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  1. As common as the exchange of gifts at this time of year has become, the origins of this sometimes-burdensome tradition are actually anything but. Beginning with the proverbial Three Kings—who were...
  2. You and nine guests can be party to a once-in-a-lifetime event in Greece next August, when the country that created the original Olympics in ancient times hosts the summer games for the first time...
  3. Stay at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport (604.207.5200, www.fairmont .com ), and you will hope that your flight is delayed, or better yet, canceled. The Fairmont offers all of the amenities you expect...
  4. Mongolia’s Gobi Desert is the setting for perhaps this winter’s most obscure excursion. Nomadic Expeditions (800.998. 6634, www.nomadicexpeditions.com ) is taking 15 travelers on an otherworldly 11-...
  5. The Ritz London (+44. 20.7493.8181, www.theritzlondon.com ) can take care of all your holiday planning this year with its Christmas Programme, which runs from December 23 through 26. It includes...
  6. Among his peers in the audio industry, Joe Atkins is an anomaly: He is not interested in how loudspeakers work. Indeed, Atkins has never read a hi-fi magazine. Yet this 47-year-old native of Toronto...
  7. "Cima del mundo," a Spanish phrase meaning "top of the world," describes exactly how this estate’s new owners will feel upon moving in. Built in 1924 by noted architect Myron Hunt—who also designed...
  8. It took three years to finish the Theo Kalomirakis–designed home theater shown on these pages—probably not as long as the ancient Egyptians needed to complete a pharaoh’s funeral pyramid, but a...
  9. A speaker may come close to reproducing sound perfectly in a laboratory, but alas, no one lives in a lab. When the real world includes wood floors and upholstery-free furnishings, the formerly...
  10. Old traditions die hard or—as a growing number of savvy European firms are demonstrating—reinvent themselves. Many bastions of conservative style, such as Burberry, Land Rover, and Louis Vuitton,...

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