From the Publisher – December ’23

AOP front cover

As I finish the final touches to our Christmas tree, I can’t help but reminisce about all the special moments around our tree throughout the years. Memories of all the first Christmases with all four of my babies, the excitement of watching my toddlers tear through gifts at the speed of light, and teenagers who found joy in giving as much as getting. There are so many years spent celebrating the holidays around this Christmas tree. This year will be a little different, awaiting two of my college kids to come home, making everything right in the world again. As the years have gone by, the gifting has also changed. From tiny, paper-made ornaments sent home by their preschool teachers to the expectant gifts like new and needed clothes and shoes, the gifts under the tree have evolved, just like our family.

Are you still in the stage of tiny handprint ornaments with your children’s names carefully written to their best ability on the back? These small gifts from the heart are my most fond and loved gifts of all time. In the feature article, Gifts Kids Can Give on A Small Budget, I am reminded that all the hustle and bustle on Black Friday isn’t necessary at all to have the perfect Christmas gifts to give. The author provides a few ideas to get us started. Of course, who doesn’t love a handmade gift from the heart? How about taking those drawings and paintings and turning them into a print to hang on Grandma’s wall? It is a gift that will last forever and that she will cherish each time she walks past it in her home.

Or, break out an old family recipe and get messy in the kitchen. My daughter loves to bake and looks forward to cooking up something tasty for family each December. Baking pies, cookies, or cakes for your neighbors might be just the perfect holiday gift to share. Bonus… you’re making lasting memories with your little chef, and that’s a priceless gift.

Dads can get in on the gift-giving giving, too. All moms would agree that a day of pampering would hit the spot this year. Create a card that gifts mom a day at the spa, and then have fun setting up a nice bubble bath, along with scented candles, to immerse her in a day of relaxation. Next, she can enjoy the perfect foot massage and painted toes from her children. Add a specially made lunch with a yummy dessert, and she will be overjoyed with her Christmas gift from Dad and her children’s hearts. Personalized gifts that your kids have created can become some of the best memories around the Christmas tree.

After all the gifts have been wrapped and placed under the tree, grab your family and their coats and immerse them into a winter wonderland this December. So many festive events need to be on your “must-not-miss list” this month! Check out the Holiday Happening Guide to explore all the local and regional holiday events. Does your family enjoy driving through the twinkling lights of Callaway Gardens?

Or, walking through an old town Christmas village like the Victorian Front Porch Tour? Or, maybe a new tradition is the way to go, like ice skating, watching a Christmas Parade downtown, or seeing The Nutcracker come to life on stage. No matter the event, you will make fond Christmas memories with your family and friends. Don’t forget to slow down, snuggle up by the crackling fire, and watch a favorite Christmas movie, too.

From one parent to another, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kendra Sumner
Author: Kendra Sumner


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From the Publisher – December ’23

by Kendra Sumner time to read: 2 min