On a mild night in January, I went to the opening evening of the Martin Luther King celebration in Lexington. It’s a simple service, held annually at the First Baptist Church at the foot of Main Street.
Tis the season when small children write letters to Santa Claus, often providing their parents with helpful hints for shopping. Charlottesville author Deborah Prum is no kid, but she likes the tradition of writing to the jolly old man up North and shares this year’s letter with listeners.
When I was growing up, my parents never took down our Christmas tree. It was a synthetic tree from the 1960s, its faded green branches plasticine and matted, imbued with the soot, tobacco, and laughter of the dozens of Christmases it had presided over, making no pretense of being an actual tree. It was bejeweled/smothered with a cacophany of lights- indoor and outdoor, colored and clear, blinking, non-blinking, and chasing. It was frenetic and tacky, more Jackson Pollack than Norman Rockwell, but we wouldn't have changed a thing about it.