Get out your checkbooks, it’s annual holiday giving time. I recommend the Red Stocking Fund which insures all Island children have something under the tree. Send your donation to Lorraine Clark at 131 Fairfield avenue, Vineyard Haven or to Barbara Silvia, P.O. Box 74, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or to the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, P.O. Box 668, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Island Food Pantry, especially in these tough times, is another good choice: P.O. Box 1874, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard continues its tireless work, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. In these cold, lean days I always think of our animals. MSPCA of MV is at P.O. Box 2097, Edgartown, MA 02539. God bless you one and all.

Shopping is tight this year, why spend money on the boat when you can get bargains in your community? Our senior center at 34 Pinetree Road has a terrific artwork and Christmas decorations sale tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center. I’ll see you there.

Even as we speak, the African Artists’ Community Development Project is holding a sale of all things African, from Zambian baskets to Tanzanian Kanga cloth and much more at the Martha’s Vineyard Charter School on State Road in North Tisbury. Run right up, sale ends at 4 p.m. today.

PeaceCraft opens today at 9 Beach Road, formerly Calico Sue’s, and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Christmas. Unique gifts at great prices.

You’re going to have a conflict next Saturday, Dec. 6, but if you plan it right you may attend both. Grace Church is having its annual Holly Day luncheon and sale. And the American Legion Auxiliary is having its holiday bazaar at the Legion on Martin Road. Highlights are theme baskets, silent auction, raffles and many gift choices. Be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network is hosting a holiday party next Tuesday, Dec. 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Saltwater. Reservations are strongly encouraged; the e-mail is This is a worthy and interesting group. However, I still find fault with organizations that assume we are all online and computer savvy. Where’s the telephone number on the notice for those of us still using Dixie cups?

Our library is offering plenty of programs this week. Children age three and up may enjoy Susie Bowman’s singalong at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2. A classic movie for grownups will be shown that night at 7 p.m. with free popcorn. Call the library for more details, 508-696-4211.

The Red Cross has a great idea, and you can participate up until Dec. 10. Holiday Mail for Heroes intends to deliver one million greetings to service members and their families. Simply cards, no care packages or money. They should be addressed to Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456. Don’t forget our troops.

I knew our Vineyarders were bound to harpoon the Whalers last Saturday on Nantucket, not only because they are a talented team but when I went out to my truck in the morning and saw a bird had decorated it with purple excrement I took it as a lucky sign that the purple would defeat the blue. Congratulations coach, team, cheerleaders, and all devoted fans who made the cold trip across the Big Water.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Joey Tobin and five-year-old Aidan Gomez Blanco today. Tomorrow is claimed by Laine Levandowski. Nov. 30 belongs to Marcia Cunningham. Dec. 1 is shared by Peter Sanborn and Becca Dunham. Big hello to Becca, studying in Germany for this semester. Dec. 2 is a party for Allison Silvia, Lucy DiTerlizzi, and Mitch Wertlieb. And on Dec. 4 Travis Gramkowski, Beth McCormick, Neuza Tate and Melanie Godek take the cake. Many happy returns.