I get excited about this time of year. The music, lights and wonderment of the season brings out the kid in me. I know it’s not for everyone, but for me, there’s a magic in the air that makes almost anything seem possible.

Decorating the house, baking cookies and sitting in my mother’s living room surrounded by ribbons, boxes and bows makes me giddy. In this issue, an UMOJA Ultimate Gifts list has been created to ease any shopping angst. We also discuss the Kwanzaa tradition and discuss the best ways to enjoy the holidays with a blended family.

Make sure to add a subscription to UMOJA Magazine for a family, friend or neighbor to your list of holiday gift must haves.

In December, I also use the time to reflect on the year. And what a year it has been! 

Becoming the publisher and editor of UMOJA Magazine opened a chapter in my life that I had dreamed and prayed about. I take the stewardship of this publication and the people I write about very seriously by adhering to the highest standard of journalistic integrity and objectivity.

I moved to Madison and found welcoming hugs and kind words of advice from various members of the community. I was nurtured by none other than Milele Chikasa Anana, who lead this local treasure for nearly 30 years. And, I received invaluable mentoring to help me grow as an entrepreneur. 

I’ve interviewed trailblazers, way makers and cried at funerals of community leaders I wish I had known. I’ve witnessed the true meaning of Black Girl Magic here in Madison and learned what it takes to be truly wealthy. I’ve been enraptured by plays and moved to tears by some of the historical injustices that remain in society.

As 2019 ends, exciting ventures are heading this way. We’ll kick off the new year commemorating the magazine’s 30th anniversary and we have some surprises in store. Stay tuned, plus you won’t want to miss a single issue.

It is our prayer that this holiday season will provide each of you and your families with blessings and happiness. Everyone at UMOJA, along with me personally, would like to extend to all our readers and advertisers a very merry Christmas, happy holidays and a prosperous new year.