From the editor (Winter 2021)

Well, here we are.

We have officially entered our fourth season of the worldwide pandemic which has kept many of us working from home, learning virtually and generally spending more time at our addresses than ever before.

As a parent to two littles, I’m obliged to make an effort to keep things interesting for the kiddos. That means that because our daughters will be foregoing their laundry list of extracurriculars at least until spring, the pressure is on to come up with things to do to keep them stimulated.

Most days, we’re content to be at home – the girls are happy, easy to please and a joy to be around. But that doesn’t mean being housebound is easy. Some days, the enthusiasm is forced. Present circumstances excluded, it is not my predisposition to be a homebody. While staying in is necessary to shrink the COVID-19 numbers, I have to make an effort to keep from blending into the walls. From speaking to our parenting community, I know many others feel the same. It’s all of you and what we are collectively going through that inspired the theme of this edition, close to home.

Although the virus numbers change daily, experts are predicting that people will be staying home for the holidays and likely for the remainder of the winter. We’ve commissioned stories and gathered ideas to make this season joyful, bright, and in the new year, tranquil and renewing, without having to travel.

Home is where families are, and those take many shapes and forms. We offer a look into different households, talking to parents of multiples  and on the opposite end of the spectrum, young people responsible for caring for elderly relatives. Read Sheryl Bennett-Wilson’s story.

Even if your kids are learning from home for the time being, a music education is a good complement to their schooling. Why? Writer Angela Counter talks to the experts about the benefits for kids. Looking for a “moving” story? Ottawa’s Jeannie Temple will help women and children in need into their new homes – free of charge. We also have some great tips for homebodies as well. There will be some days this winter where you’re just bored, and we’re prepared for that too. Grab a pencil to try your hand at Scott Bedford’s ski-inspired mega maze.

However you like to spend your time at home, we hope you make the most of this winter. Stay in touch with those you love, get some fresh air, and of course, be safe.

Best wishes,