Whenever I hear the song “Auld Lang Syne,” I immediately think of George Bailey surrounded by pretty much the entire town of Bedford Falls on a snowy Christmas Eve. Ever diligently—and as George has, in the past, done for them—the town’s residents came to help him in his hour of need (i.e., to stop him from being arrested for alleged bank fraud). If you haven’t seen Frank Capra’s film It’s A Wonderful Life by now, 1) you are seriously missing out, since it’s my favorite film ever and 2) you must know that this final, aforementioned scene makes me cry every time. To be rescued at all is a beautiful thing, but to be pulled out of a deep, dark hole by so many helping hands is another.
What has this film taught me, and why has it struck me so? Besides the fact that James Stewart, who played the optimistic-turned-disheartened George Bailey, was a total stud and everything Donna Reed touched turned to gold, this film is a much-needed reminder that 1) life is a wonderful gift, despite the hardships we may experience at times and 2) “no man is a failure who has friends!”
When I spoke with James Maslow, our devastatingly handsome December cover star of Big Time Rush fame, about the holidays for this issue, he seemed to know this most of all. I caught him post-workday, heading home, which is the op- portune time for anyone to ponder about what the heck he or she is doing with his or her life. Much like George Bailey, it seemed to be on Maslow’s mind, too. Check out my interview with him (page 88) where he opens up about how he plans on balancing his work life and his personal life in the new year, and how he’s taking the time to realize what’s most important in life. It has been over two years since we had a guy on the cover at all (the last one was Nathan Kress of iCarly—another Nickelodeon star—back in 2012), so we’re tremendously excited about this issue!
Also in this issue, we gathered our favorite beauty products and fashion finds from 2014, as well as chatted with some very talented individuals who are ready to take 2015 by storm—like our January cover girl, Laura Marano, for instance (page 96)! Need a genius, last-minute gift idea before your big holiday party? We’ve got you covered! What about the best classic and soon-to-be classic Christmas tunes? Flip to page 119! We even let you in on our most coveted items this holiday season in our annual staff “What I Want For Christmas Is…” list, in case any of our loved ones are reading (page 42)! Hint, hint.
What will I be doing for the holidays, you ask? Well, I know for a fact that I’ll be spending a ton of time with my family, a few choice friends, and the best little girl in the world: my dog, Samantha (who clearly hates getting her picture taken). And I’ll make everyone watch It’s A Wonderful Life with me at least half a dozen times. Frank Capra would be proud.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
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BY MEGAN PORTORREAL
Ed Letter: Dec 2014/Jan 2015: Photograph courtesy of Megan Portorreal