Top Holiday Covers

For my ongoing holiday week posts, I started gathering up my favorite magazine covers for December. Having been a magazine editor myself in the past, I can tell you that holiday covers can be the bane of any publication. You have to walk the line between all of the religions that celebrate in some way this month, while also avoiding as much cliche as possible. And, even if you are tired of the topics yourself, it is almost a requirement that you have articles on gift ideas, decorating tips, and holiday recipes.
Here are a few of my favorites this month.

Martha Stewart Living
There are two things I love about this cover. First, it is so clean and has such a beautiful photo that you would almost want to frame it. Second, this is not one of those over-the-top Martha projects that looks deceptively simple, but is impossible to reproduce. It's just a lot of lights on a bare tree. Lovely.
I have a little love/hate thing with Ms. Stewart, so it takes a lot for me to admit that I love the cover. You see, there was once an incident with me and a cranberry wreath that was supposed to be a "Good Thing," but turned into many bloody fingertips, a scary temper tantrum, and cranberries all over my front yard. Enough said.

Better Homes and Gardens
Okay, there's a dog. And he's the cutest dog in the world. He even looks like he's reading the cover lines.
Add in the red door and a stunningly abundant garland, and you've got yourself a winner.
I also like the position of the type and the typefaces used. Nice job.

Woman's Day
I have to admit that I am not a regular reader of this magazine, but the cover stopped me in my tracks.
The wreath is adorable, and then I read that it's made of paper straws. Genius.
The red-and-white palette is also a winner (and seems to be the most popular for magazines), and the photo also shows the type of decor that even a klutz like me could achieve.

Real Simple
Wrapping the cover has been done before, but this one is done very well. The idea that the ribbon has been wrapped over the title gives it a little 3D effect.
The clever "Open Me" tag is my favorite part.
I also appreciate that the editors understand that not everyone may have a "happy" holiday, but they do it in a gentle way with "inspiring stories" that give a nod to tough times.

Southern Living
I'm a sucker for the holiday recipe guides, I'll admit it. Southern Living usually has a good one, and they seem to always have cake on the holiday cover. Who doesn't love cake? The only way it could be better is if it was a pie (see previous posting last week).
I also love the idea that there are 50 gift ideas that "every Southerner will love."
The photo isn't as visually arresting as some of the others, but there's a big chocolate bomb right in the middle to distract you from the fussy decorations.

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