santa? I’m sorry, what? What do you mean there is no Santa?

When does the tree go up? Last year, I put it up about three weeks before Thanksgiving. I was really excited about the Betty Draper thing.

New Year's resolution? I always make the same one: lose 10 pounds. Still working on it.

Presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas day? We are in the Christmas morning camp.

Favorite holiday candle: I don’t do candles.

Wreath on the front door? Last year, I hung a wreath in my kitchen. I liked it so much it stayed there all year.

Read more of our holiday gift guide.