+1 While trying to get his name on the Virginia ballot, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich campaigns in Short Pump. A few children mistake him for Santa, until he asks them if they’re ready to work as school janitors.
-4 Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder goes missing while news emerges that his failed slavery museum project is missing $1.6 million. The news is so upsetting that museum board member Bill Cosby nearly chokes on a pudding pop.
+3 The winter solstice officially begins, marking the longest night of 2011. But the night’s still not as long as that time we shotgunned our stockpile of Four Loko and accidentally freebased a bag of used espresso grounds from Lamplighter.
+6 Amazon.com announces that it’s opening two giant distribution centers in the Richmond area, creating 1,350 jobs. To get there, take Internet 295.
+9 Richmond heads into Christmas weekend with lights aglow and spirits bright. Even Occupy Richmond protestors find foreclosed homes for the holidays.
+4 The alcohol flows freely when Steven Spielberg and crew throw a wrap party at the Hippodrome to celebrate the beginning of the end of Lincoln filming here. We’re holding out hope they come back for “Lincoln 2: Electric Boogaloo.”
-1 Street art in the form of civil-rights-related signs are attached to statues of Confederate generals on Monument Avenue before being removed by the city. Because we certainly wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would we?
+5 “CBS News Sunday Morning” gives Richmond’s blinged-out holiday houses some national attention with a feature that includes Mayor Dwight Jones proclaiming the city as the “capital of tacky lights.” Heck, it’s so bright he even gets glare through the tinted windows of his black SUV.
+6 Enthusiastic audiences attend Richmond Ballet’s opening-weekend performances of “The Nutcracker.” It always amazes. We can barely execute a dance move without performing the white-man’s overbite.
-3 More than 2.7 million Virginians will travel 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday travel season — the most in a decade, according to a forecast from AAA. And still, no one knows the answer to the question: Are we there yet?
+1 In the first debate between U.S. Senate hopefuls, Tim Kaine and George Allen square off at the State Capitol. In a shocking display of bipartisanship, both camps announce that they’ve won the debate.
-3 A man unsuccessfully tries to carjack a judge outside the John Marshall Courts Building, the T-D reports, before sheriff’s deputies apprehend him. Because he was not only dumb, but also a slow runner.
+4 The Ghost of Pop festival gets fans jumping at Gallery5, with a celebration of Richmond’s pop-music scene and a nod to its past. But no one can figure out which category Carbon Leaf belongs in.
+5 With two neighborhood home tours and the blinding arrival of tacky lights, Richmond starts its annual rite of peeking into other people’s houses. As usual, we find piles of empty Pabst cans waiting for recycling in Ukrop’s paper bags.
+7 The men’s basketball teams of VCU and UR draw an electrified crowd for their first face-off since making waves in the NCAA championship. Here’s hoping they get to meet up again in March.
+6 Downtown goes into a Christmas-light frenzy after a countdown ceremony that flips the switch on the Grand Illumination. But if you really wanna see people go bananas, show them a picture of Daniel Day-Lewis eating a steak at Arcadia.
+7 In a nod to his balloon self-snagging on a pole and deflating last year, Rudolph floats by with a Band-Aid in the Dominion Christmas Parade. And his nose was still red with embarrassment.
+3 Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling gets riled up after learning Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will run for governor after all, setting up the two Republicans for a primary fight. Or at least a clean, family friendly, backstabbing battle to the death.
-6 Officials with the State Fair of Virginia announce that they must file for bankruptcy protection. Then they take their filing, ram a stick through it, batter it, deep-fry it, sprinkle on some powdered sugar and hope their creditors fall into diabetic comas.
+2 Cross-town basketball rivals University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University — which both made inroads at the NCAA championships — prepare for their big match-up on Friday. R-I-O-T, that’s the way we spell PARTY!