There’s No Place Like Home

by John Hawkins, President and CEO, The Club

From left: John and Kelley Hawkins, and designers David and Marie Jamgotchian.

I’ve finally achieved my goal – appearing on the cover of Alive! in my pajamas!

Well, at least the brand-new ready-for-photograph version of my pajamas.

I hope you’re laughing, too, because it was never my goal to appear on the cover, even with my wife, Kelley, and children Isaiah and Hannah, as we are this month. I’ve always avoided it, actually. Alive! is never about us; it’s about Club Members and City employees. In fact, in the more than 220 issues we’ve produced since we recreated Alive! in 2002, I’ve appeared only a few times, and always at the insistence of editor John Burnes and designer David Jamgotchian. Truth.

But this year is different.

I don’t need to tell you that; we have all been through a heck of a time. Some of you have lost income. Some have lost loved ones. The pandemic continues as I write this, but there is hope on the horizon with news of vaccines that are nearing approval.

There has never been a time when “Home for the Holidays” means more than it does right now. Home has always meant safe, but in a year when celebrating with large groups of people could be unhealthy, home is better than ever.

We here at the Club gave a lot of thought to helping you celebrate at home this year. Mariana Guevara put together a list of valuable Club offers meant especially for enjoying at home; we have our usual great deals on See’s Candies and Honeybaked Hams; Lupe Lira put together an awesome selection of Club gifts in this month’s Club Store insert (the City-seal masks make perfect stocking stuffers); COO Robert Larios contributes a delicious slow-cooker recipe; Summy Lam took some fantastic photos depicting the warmth of the season; our friends Christina Rice and Susan Lendroth at the Los Angeles Public Library contributed vintage LA holiday photos and holiday reading suggestions; and of course we include a list of City-sponsored toy drives to help you be generous. That’s so important this time of year.

It all boils down, frankly, to family: from my family to yours, and from the Club family to the City family. Staying together means remembering what the holidays are all about.

From my wife, Kelley Hawkins, and me, and from everyone here at the Club, we wish you a meaningful Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Don’t forget those in need, and then enjoy your time with your loved ones. Be safe, and be joyful.


— John