Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle gorgeous December issue celebrating holiday decor only made this year's slim coverage from some of the major national shelter magazines even more noticeable. It had me wondering, when did I last see an issue from House Beautiful, Veranda or Elle Decor that spotlighted decor for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve, instead of just giving an obligatory nod? I know budgets are tight but that didn't stop magazines such as Traditional Home, Country Living, Coastal Living or Canada's Style at Home and House & Home from giving readers Holiday eye candy and inspiration.

House Beautiful's December 2008 issue seems to be most recent one that gives obvious cover page acknowledgment to the Season. My first look at these bells had me thinking about ringing in the New Year, then Christmas decor. (I know I'm equating the cover image* with coverage of the holidays but from my subjective point of view it seems to correlate. Plus I couldn't fact check w/some of mags still buried in the attic during our reno. Although later on in this post I realize there may be some exceptions.)
The 2005 cover was all about Christmas while the 1997 issue played on wintery imagery and gave more balanced cover attention to the holidays of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas.

House Beautiful 2003
House Beautiful 1999

Here's Veranda December 2011 issue. The only cover reference to the holidays is a Gift Guide. Coverage inside was limited as well.
Veranda's Nov/Dec 2008 cover barely hints at holiday celebrations but then delivers huge with a number of features, including Mary McDonald's stunning home dressed in greenery and peacock feathers.

Verandas Nov/Dec 2005 seems to be the most recent issue that promotes seasonal coverage on the cover with a full-out blue and white Christmas tree.
In all fairness, it seems that Elle Decor has had a more consistent, low-key approach to the holidays throughout most of its publication.
Elle Decor December 2008
The 1998 cover is my favorite. There's not a decoration in site but it still conjurs up relaxing time at home - the lull before the New Year starts.
Southern Accent's last Holiday issue was Nov/Dec 2008, as the magazine closed with the Sep/Oct 2009 issue. You could always count on Southern Accents to go all out with inspiring homes at this time of year.
These beautiful rooms by Houston designer Pamela Pierce, that appeared in the December 2003 issue, give a sense of the type of holiday coverage we're missing. (Pics are from the blog Antiqueholics - scroll down in her archive to see more images from this beautiful home.)
And who could forget this brilliant cover of Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer gracing the cover of the last issue of House & Garden December 2007?

When it comes to Holiday issues my all time favorite is Canadian House and Home. I have all the issues from 2001 (one is currently missing somewhere...) and they're my go-to source every November. In the November 2007 issue, then editor Cobi Ladner shared what might be the secret behind their amazing coverage: "...a number of years ago we decided we had to bite the bullet and start shooting Christmas stories a full year in advance...In the end, it doesn't really matter when the pictures were taken. Looking at this thick new isssue filled with ideas and homes decked for the holidays proves to me once again how many wonderful ways there are to celebrate the season."
And, if I can borrow some more words from my all-time favorite editor Cobi Ladner, "Although we do all celebrate in different ways at this time of year, what a wonderful communal message we share: Good will to all. It's pretty hard to go wrong with that."