December is my favorite month. The warmth of Christmas cheer offsets the winter chill, and New York’s aglow—from the illuminated snowflakes strung along Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center’s towering Norway spruce topped with a Swarovski crystal star.
It’s also my favorite month because my sweet 7-year-old son, Mario, was born on Dec. 22—the best holiday gift of all. We’ll celebrate, as we do every year, at the New York Botanical garden’s train show (a miniature rendition of old New York that fills the Garden’s entire conservatory) and tickets to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway, which is spinning its final web (it closes in January) before, word has it, heading for Las Vegas.
For me, the holidays are also a time to instill in my children the notion of helping others. Even though they make long lists for Santa prefaced with, “I was a little bit naughty, but I’d really like...” the most important holiday lesson they can learn is the difference between “need” and “want.” My 3-year-old, Carolina, simply wants everything. My oldest, Bella, continues a tradition of collecting all the toys she thought she wanted but hasn’t used, and bringing them to a shelter. As for my son, he once presented me his giveaway bag—and inside was a doll that belonged to his sister.
Needless to say, we’re all works in progress.
At Manhattan, we got our own special gift this year: a new publisher. A toast to my sister, Andrea, who was fashion and accessories director at InStyle under the great Connie Anne Phillips, and who’s now joined our team as publisher of Manhattan and Beach, as well as of our city guide, Front Desk. Welcome, sis!
And last, but certainly not least, a toast (with Dom Pérignon, eggnog, glögg—what’s your favorite?) to my amazing team—Camille, Scott, James, Heather, Jillian, Zachary, Julie, Kerri, Isaiah and Brian—who put together thousands of interesting and dynamic pages this year.