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Click here to sign up for the weekly e-news update... Sometimes it is frustrating being a monthly magazine. Our deadlines give us time to be thoughtful and thorough but when news breaks about parenting issues, it feels as though monthly is just not enough.

So, instead of living with this problem, we have found a solution: Chicago Parent Weekly E-News Update. Beginning Dec. 1, our new listserv will give you a chance to get the latest parenting news in a more timely manner.

That means that when news breaks about a new health study, a new government recommendation or the latest vaccine and you don’t get the detailed information you need in the mainstream media, you’ll be able to get it from us each Thursday in your e-mail inbox.

It also will give us the ability to do more play, television and movie reviews. Robert Ebert may not tell you that the latest Harry Potter movie is too dark for your 9-year-old, but we will. We rarely do reviews in the magazine because of our production schedule. Often, by the time you can read what we think, the movie has been out for weeks or the play is about to close.

Our opinions may not be yours, but they are one more piece of information you can use when making your decisions.

While we know our readers will be excited just to know this new service will be available, we also know this is a busy time of the year and you don’t need even one more thing to do right now. So we think you deserve a reward for signing up for our listserv between now and Dec. 19.

Each Thursday, we will randomly choose winners from among the readers who have signed up and award one weekend at Timber Ridge Resort in Lake Geneva (one night in a one-bedroom suite, a voucher for food, arcade tokens and waterpark passes) and give another four tickets to any Crown Theater.

And, because we know that Chicago Parent Weekly E-News Update isn’t the most creative name for our new venture, we’re launching a separate contest to name this weekly missive. The reader with the best idea will win a nifty prize, to be named later. Send your idea to [email protected] by Jan. 8.

Signing up is easy. Just go to , give us your name, ZIP code and e-mail address. Then, look for your newsletter on Thursday afternoons.

The first issue will carry a review of the Goodman Theatre’s holiday classic, Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol," which runs through Dec. 26.

Susy Schultz

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