Family Time
Creative Ideas for Hard-to-Buy-for Folks
January, 2009 - Issue #51
photography by Ted Dayton

For Seniors
"Time is a great gift for seniors, and it's free! Loneliness, abandonment and depression are huge among our seniors, especially during the holidays. I know from talking to the seniors in my life, that they would gladly exchange most any gift for moments with their loved ones. I know it's a crazy time of the year, but downshift, take a breath, and take a loved one to lunch!" ~ Myles McNamara of Comfort Keepers In-Home Care 287-4200

"Perhaps you can relive holiday memories of the past like sharing special meals, filling out holiday cards, shopping or baking together. Or create new memories by attending a holiday show, church service or even hosting a party together.

Think about something to keep the senior warm, like a cozy throw or non-skid slippers. If the person is no longer driving, home-delivered items like a gift certificate to a restaurant that delivers or an unexpected basket of treats or plants will add to holiday cheer. You can load a digital picture frame with photos to be enjoyed or an IPod with music from an era that will invoke happy memories. These gifts are greatly appreciated by seniors with memory impairments," ~ Geneva Knoles of Visiting Angels 263-2273

For High-energy Kids"Encourage a healthy display of energy while playing miniature golf, fully-interactive arcade games, bumper boats and lots more. Mountasia Fun Cards are a great gift or stocking stuffer and come complete in a holiday gift card holder. Right now, you'll also get a free $5 Fun Card when you purchase a $25 Fun Card," ~ Courtney Bourdas Henn of Mountasia Fun Center 253-4386

"Take the family on an exciting adventure through a totally one-of-a-kind themed 18-hole glow in the dark miniature golf course! Gift cards are available, or go for the Hole in One package: a day of unlimited golf for $11.25 for adults, $9.75 for kids 5 to 12 and seniors over 55," ~ Lori Hayutin of Fin's Glow Zone 284-2489

"When parents gift their children with a fun opportunity to learn a skill like gymnastics, they aren't just giving them the opportunity for better health and fitness, but a chance to build confidence and discipline, too. We offer classes for kids starting at 18 months all the way to competitive, team-level groups, plus Fit Jam, a kids fitness class for cardio, strength and flexibility, and Tumble Jam, for girls who hope to become cheerleaders or dancers," ~ Chris Waller of Wallers'GymJam Academy 251-3390

For Someone Special"What gift will last a lifetime? Vision will; especially when it comes with a lifetime guarantee at the Khanna Institute. The most advanced procedure, LASIK Wavefront, is the one we are recommending now - performed by a fellowship trained, board certified doctor. I have successfully completed thousands of vision correction surgeries and can help even if the client has been turned down for LASIK, or has had previous surgeries or high astigmatism," ~ Dr. Rajesh Khanna of Khanna Institute 735-4020

Ask The Doctor
Q: What's with cold symptoms that drag on for months?
Studies show that the typical cold lasts for almost two weeks. The fever and sore throat are usually gone by a week out, but there's good evidence that the cough and runny nose will hang on about 12 or 14 days.

But what about the fact that it seems like some symptoms go on for many weeks without a break? Usually, the detail of the story is that the symptoms seem to get better, and now they're worse again. This is typically from recurrent infections. The average child gets six to eight colds per year. If you figure that there is a preponderance of those infections during the winter months, and that they may last for two weeks each, you can easily see why it seems like they are sick for so long.

Seek attention from your child's pediatrician if your child has a cold and feeding is going poorly; your child seems to be in pain; you can't console her; she's less than 3 months old with a fever of 100.4 or greater; she's more than 3 months old and she has a fever for more than three days or so; symptoms aren't improved by about two weeks out; rash; any time you're worried that "she's just not acting right" or you think "it's more than just a cold."
Drs. Paul and Daphne Horowitz have opened Discovery Pediatrics, Inc., a unique pediatrics practice in Valencia 259-8999.

Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival Showcases Films Made By Local Youth
The Fourth Annual Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival returns January 8 through January 11 with a focus on community participation as it highlights films for all ages. This year's exciting film line up draws not only from regional, national and international filmmakers, but also from local filmmakers, specifically SCV youth. Their participation makes this a unique community event to be held at the Repertory East Play House.

Santa Clarita youth projects hit the big screen with select school-made films and Script 2 Screen after-school and summer camp projects. Participating youth are from Valencia, Golden Valley, West Ranch, Saugus and Hart High Schools, Arroyo Seco Junior High School, Castaic Middle School, Huckleberry Learning Center, and from elementary schools in the Saugus, Sulphur Springs and Newhall School Districts.

"Audiences can expect the same high-quality filmmaking typical of the SCV Film Fest and will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and imagination of the youth films," said Festival Co-Founder Ramon Hamilton. "Our festival offers a variety of ticketing options, making it an affordable and fun event for families."

Visit for more information.
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