Editor’s Letter November/December 2020


Have you ever experienced a major gift-giving fail? I have—and it was just last Christmas.

My daughter asked for a play kitchen, and Santa shipped it to our house the first week of December so that we could assemble it (wink wink). Instead of actually opening the cardboard box and inspecting its contents, we did what most normal, busy parents do—we pushed it to the side, of course.

You can tell where this story is headed.

Once the kids were asleep on Christmas Eve, we rolled up our sleeves, finally opened that box, and found a heavily damaged kitchen in such disrepair we couldn’t even assemble it. Thankfully, my daughter was young enough that she believed our story about Santa accidentally leaving the kitchen in his sleigh and how he was going to have the mailman drop it off in a few days. Crisis averted, but I had learned my lesson.

This year, I started doing my shopping very early—September to be exact—as I started looking around town for local items to include in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. While we couldn’t feature everyone, we did our best to highlight a range of gift options from stores across Central Virginia. As we all know, it’s been a tough year for the retail industry, and local stores need you to shop small now, more than ever. I hope as you flip through this year’s guide, starting on page 75, that you either see something you have to buy or, at the very least, are simply inspired to visit one of our area’s numerous locally owned stores.

Also inspiring in this issue, our annual Giving Back and Community Impact Awards. The needs in the region are even more pronounced in 2020, but local nonprofits and businesses haven’t missed a beat in filling the gaps. We chose 15 outstanding nonprofits and eight community-focused businesses to feature in this year’s respective features. As you make a budget for your Christmas shopping, consider carving out a donation for a cause that speaks to you or even giving the gift of your time.

Even though it feels like 2020 has been the longest year ever, I personally don’t want the next two months to fly by. Here’s to being present this holiday season—and remembering to check your presents too.


Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor


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