Holiday Issue 2020

Photography by Leeta Harding

Greetings friends, and welcome to the Fall 2020 Issue, which I’ve decided to rename the “Holiday Issue” because I’m sitting here by our Christmas tree and I asked Leeta for holiday pictures. We all need some festivity right now.

Speaking of festivity, my family was driving around the neighborhood earlier tonight, and I’ve never seen so many Christmas lights. It’s like all the houses just threw up Christmas everywhere. I’m pretty sure if you were in outer space, you’d see the glow coming from this corner of the planet, this little neighborhood outside Richmond, Virginia, where our lives have been upended but dammit, WE STILL HAVE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!

This may sound silly, but this “Great Light Fight” style of Christmas decorating, bigger and brighter than ever before, shows that despite everything that has happened this year, and despite the dark winter ahead they keep referencing on the news, we still have so much joy to share. We still have hope. That same resilient joy and hope permeates the stories and the poetry in this issue as well, by shining a light on the different and sometimes quietly subtle ways that people lift up other people when they need it most.

If you can, lift up the people around you this holiday season. Holidays are hard. Make a phone call, set up a Google Meet, or drop off a gift or a note at a neighbor’s house. We need to spread the love now more more than ever.

As I close here, I’d like to thank our brilliant contributors. You make us possible and it’s an honor to publish your work.

I’d also like to thank my team—Darren Morris, Rebecca Moon Ruark, S.L. Brown, and Leeta Harding. I know I do this every issue! But this is an enormous thanks, because this year has been rough and we’ve all faced different challenges. Still, we’ve published three issues and kept this magazine going. I love you guys.

Finally, thank you to our amazing interns from the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts & Technology: Amina Adeyola, Katrin Brinkman, and Patience Wallace. We appreciate the time and effort you put into Parhelion, and for sharing your thoughts and expertise with us. You help us see things from a different perspective.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, friends. Cheers to the New Year!

Elizabeth Varel
Editor in Chief


Holiday Issue 2020 Contributors