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Delaware Today magazine Letter From the Editor: Editor-in-Chief Maria Hess writes about Christmas

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Perhaps having a 10-year-old who preps his Christmas list in July has something to do with it, but December in the Hess household is a highly anticipated month. Benjamin has always been a happy kid, but there’s something about that gleam in his eyes that makes me remember how joyful the holidays can be.

Ben has plans for Santa. His strategy is to charm the Big Guy with a rather large portion of Oreo cookies and a pint of chocolate milk. The reindeer will get celery sticks, because “They’re healthier,” Ben says, thinking his mom just fell off the gingerbread house. The real plan is to butter up Santa for the loot while pawning off the vegetables to Rudolph.

My son doesn’t realize yet that without the reindeer, Santa isn’t going anywhere. That’s a lesson that takes some of us a long time to learn. But around here, no one person is responsible for getting magazines out the door and into mailboxes, on newsstands and on the Web. Our editorial team creates content, the production staff produces the magazine, and our sales, marketing and administrative personnel make it viable. It’s a community of people dedicated to serving a noble mission. All of us on the editorial team are grateful to work with such a diligent crew. We don’t say that enough.

It doesn’t matter which holiday you celebrate, or if you celebrate one at all. But let’s face it: ’Tis the season to be nicer than we are in other seasons, despite the fact that we’re busier than we are in other seasons. Whether you work outside the home, are a stay-at-home parent or are enjoying retirement, chances are you’re stretched thin. We can multitask, for sure, but unless thanking people for their efforts is scheduled on the BlackBerry, we can forget. It’s all innocent enough: We try to be everything to everybody. But sometimes that means taking for granted the people we love most. For me, that would be my family. I assume they know I’d do anything to try to make their lives better—as they would for me. I know better than to assume anything.

This also is a perfect time to thank our readers who’ve subscribed for decades, as well as those who just joined the fold. We offer you a meaningful issue this month, packed with stories about inspirational people. Our “Women in Business” feature highlights professionals statewide who know the difference between managing and leading. We’ll tell you about Lana Lawrence—known to folks in Rehoboth Beach as Mama Mojo—who survived a debilitating illness then made art her mission. You’ll also meet a few young boys whose lives changed while attending Prestige Academy in Wilmington. And, we scored an interview with Santa.

We hope you enjoy the issue. We value your comments, criticisms and compliments.

By the way, Santa will polish off the Oreos, but Benjamin will probably have a bushel of leftover celery on his hands. If you’re interested, let us know.

Joy to your world.


From left: Louise Bolin, Drew Ostroski, Kelly Carter, Jared Castaldi,  Katie McCabe and Mark NardoneTeam Notes

Louise  Some of you may not be aware of the many hats we all wear at Delaware Today. Not only have I been preparing for our January issue, but I am also gearing up for our newly revamped Ultimate Guide to Delaware publication, with a new look, new content, better flow and a new release date. Keep an eye out: January 2012.

Jared  It’s quite a challenge getting all of these busy women together for our Women in Business feature. Kudos to my creative director Kelly for heading up that impossible task! Excel spreadsheet for the win!

Drew  I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on my story about the Delaware Geocaching Trail (Sept. 2011). Some folks were inspired to try the sport for themselves, while at least one other person thought the story was amusing and well-written. Thanks, Mom.

Kelly  We photographed our Women in Business portraits in Old Town Hall on Market Street in Wilmington. The Delaware Historical Society did a fantastic job of restoring and preserving this landmark, and we were grateful to be able to use it as our backdrop.

Katie  I recently attended my very first Art Loop (shame on me for not getting there over the years). It was great to see two friends participating—one as host, the other with an exhibition—and to see some really amazing paintings. If only the Jackson Inn and Mulrooney’s were part of the loop, I would have been an art connoisseur ages ago.

Mark  The annual meeting of The Grand Opera House was most enlightening. It’s inspiring to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the small staff and 100-plus volunteers who make the place come to life night after night with great shows and day after day with outstanding community outreach. Many thanks to Kevin Liedel for the invitation.