Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wishing for a 'winter wonderland'

Life in the tropics is wonderful. And when one of my brothers -- who resides in the US with his family -- complained about the chore of shoveling snow from the driveway at this time of the year every year, I embraced my tropical corner of the world even more.

Still, I find myself charmed by the sight of snow-covered houses, snow-capped mountains, and fellows all-bundled up making their way through snow-lined roads on movies scenes depicting a slice of life during wintertime (think Home Alone, Jack Frost or even some of the Harry Potter flicks). Couple that with lyrics such as "...A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walkin' in a winter wonderland..." and one can get sort of wistful for some snow apart from the ice in a freezer that badly needs defrosting.

I was hankering for a "winter wonderland" of sorts when we were considering ideas for the Christmas cover of Baby magazine. So I got a little kick out of seeing the Christmas tree dusted with "snow flakes" among the trees at Collect 'n' Cherish, that store in Shangri-la Plaza mall that sells all things Christmas. And a bit of those snowy branches even made it to the cover, so I'm quite contented.

As usual (and probably to the chagrin of some people in the retail or marketing industry), we included articles on the kind of generosity and giving that has little to do with buying, buying and buying some more. There's also something in there to give readers ideas on fun ways to celebrate and make the most of the season (and vacation time) with the family without spending much. One of my favorite topics in this issue is teaching kids resilience starting from a very young age.

This Christmas is bound to be a very, very different one for the many who were directly affected by the destructive typhoons our country experienced in September; add to that the families and other loved ones of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao. So probably it will be a bit harder for some of them to appreciate the spirit of the season and the things that the birth of the Savior stands for: simplicity, poverty, self-giving. Hopefully, those of us around them will be the ones to help them see that there is much to be thankful for even amid times that challenge the human spirit.

On the cover is 11-month-old Maka Carpio -- who seems to be saying "Hi, there!" or "I'm here", photographed by Krissy Rodriguez of Little People Lifestyle Photography.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

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