Anna and I traveled up to East Taunton to be with our daughter, Nicole, and her husband Arsen Hambardozian for Thanksgiving. We first picked up son Sam at Framingham State College, and back in time to attend Arsen’s 25th birthday last Wednesday night at his parents’ house in Cranston, R.I., where they hosted a dinner party for relatives and friends to celebrate the occasion. An Armenian party is not one soon forgotten; the vast array of food was spectacular and delicious, the toasts and displays of friendship amazing, and the adult beverages superb.

We gathered for Thanksgiving dinner at Anna’s sister Nina’s place in Providence. Her husband, Dieter, cooked a delicious meal, their son Nick set the table and her brother Donnie and his wife Christina drove down from New York city. Anna made the pies and a wonderful time was had by all. We all went shopping on Black Friday and the discounts offered by each store were staggering. They did not seem to be overly crowded and clerks were extremely helpful, all part of the national pattern by the merchants to lure in shoppers.

You have to meet Arthur, the Portuguese liquor store owner in Berkley, Mass.; he has a vast stock of homemade food specialties and his wife operated a neat little restaurant next door.

The 67th annual Tree Lighting on Boston Common hosted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and sponsored by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department was held last night. The annual holiday display includes over 80 trees throughout Boston Common. The celebration on the Common featured an entertainment performance by 16-year-old 2008 Boston Pops high school winner Katie Mayhew of Panhandle Road.

Amy Houghton reports that the Martha’s Vineyard Museum will host its third annual Appraisal Day with Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers Sara Wisheart and Stuart Whitehurst tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum’s Edgartown campus at 59 School street. The cost is $10 per item or three for $25. Reservations may be made by calling the museum at 508-627-4441.

Lynn Christoffers, of Edgartown Road, a nationally known photographer, announces that tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Chilmark Public library she will hold an opening of her photography exhibit Special Moments. They will be on display through Dec. 31.

Hilary Blocksom, of Elias Lane will return home on Sunday after visiting her sister Beth Miller in Tipp City, Ohio. She will be bringing along with her a black and tan coonhound puppy named Angel Ray. Bill Honey reports that she will make excellent company for Johnny Ray who is already in residence.

Martha Tack, of London, England, and Waldron’s Bottom Road, returned home on Tuesday after a family Thanksgiving at their house. She reports that the whole family flew in for the weekend and it was a wonderful time and a swell vacation.

Alexis Garcia reports on school activities. Yesterday the Let’s Talk book group commenced in the school library. It is an open monthly group designed to specifically talk about bullying — for details contact Sarah Vail 508-696-3762. Also the sixth grade students are holding a fundraising bake sale at the Holiday Bazaar today from 5.30 to 8.30 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall.

Karen Achille reports that Hospice is once again hosting its annual Handmade from the Heart sale during Christmas in Edgartown on December 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will set up their wares at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House with its Christmas decorations as a backdrop; they will be selling handmade merchandise and coffee and tea will be available. This event is always a festive few hours, and your purchases there provide funding for the wonderful and much appreciated work that Hospice provides Islanders and their families at no cost. Please plan to spend some time there. Buy something and feel good as you will participate in the real meaning of the holidays. If you would like to donate something you have made to be sold at this event to benefit Hospice, call the office at 508-693-0165 for details.

Richard Knabel, of Panhandle Road, reports that the town Christmas party will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at the Agricultural Hall from 5:30 till 8 p.m. It is a potluck affair; he requests you bring appetizers, side dishes, desserts, beverages and good cheer. Main dishes are provided by the town. For more information call him at 508-696-9134.

The Congregational Church Faire will be held next Saturday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The Faire has been a holiday tradition in town for more than a half century. They will be selling handmade holiday wreaths, decorations, jewelry, baked goods and a lot more. A lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds benefit the historic church’s programs.

Rose Treat’s 100th birthday party will be held at the Agricultural Hall from 3 to 5:30 p.m on Sunday.

Peter R. Boak and The Federated Church Choir will present An Old Fashioned Christmas Concert at the Edgartown Federated Church Meetinghouse on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m. Christmas anthems and songs will be presented by the full choir and there will be carol singing for all!

Linda Alley, of New Lane, reports that the original Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop will open for its 14th season tomorrow in Brickman’s on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily till Dec. 24.

The Island Community Chorus will hold their Holiday Concert tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Whaling Church in Edgartown. Over 100 voices will be performing under the direction of Peter Boak. Church members and friends who are members of the chorus are: Miki Badnek, Judy Crawford, Marie Doebler, Marian Irving, Patti Linn, Ben Moore, Martha Moore, Paddy Moore, Buck Reidy, Kevin Ryan and Betsy VanLandingham.

Old friend David Flanders passed away suddenly on Thanksgiving Day. He was well respected and a good friend to my family and was an icon in Chilmark. He was my little league coach back in the early 1950’s. David recruited me for the team. In those days it took kids from all three up-Island towns to make one team. Our condolences to Fran and his family.

On Monday Dec. 8, 1941 the teachers and students in grades six, seven and eight of the elementary school held an emergency assembly at noontime, in the gym. They all gathered to listen to an address over the radio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He asked Congress to declare that a state of war now existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire and Germany. Before the end of the week a room in the school was hastily converted into the town’s early warning center complete with a telephone that connected them to the Naval Auxiliary Air Station. The purpose of that was the fear of an air raid at any time. Blackout regulations were established by Wednesday and strictly enforced.

Happy birthday to: Danielle Garcia and Paresa Paiva-Vanderhoop today, Bonnie Steere, Cal Monast and Laura Stone tomorrow, Sarah Vail and Grace Murphy on Sunday, Christopher Cini, and Jane Sobel on Monday, Sam Mason, Emily Smith and Karen Colaneri on Tuesday, Kansas Brew, Ginny Bardwell Jones, Galen Brew, Ellen Weiss and Dana Rezendes on Wednesday, John Sonia and Boris Yanez-Veiasco on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Bob Bunch.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s edition. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.