Publisher's Note, December 2014

Celebrate passion and family

This issue holds many gifts, far beyond Lights, Action, Carols, which offers you 70-plus performing arts adventures to amp up your family’s holiday. Retro Toys Rock has me whistling happy holiday tunes. If your kids are still small, you’ll be planning your shopping list; if they are older, you can reminisce about little munchkins pulling walk-a-long snail toys, cuddling a Corolle baby doll or building with Lincoln Logs. 

I can’t wait for winter break to see my adult children! Our family seems extra eager this year to celebrate the holiday season together. I’m not sure if our emotions are more intense than usual, or if it’s because, for the first time in years, we’ve been living on opposite coasts. On Sept. 11, our biggest three departed for New York City, having each landed an exciting professional opportunity and — a parent’s dream — a good paycheck! The distance, though, has left us all yearning for a little more face time.

I think of the bumpy journey each child traversed to find their passion. Their success and happiness is a direct result of the fact that they followed their bliss. I could not have predicted when my children were young that today they would be joyfully doing the work each has chosen.

I believe, reflecting back, that I was not looking or listening closely enough in the early years of parenting. I had my own expectations that might have muffled my kids’ interests a little bit. Born a fashionista, my daughter Arielle was passionate about style from the moment her grandpa began spoiling her with extravagant baby outfits. At 8 years old, she had boxes filled with cut-out Oscar de la Renta dress ads and shots of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Our first girl radiated her own true passion when she dreamed up outrageous ensembles for a preschool friend’s soiree, despite being burdened with parents who both prefer flannel shirts, flip-flops and worn jeans.

Putting self-propelled passions aside, we still have ambitions for our children and will always lean in as parents: The 21st century is here, and my dance-fanatic youngest will (hesitantly) join the world of girls who code, like it or not! Inspired by my chat with Lori Forte Harnick, a leader in Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative (a global effort to create opportunities for 300 million youths in 100 countries), I could no longer allow my daughter to turn away from essential knowledge required in today’s world. So along with the world of arts, I’ll be pushing technology learning, too.

Wishing you, yours and our world peace this holiday season!

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