This time of year, a lot of people get up in the dark and go to work. When they get off work, it’s dark again. It can be depressing. Yet another reason why holiday lights can be uplifting – especially symbolic moments like the city’s annual Grand Illumination, which occurs on Friday, Dec. 1, at the James Center Plaza at 5:50 p.m. It’s mostly a family affair, though guests include the ubiquitous radio pair, Melissa Chase and Jack Lauterback, from 103.7 the Play, who should add lively banter and a countdown. Greater Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now also will be there collecting toys for 200 Richmond children. Bring unwrapped gifts for children newborn to 17 to the collection sleigh in the lobby. thejamescenter.com.