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Letter from The Publisher

Peggy Malecki

Dear Santa,

I’ve written you similar letters in the past, but it’s been a while and I think this is a good time for me to share my thoughts with you again. And although there are one or two items on my personal holiday list, I’ll message those to you later in the season, as I’d rather take this opportunity to ask you to please share some meaningful giving ideas with your vast network.

                  It was another rough year, Santa, and you must be very sad to see the effects of the Earth’s warming climate. In this time of holiday cheer, we’re troubled to think how difficult life has suddenly become for many in the global family with which we share this planet. As I write, fires still smolder in California and thousands are affected, losing homes, businesses, possessions, jobs and lives. Indirectly, we’ve all been affected. Countless families suffer in the aftermath of hurricanes Florence and Michael, and many more are still recovering from Hurricane Maria and other natural disasters. Globally, millions are putting their lives back together after a year of intense floods, typhoons, earthquakes, droughts and heatwaves that quickly pass through the news cycle, but are still very real.

        Santa, please ask everyone you meet to reach out and share with people just like them around the world. Long after events have occurred, the need for help continues for people, animals and ecosystems alike. From money and everyday supplies, to rebuilding, helping displaced shelter animals and restocking food pantries, the needs are great. And Santa, please remind everyone to do a little research at to find “highly rated organizations providing relief and support to those affected” nationally and globally by natural disasters and other crises.

        It’s easy to donate to many California wildfire efforts, and money is what’s most needed. The American Red Cross is a first responder organization (text the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to donate $10 or visit Other groups like Habitat for Humanity ( and The Salvation Army ( and are also hard at work, as are numerous animal rescue organizations. A quick online search will bring up many more reputable groups accepting donations of money, goods and volunteers, as well as online donation lists. Most global relief organizations also list ways to assist with recoveries elsewhere in the world.

        The holidays are also a time of joy, and we want to share our December issue with you, Santa. We’re leaving you a few copies of Natural Awakenings Chicago next to your organic juice and gluten-free cookies. Please pass them along to Mrs. Claus and your workshop team as well, because we know they’ll enjoy our Conscious Eating department, which includes lots of yummy recipes for the holidays, as well as our many other sections, briefs and calendar listings.

        One final thought, Santa. If, while making your rounds this year, you find you’re missing a few gifts for all the good girls and boys on your list, please visit our Natural Awakenings advertisers and distributors. They’ll help you find the perfect something for everyone on your list, and you’ll be supporting our local businesses here in the Chicago area.


From all of us here at Natural Awakenings Chicago,

we wish you a peaceful and magical holiday season,
and a joyous 2019!