Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, it is easy to forget about the true spirit of the holidays. In the December 1995 issue, the Bon Appétit staff takes its cue from an old Shaker sentiment, 'Tis the gift to be simple.

A Caroler's Quartet of Feasts
Here are menus for Christmas Eve: An elegant Yuletide dinner, featuring roast goose with oranges, Madeira and shallots; a stylish country Christmas, with crown roast of pork and apple and sausage stuffing; a family holiday feast with a roast turkey flavored with prosciutto, rosemary and garlic.

Christmas in the Caribbean
Jinx and Jefferson Morgan tour six sunny islands where holiday revelers can sing "Jingle Bells" to a calypso beat, feast on a beachside Yuletide pig roast and limbo into a Carnival parade. Also included: Hotels, restaurants and Christmas recipes from the hottest spots in the Caribbean.

Decorating Christmas Cookies
Easy step-by-step instructions for festive gingerbread and citrus sugar cookies.

A Delicious Tree-Trimming Buffet
This simple, do-ahead buffet ensures that you spend more time at your party with your friends and less time in the kitchen with your pots and pans. Recipes include cranberry-shallot relish, an upscale macaroni and cheese, corn bread with sun-dried tomatoes and fruitcake brownies.

Gifts from the Kitchen
Caramel-almond popcorn and hazelnut caramels are two of the edible gifts from the Bon Appétit test kitchen.

Mail Order Food Gifts
Too tired to shop anymore? High quality mail-order goodies like caviar, chocolate and ham can be ordered over the phone and sent straight to the doorstep.

At the magazine, Bon Appétit's Selma Brown Morrow is famous for her perfect potato latkes; now you can discover her secrets. And for those wild at heart, we include jazzier versions, such as yam latkes with mustard seeds and curry vegetable latkes.

Restaurant of the Month
At Erna's Elderberry House, near Yosemite National Park, Christmas is just another excuse for some of the best food anywhere. One taste of Erna's beef tenderloin with goat cheese sauce and you'll understand why she's a wonder of the West.

Settings that Sparkle
We've created four perfect place settings using holiday colors.

The Sweetest Season
These desserts have the flavor of Christmas past, but are perfect for Christmas present. Eggnog cremes, caramel walnut tart with cinnamon crust, chocolate-chestnut torte and steamed pumpkin pudding with warm maple pouring sauce are a few of the desserts that have been reinvented so they're easy, elegant and delicious.

That Touch of Pink
Anthony Dias Blue expounds on the poor, misunderstood sparkling rosé and the merits of this perfect holiday drink. Plus a pick of the dozen best rosés for December celebrations.

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