By: Rachel Pillow
The holiday issue is always one of my favorites because it reminds me that the BEST holiday is almost here: “Thanksistmas!” I married into a big, extended family where Thanksgiving is the one time of year that everyone gets together. We call it “Thanksistmas” as we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in one, crazy, fun, jam-packed, awesome weekend filled with games, scavenger hunts, great food, a gift exchange and adventures around town! We literally start planning and anticipating the festivities in June!
Everyone has unique holiday traditions and it was fun to see the submissions we received this year. Here at the office we have several holiday traditions – one is sponsoring a local family in need through the “Fish Christmas Wish” program. Another tradition is our annual “Dirty Santa” gift exchange where we spend time around the Christmas tree opening, “stealing” and unwrapping presents from one another.
This year we will be missing our Advertising Director, Laura Carter, who is moving to Italy! Her husband is in the Army and is being transferred. We are going to miss her enthusiasm, spunk and work ethic. Laura has been a valued staff member for three years. We will miss Laura greatly and are looking forward to hearing about her adventures- and hoping we get to visit!
This is also a time of year when we tend to do a lot of self-reflection. I feel incredibly grateful for the life I have been blessed with and the holiday season is a reminder to give thanks and bless others around me. I am thankful for living in a like-minded community that truly cares about one another. There are so many wonderful nonprofits in our area and the “Giving Thanks for Groups that Give Back” section in this issue is a small sampling of that, featuring three amazing, local organizations: Annandale Village, Cooper’s Crew and Rainbow Village.
Each of those organizations have affected us at Suwanee Magazine in different ways. For me, specifically, Cooper’s Crew has impacted me greatly. Two years ago I sat down with the O’Brien family to write the story “Cooper’s Fight.” Little did I know at the time, just how much Cooper O’Brien would teach me, shape my perspective, and touch so many others in the process. Today, Cooper’s Crew is carrying that torch in honor and memory of him, and I really believe this is just the beginning of a powerful movement I’m proud to be part of.
I hope that as you flip through these pages, you too will feel a sense of gratitude for our amazing community. Readers, THANK YOU for your continued support of Suwanee Magazine. We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year! Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.