Stumped on what to get your loved ones this holiday season? Want to avoid the big-boxes on Black Friday? The December issue of MP has you covered with a gift guide that features great presents for kids of all ages, and grown-ups too, from our favorite local stores. And don’t miss our “everybody share” picks for the best PDX-area nonprofits to volunteer your time, and donate to help those in need. Plus, ideas for the best family road trips this winter, from the central Oregon coast to the bright lights of Seattle, or fun in the snow at Sunriver and Hood River. This month’s issue also features a legislative preview, the how-tos of the flu shot and a lovely latke recipe from our friends at Turnip the Heat cooking school, not to mention an event picks that will keep you and the family busy throughout winter break.
Winter book picks from Powell’s, Alison Roper gives us the low-down on post-prima ballerina life, plus what to expect when the Oregon Legislature reconvenes next month.
Winter Travel: Away You Go!
Head north, south, east or west this winter, to some of our favorite family destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
Gift Guide: Present Perfect
What to get for everyone on your list, from babies to teachers, plus how to give back this holiday season.
This month, we spotlight the SW neighborhood of Hayhurst, known for tall oak trees and a landmark dairy.
Tips for mindful giving (and no buyer’s remorse on December 26).
Bad guys, beware! Your little superheroes can make their own capes, from scraps of gift wrap and bubble paper.
With deepest apologies to Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), our columnist imagines the long-lost part deux of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Beer for you, a healthy kids’ menu for the littles — cheers to Ecleptic Brewery, the latest offering among PDX’s family-friendly brewpubs..
Latkes aren’t just for Chanukah anymore. Turnip the Heat’s Joanna Sooper offers a recipe that makes a perfect side dish anytime of year.
Christmas lights galore at the Zoo, the Grotto and more, plus Santa sightings all over town.
Portland in pictures
Confession time: I love Christmas. It’s odd to even write that, as someone who has never had a tree in her living room (the holiday of choice in my family is Chanukah – light the lights, one by one, starting on December 16). But I love the trappings of the holidays, the snug, warm homes bedecked with lights on nearly every street, the cookie exchange parties and holiday potlucks. And favorite local traditions beckon, too: Humming along with the carols during a Tuba Christmas in Pioneer Square, hunting for new and old favorites at ZooLights, settling in for the pomp and circumstance of The Nutcracker and Christmas dim sum brunch on 82nd Avenue. This year, I hope to start some new rituals – maybe a neighborhood lantern parade for the winter solstice and definitely a family volunteer outing or three to some of the great organizations that Metro Parent staffers love to support I’ll also be trying to resist the siren song of Amazon Prime and buying local this holiday season; join me in supporting the great local retailers suggested in our gift guide. And if you’re headed out of town this winter, find tips for some of our favorite family-friendly destination. Happy holidays to all, however and whatever you’re celebrating, and may the season be shiny and bright for you and yours.
– Julia Silverman
The sweet pink puffball on this month’s cover is the daughter of local photographer Wendy Chen, of Paperfish Studios. Chen captured this moment of wonder during last year’s surprise February snowstorm, when the streets of Portland emptied of cars and filled instead with sleds. See more of her work at paperfishstudios.com.