By now, you may know that not only was Marilyn Monroe our first-ever Playmate, then called the “Sweetheart of the Month,” but she was also the magazine’s first cover girl, appearing on the inaugural December 1953 issue. Since then, Naomi Campbell, Denise Richards, Janet Pilgrim, Farrah Fawcett, Raquel Welch, Joan Collins, Suzanne Somers, Barbi Benton, Candice Bergen, Sharon Stone, Bo Derek, Jenny McCarthy and Cindy Margolis are just some of the women who have graced our year-end Holiday Gala issue. Reliving our Christmas-themed covers through the decades is a delight if only for the cover lines, which provide snapshots of each year’s cultural zeitgeist. That’s truer than ever for 2017’s December cover, which for the first time features a man alone: Hugh Hefner, in a special tribute to the life of Playboy’s founder.
All the same, it’s okay to admit that by December, you may be over reading Playboy only for the articles and instead just want to enjoy our features of beautiful women near a crackling fireplace or a loop of Netflix’s Fireplace For Your Home. If that’s the case, we invite you to settle in and warm up by revisiting all 65 of our past December covers. No doubt you’ll have a favorite and enjoy some nostalgia, too. Happy holidays, friends.