No matter how fleeting it may seem, fall is my season of choice in Colorado (perhaps not the most original notion, but hey, it’s true). Pumpkin-spice everything doesn’t provide much of a thrill for me, but nothing beats that warm-and-fuzzy feeling when the temperatures dip into the 60s, the aspens turn their brilliant golden hue, and cozy sweaters and boots become my daily uniform.

Typically, my favorite part of this time of year is the sense of rest and reconnection that comes with it: Shorter days mean more quiet, cozy evenings spent at home, and the start of the holiday season provides plenty of opportunities to gather and celebrate with loved ones.

But, as 2020 has proven too many times, this is no ordinary year. You may be tired of the whole “quiet evening at home” thing by now, and your holiday festivities are bound to look different from those of years past. Even so, there are still plenty of ways (and reasons!) to celebrate. As local event planner and design maven Kendra Kimball told us: “Now, more than ever, is a time to really reflect on the gratitude we have for one another and our time together.” She, along with our other expert sources in this issue’s “Entertain Like A Pro” guide, shows us how to host in style—even if it’s for an abbreviated guest list—and facilitate more creativity and connection at home. Because who doesn’t need more of that warm-and-fuzzy feeling right now? Happy fall!