Thanksgiving Day, the time to give thanks and count blessings, is on Thursday, November 24, but the celebration starts long before the holiday.

As a nation, on November 8, we were given the opportunity to exercise one of the primary privileges of membership in a democratic society, the right to vote, and for that, we are thankful. The community will show our gratitude to our Veterans celebrated this year on Friday, November 11; you can find on page 15 local events to honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served. Cobb students will give thanks for having the week off school (November 21-25), and all of us Southerners will give thanks for football and sweatshirt weather!

I want to thank all of you readers, who are the heart and soul of this publication and the reason for this magazine’s existence. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our many advertisers who choose to promote their businesses by placing ads in the EAST COBBER. Without their commitment, there would be no publication. And thanks to our 200+ community-minded merchants who act as drop-off points for EAST COBBER.

December is a month to celebrate miracles—Hanukkah and Christmas. Though this holiday season is one of the most magical times of the year, many of us often find the season to be stressful. I hope you are giving yourself a break from the holiday rush by reading this issue of the EAST COBBER. To make your life a little easier, check out the Holiday Happenings (see pages 22-27) we have compiled to help you make special memories this season. You can also get some gift-giving ideas throughout this issue. The merchants featured are in our backyard, so that should make your shopping a little easier. That perfect gift may be found in the gift selections they offer or the story behind the gifts themselves, like the East Cobb women featured on pages 28 & 29. If you need a reminder to gift yourself, check out the self-care tips on page 35 in the Health & Wellness section.

I hope you, EAST COBBER reader, are inspired this season in “gift”- giving and may be encouraged to share your gift to create a better East Cobb. If you are helping or bringing happiness to someone in need, let me share your story! Just give me a call or e-mail the EAST COBBER. For me, the best presents I’ll receive this holiday season can’t be wrapped—and that is my 4 healthy children and my newest joy to the world, my 6-month-old Grandson, (J).

From my family to yours: Happy Holidays!

P.S. As we close out this year and welcome a new one, let this be a reminder to be open to a new chapter. Like East Cobb artist Kathryn Sayle Jewkes, (pg 32-33), we will be sharing more amazing East Cobb residents who are embarking on new chapters in their lives in future issues.