Dolly Parton

The Holiday Issue

The gift that is Dolly

Sponsored by
Dolly Parton for Better Homes & Gardens sitting on a stack of gifts wrapped in shades of green and gold
Have Yourself a Holly Dolly Christmas

Letters from the Editors

Stephen Orr + Sheena Chihak

This year, when we asked Dolly Parton to grace our cover, we knew we wanted to go full Dolly and embrace all the bows, the ribbons, the gold, the sparkle, the bling. Our cover story, beautifully written by Jason Sheeler (on loan from our sister publication People), shares an insider’s look into Dolly’s holiday preparations and how deeply grounding this holiday has been to her since her childhood in Locust Ridge, TN. 

I was happy to discover she’s a maximalist at home as well, with Christmas trees in every room, homespun ornaments, and a fondness for tree skirts and tinsel. “I’m tacky. I don’t try to be fancy. I just try to do what makes me happy,” she says. For our photo shoot, a group effort by photographer Art Streiber, set and prop stylist Anthony A. Altomare, and our style director Jessica Thomas, we thought of Dolly as a gift to our millions of readers. A bright, sparkling angel crowning a towering Christmas tree of gifts (and our heartfelt thanks to our cover star for climbing to perch on top). Besides being one of the most talented musicians and songwriters in history, Dolly is a uniter—a person we can all admire as she enters her 67th year in show business. When I tell people she will be the final BHG cover of our 100th anniversary year, almost everyone has the same reaction. They smile, look up, and clasp their hands over their heart. I feel the same. Grateful, happy, and looking forward to making positive changes in 2023.

-Stephen Orr, Editor in Chief

The best part of the holidays for me is the once-a-year traditions. As soon as there’s a glimmer of fall weather, I start eagerly anticipating Christmastime classics—the decorating, movie watching, baking, gift giving, constant eating; I love it all.

And while I might be set in my ways—I depend on daily routines to ensure all the things get done—there has been flexibility with my traditions. Over the years, my parents and siblings moved across the country.  At one point, some of us lived in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, and Florida, so starting Christmas morning together as we always had was impossible. But one delicious family tradition continues. Someone in each household, no matter how distant, makes the same sausage bread recipe Grandma used to make (with varying degrees of success). One bite and each of us is transported to those loud, chaotic mornings of Christmases past—some of our most special memories.

Just as Dolly loves making things “like Momma used to,” I too will be cooking as Grandma and Mom taught me and sharing these traditions with my son on his first Christmas. I hope he likes sausage.

-Sheena Chihak, Associate Editorial Director

BHG Trend Report

100 years of Christmas tree trends
A Look Back: 100 Years of Christmas Tree Trends

Organization Resolutions

glass food storage containers
6 Eco-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Home
grocery bag filled with foods
Throw Away These 12 Kitchen Items Immediately (and Be Glad You Did)
bedroom hidden storage cabinets and drawers
26 Bedroom Storage Solutions for a More Organized Sleeping Space

Tip Sheet

Storing cookies in jar with layers of waxed paper man hand
How to Store Cookies So You Can Savor Them Longer (Yes, Please!)