Season's Greetings

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I hope you’re taking time out to enjoy this special time of year. Perhaps you’re dreading those trips to the mall, where you’ll battle for space with other stressed-out shoppers, all still searching for the ideal gifts for those on their shopping list. (Tip: peruse our first-ever Holiday Shopping Guide inside this issue for some great local gift ideas.) Or maybe you’ve been staying up late making candies, cookies or fudge for your child’s school party or appetizers for your or your spouse’s company get-together.

It’s important to take a “time out”—to enjoy the things that make this season so special. Attend a holiday concert or performance, or one of the holiday-themed events planned by Pioneer Library System (related story inside). Invite  friends over for a gift-wrapping session; make it fun by offering them wine or mulled spiced cider and other simple refreshments while seasonal music plays in the background. Schedule a classic Christmas movie-viewing night with your family. Take a walk in your neighborhood, park or favorite trail and observe nature in its winter glory, and maybe even attend an eagle watch at Lake Thunderbird.

It’s also hoped, of course, that you’ll take time out to look through this issue of Cleveland County Lifestyle. We’ve included several seasonally oriented pieces, including Financial Buzz, on ways to keep the holidays fruitful and enjoyable without breaking the piggy bank, and Culinary Creations, featuring quick, simple recipes for a seasonal fruit tart and brandy ice.

You’ll also read about a recent dinner hosted by this magazine and Benvenuti’s Ristorante and featuring an inspirational keynote address by University of Oklahoma head softball coach Patty Gasso honoring our inaugural cohort of Cleveland County Women of Influence. The 2017 honorees represent a broad cross-section of professions, from the arts and business to education and mental health care..

Also featured in this issue:

  • • Artist’s Palette–featuring a veteran pottery artist who went from having a modest following to becoming an overnight sensation, thanks to the power of social media
  • • Giving Back–focusing on the Norman Art Council, which since its founding in 1976 has served as the community’s face and voice of arts advocacy

This holiday season, let’s all make a pledge to try to “live in the moment.” For most people, the fondest memories lie not with the gifts they received, but with the precious time spent together with beloved family and friends.

May the magic of the season fill you with wonder and joy (and perhaps even some peace).