Dear Style Weekly:
I'm 8 years old. Some of my friends say there's nothing worth doing for the holidays — that financial turmoil and wars overseas and incessant political infighting make them want to stay home. They say that the Holiday Almanac doesn't exist, that there's no place to turn to for a list of seasonal events in the Richmond area.
Please tell me: Is there a Holiday Almanac?
Virginia O'Hanlon IV
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.
It's true that people are approaching this season with a sense of purpose and deep contemplation — you know that feeling you get when your food settles, Virginia? It's kind of like that, only in the soul. There's a palpable yearning to get back to what matters, and to ask difficult questions. What is the holiday season really about? The new iPhone or the Tickle Me Elmo Extreme? Or is it about something more meaningful and permanent?
Style's Holiday Almanac is where we all get in touch with our inner angel. Here are many of the bazaars, Christmas floats, grand illuminations, tree lightings, choral performances, boat parades, seasonal house tours, Snowball dances, turkey giveaways, candlelight services and multiple productions of the “Nutcracker,” “A Christmas Carol” and “Miracle on 34th Street” to be found. Not believe in the Almanac? You might as well not believe in fairies!
Yes, Virginia, there is a Holiday Almanac. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. It is the holiday season captured in newsprint, wrapped in figurative tinsel and holly. And here it is. … — Don Harrison