Editor’s Note December ’17: Remembering Christmas … cheese dip?

It’s that wonderful time of the year when we deck the halls, indulge in delicious food and enjoy the fellowship of family and friends.

This issue features beautiful homes in their holiday splendor as well as some tasty recipes. In addition, check out this month’s calendar (Pages 8-9) as well as the events we highlight in our “Christmas in the 501” feature (Pages 38-42) to discover some of the MANY wonderful ways to enjoy the holiday season in the 501.


While there is much to enjoy this time of year, sometimes the holidays bring stress and a feeling of inadequacy as we try to do too much or measure up to others.  

I recall a Christmas season when my children were attending elementary school. When I signed up for their class party, my kiddos asked if we could contribute chips and cheese dip, and I was happy to oblige. Per school policy, it had to be store-bought so I placed an order at our favorite Mexican restaurant. 

The morning of the party was extremely busy at my office so I was a little bit later making my way to retrieve my order and, of course, traffic was thick as other moms and dads were scurrying about to make it to their child’s party. And, I had to wait for my order.

When I finally arrived at the school, just minutes before the party was to start, I had to park down the street and sprint to the front door, wagging bags of chips and dip all the way. I was out of breath and dripping in sweat (you know how December can be) when I reached the front door, with little time to spare. I’m sure I was a sight to behold. 

The satisfaction I felt in accomplishing my mission was short lived as I encountered another mother who was dressed in her festive Christmas attire. She carried a box of beautifully handcrafted gift bags filled with candy that were decorated as reindeer, antlers and all, for all the children in her student’s classroom. Her angelic smile sparkled and I noticed she wasn’t sweating either. 

I’m sure there was no judgment on her part, but I felt a little embarrassed for her to see my contribution to the holiday festivities. No, I did not spend hours shopping for craft supplies and meticulously decorating the bags and fashioning the antlers out of pipe cleaners. It would’ve been fun, but my time was in short supply.

When I made it to my children’s rooms, they were thrilled to see me and share the food I brought with their friends. What was important was they were happy I attended their party and I enjoyed being with them. And they didn’t notice the sweat, either. 

This year, I want to feel less like Santa and his reindeer are dancing on my head and more like this season is intended – in celebration of the joy created that first Christmas so long ago. As I gather around the Thanksgiving table, I want to be mindful of the many blessings that those around me enjoy — a loving family, faithful friends and good health.

Throughout the holidays and the year, we are mindful at 501 LIFE of the many blessings that we have enjoyed since we embarked on this incredible venture. There are great communities in Central Arkansas that we are proud to serve. We have supportive advertisers and editorial boards as well as a talented team of writers, photographers and designers. We are truly thankful.

As we wish you and yours the best of the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, here’s to “Loving LIFE!”

Sonja J. Keith