MAG­I­CAL MO­MENTS

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

O

ur Christ­mas came early when Miss Uni­verse came to see us in Novem­ber. The grace­ful, funny and hum­ble Pia Wurtzbach was in Dubai to make a mall ap­pear­ance in her first visit to the coun­try, and took a cou­ple of hours out of her sched­ule to visit the Fri­day of­fices for an ex­clu­sive photo shoot. Fash­ion edi­tor Lindsay picked out a se­lec­tion of cloth­ing that got the Filip­ina sen­sa­tion out of the usual OTT gowns, and into some­thing a lit­tle more down to earth. That white dress on the cover, for ex­am­ple: It’s less than Dh2,000, although she looked noth­ing less than mag­i­cal in it.

She also sat down for a chat about life as the world’s num­ber one beauty queen, and what will hap­pen when she hands over her crown and sash to her suc­ces­sor in Manila next month. (She brought her sash with her to the shoot, by the way.) Check it out on page 52, and the video in­ter­view on fri­day­magazine.ae.

Re­turn­ing to life on planet Earth, and the Christ­mas tree is up, not only in my own home, but also now in the Fri­day of­fice (many thanks to our cre­ative art de­part­ment for that). I’ve be­come a home­body, be­cause there are only so many nights that I can spend sit­ting by the tree, watch­ing Christ­mas-themed movies (first up: Die Hard, to be fol­lowed by The Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol ) and I want to make the most of each one.

Un­for­tu­nately for my loved ones, that means I haven’t ac­tu­ally done any present shop­ping, although while I sit on the couch, I ab­so­lutely do think about do­ing it. And then I reach for an­other mince pie. Mo­ti­va­tion comes in the form of our 10-page gift guide start­ing on page 39, with ideas for ev­ery­one on your shop­ping list, so there’s re­ally no ex­cuse.

If we are hon­est, how­ever, this time of year does come with a dose of ex­tra stress, whether you are cel­e­brat­ing the fes­ti­val or not. Events and work seem to reach their peak this month, with things to do mul­ti­ply­ing un­til your head starts to spin, vis­it­ing friends and rel­a­tives mak­ing their own de­mands, and the race to pack it all in by De­cem­ber 31. It’s enough to make some of us pretty grumpy – which is even worse, be­cause aren’t we sup­posed to be feel­ing fes­tive? We hear you. Turn to page 20 for some tips on deal­ing with the ‘stress-tive’ sea­son (hint: eat­ing an­other mince pie may be the an­swer).

Natalie Long, Edi­tor nlong@gulfnews.com

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