We picked the perfect marriage of Middleburg’s magical Christmas Sleigh shop and talented local artist Debbie Cadenas for our cover this year. Debbie and store owner Dieter Rausch share the endless enthusiasm of a child with a love of this special time of the year that translates into everything they do.

Debbie tells of falling in love with “the most perfect home” while driving the streets of town and buying it without even going inside just weeks before the annual Christmas in Middleburg parade back when her children were in preschool and elementary school. Not unlike the way Dieter fell in love with Middleburg on his first visit from Germany and immediately made plans to move here. You can read all about his story later in the magazine.

For her part, Debbie became involved in her children’s schools and in community organizations, using her talents to paint beautiful murals, Christmas pageant backdrops, Garden Club projects called “Foxes on the Fence,” and now two covers for Middleburg Life. Her children have grown up, with her eldest son studying to be a doctor, her daughter is a Hokie alumni hired to work on Wall Street, and her youngest is a filmmaker, all nurtured by her tireless example.

Thousands of her paintings have been sold or donated over the years, and she “thanks the Lord for prospering the work of my hands, and for giving me the privilege of living this wonderful Middleburg life.”

Debbie is the Chairwoman of the Middleburg Arts Council. Her art is on display at Common Grounds every December. Art by Debbie can be seen at the Ashburn Library, Journeymen Saddlery storefront, Side Sadle Café, Artists in Middleburg Gallery, the Community Center Holiday Craft Show, Middleburg Garden Club’s annual Greens Show and Bazaar, the Equestrian Center at Salamander Resort & Spa, Emmanuel Christmas Shop, Middleburg’s Finest Chocolates, Designer Finds, Galloping Grape, Byrne Gallery and local art shows Art at the Mill and Grace the Plains.

Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your own touch of “magic” with all of us. ML