Happy holidays, Alexandria! It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. It's time to deck the halls, jingle bell rock and... shop local! I challenge you all to shop with intention this holiday season by selecting meaningful gifts that will give back to our local community.

The unique character of Alexandria has always been defined in large part by the businesses that reside here... and I do mean, always. Be sure to read about a historical Alexandria apothecary that is still making a huge impact on our city through its museum tours and education programs on page 54. Then, dive headfirst into our 3rd Annual Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide which begins on page 20. You'll find that several of our curated gifts this year give back through donations to select charities. It's a fact that non-profits receive greater support from local business owners, who donate significantly more to local charities than non-local owners.

Bottom line: shopping local plays a huge factor in our overall satisfaction with where we live, and the best part: local goods aren't trapped on ships and deliveries will never be carelessly thrown onto you front porch or delayed!

Within The Holiday Issue, you will also find more events, holiday fashion trends, information on First Night Alexandria and much, much more! Be sure to share your favorite features with us by connecting with @vipalxmag on Facebook and Instagram! We always love receiving feedback from our dedicated readers.

I'd like to end with a big thank you to all of our readers, advertising partners, contributors and staff for another magical year of VIP Alexandria Magazine. Without you, the stories we shared throughout 2021 would have been lost to an unprecedented pandemic. Your support is the most generous gift we could have ever hoped for and we want you to know... the best is yet to come!

Until 2022, Alexandria, have a safe and joyous holiday season!

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