Every year when I was a child, I would wake up on Christmas morning the exact same way. My older brother, Jake, getting within a few inches of my face, would shake me gently until I opened my eyes. Then once I “came to” I guess you would say, he would remind me of the HUGE thing I had forgotten while I was out cold. “Shelley…it’s Christmas.”
Still to this day, even as we are grown up, with kids of our own and live in two different states, I will get a text message from Jake on Christmas morning, as soon as he wakes up. “Shelley…it’s Christmas,” it reads.
After a big chuckle, I always take a quick jog down memory lane, remembering what happened after those three words—seeing what Santa brought us in the living room on our assigned couches, fun family gatherings at Mamaw’s house and a meal complete with all of the Southern staples.
A lot of things have changed in my family since then so my long-standing Christmas tradition is pretty simple; maybe yours is a little more complex. Whatever you do to make the holiday season special with your family,
I hope this issue helps you get into the festive spirit. In our Taste department starting on page 117, we have a recipe that will spice up your basic hot chocolate along with some fun alternatives to the typical turkey. Then on page 95, check out our 11th annual “Look What I Found” Holiday Gift Guide. It’s not only a great reference as you prepare for your Christmas shopping but also helps support local businesses!
But just as much as we all like to receive, it’s so much more important to give, especially during the holidays. And all year long, the leaders and staff of Central Virginia’s numerous nonprofits work hard, giving so much of their time to fill so many needs in our community. See who came out on top of the list in our 2016 Giving Back Awards, starting on page 77.
And on page 67, learn how giving a little of your time to a grieving senior could really help them during what’s often a tough time of the year.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the presents, the long lines, the pesky Elf on the Shelf…that sometimes it doesn’t always feel like “the most wonderful time of the year.”
So I truly hope you are able to slow down this holiday season and take it all in, continuing those old traditions (or even starting new ones) that you will remember for years to come.
Even if those traditions are simply a text message.
Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor