Ready, set, snow! Or so we hope, anyway. If you’re crossing your fingers for snow days like we are, our December issue is right up your alley. We’ve got your guide for the best places to play in the snow with your kiddos, whether you’re skiers, snowshoers, or sledding mavens. December also brings our annual holiday gift guide, highlighting gifts for all ages from some of our favorite local stores and our give guide with staff picks for local nonprofits to support this holiday season. When you’ve bought all those gifts, try out the make-your-own-wrapping-paper tutorial in this month’s Hands On column. And don’t miss our take on the newest restaurant-with-a-play-space in town, a recipe for hand-crafted hot cocoa and our picks for magical Nutcracker shows for the small set.
Screen-time stats, household hacks from a Camas SAHM-blogger and Operation Full Belly.
Put a Bow On It
Our favorite finds from local stores for the holiday season. Plus MP’s annual give guide.
Where to ski, snowboard, sled and snowshoe, kids in tow.
Financial goals to set your family up for 2016.
The spotlight’s on fast-growing, but still neighborly, Wilsonville.
Make a date with the Nutcracker and your little ballet fans.
A blueprint for adorable DIY wrapping paper, from our friends at Smartypants.
What to buy two kids who have everything? Nothing, says our columnist.
Hearty German fare, plus a playspace, at Zoiglhaus in Lents.
Make your own hot cocoa, with a superfoods twist.
Holiday lights, Hanukah happenings, Kwanzaa celebrations and New Year’s Eve, too.
At age 4, my daughter was diagnosed with developmental delays in her gross and fine motor skills, and sent for weekly visits for an occupational therapist. At first, it was a bitter and unexpected pill, and I couldn’t stop wondering what I’d done wrong: If only I could have carried my twins to term instead of giving birth at 35 weeks, would this not have happened? And why hadn’t I noticed it before, realized that her pencil grip was wonky and that she couldn’t throw a ball? At first her progress was slow and halting – but the months slipped by and she got stronger, mastering the monkey bars, learning to ride her bike without training wheels, scoring goals at soccer and finally, late last winter, making her way down the ski hill with a smile on her face. This last is something I could never have imagined her doing two years ago, and it has made me even more excited for the snowy season to start this year (and cross your fingers that it does start — El Niño forecast be hanged.) Perhaps I’ll see you on the mountain — our picks for the best skiing, boarding, snowshoeing and sledding with kids start on page 24. And of course, it’s also the season of giving (and giving back), so find our annual holiday gift guide on page 16. As for me, I’ve already gotten my best gift, one that fills me with gratitude and joy: Elly “graduated” from occupational therapy a few months ago. May this sweetest season bring your family just as much for which to be thankful.
— Julia Silverman
On our cover:
Our Beaverton-based cover photographer, Lauren Crowston, isn’t much for airbrushed perfection. She says she’s in it for the “moms who don’t care that they haven’t lost those five extra
pounds … dads who are probably awkward about having their picture taken … siblings who squabble and little boys who won’t sit still.” We’re right there with her — and we’re in love with this festive, wintry shot, captured during a quiet moment in front of downtown’s iconic Skidmore Fountain.
See more of her work at laurencrowstonphotography.com.