We always seem to have good stories to go with the cover of every issue

Dear Columbus Parents, We always seem to have good stories to go with the cover of every issue. This one is no exception. It was truly a group effort. Dispatch Magazines director Brian Lindamood (with a little help from his wife Ellison) contributed Sebastian, our model. "He's at his smiley stage," is how Brian put it, which, as we've learned, is critical when photographing very small children. In other words, it's now or never (or wait until they're old enough to negotiate with). As with Holiday Gift Guides past, we wanted to create an image with a child giving a gift. A couple of creative conversations later, we had a concept: Baby Snowman offering a ribbon-wrapped snowball for his present. Then we needed a costume. We perused the internet but, frankly, I prefer to go DIY whenever possible. And when you have a crafting community like we have here in Central Ohio, all it usually takes is an email to somebody and voila! This time, I e-knocked on AmyD's inbox to see if she was up for the challenge. And, boy, was she ever! We nattered back and forth about ideas, and then she set to it. When I hit a roadblock, trying to find one of those knitted pullover hats to mount a snowman top hat on (seriously, I looked everywhere. Have these things been banned along with drop-side cribs?), I sent up the SOS flare to Amy (whose full name, by the way, is Amy Dalrymple Murphy; visit her website at madebyamyd.com, or go buy her fabulous wares at Wholly Craft or Hills Market or any number of other local shops). She responded with an ingenious hoodie hat crafted from the sleeve and collar of a men's white t-shirt! But she went way above and beyond the call of duty by also crafting a step-by-step (with photos) tutorial for making the costume. It's on our website, ColumbusParent.com: Read and be inspired to make your own! Ah, but then into the studio with Sebastian, Ellison and our photographer Tim Johnson. With many babies, you're lucky if you get three good shots in the two minutes they give you. Sebastian gave us more like two dozen in 10 minutes before he decided he had had enough of the popping lights and strange lady handing him that white ball she wouldn't let him eat. It's such a blessing to be surrounded by so many fun, creative and generous people. They truly make life worth living! And I hope this month's issue inspires you to enjoy the life you have with your family as we head into the holiday season.
Jane Hawes Editor