Well, the weather was brutal over the weekend — numbing cold, high winds and rainwater that turned to ice by Monday morning. It did not stop all sorts of decorations, wreaths, outdoor lights and Christmas trees from being put up and decorated each passing day around town. The spirit of the holiday season is upon us.

I am sure most of you have your shopping mostly done and are well prepared for Christmas. Some have everything all wrapped like Jane Konicki and Judy Hall have done. However, some of us are just beginning that frantic mad scramble to get it all together for the holiday. We promised ourselves we would not let it slide after last year but once again are frantically working against the clock with just twelve days remaining before the big day.

The holiday party season has begun. The town holiday party at the Agricultural Hall was held Tuesday night and a good crowd attended. Tom Vogl and his wife Katherine Long, of Scotchman’s Lane, assisted by Glenn and Rosemary Jackson, of Stoney Hill, will be hosting their 29th annual Winter Solstice Party Sunday, the 21st, at their home from noon until 8pm. Their party is nothing short of superb and is sure to be one of the highlights of the holiday season. Everyone is welcome; just leave your dog at home.

The First Congregational Church invites the community to their popular Greens, Food and Gift Sale tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will feature hand-made centerpieces, swags, wreaths, kissing balls and small table trees. They also have jewelry, pet items, local photos (framed), children’s ornaments, a garden corner and much more! The baked-goods table is a must. Hot refreshments and sweet delights will be served all day. If you need further information, call Brenda T. Lehman 508-737-8089.

Chief Manuel Estrella wants to inform all the children and their parents in town that Santa Claus will make a stop at the Fire Station on Sunday between 1 and 3 p.m., so don’t forget to bring your list.

Phyllis Meras of Music street returned home on Thursday from a trip down to New York city. On the way back home, she began to work on her always-interesting annual Christmas poem that will be featured in next week’s paper. Everyone is always interested in the theme, to see if their name makes it in the poem and what presents she has given out to them.

Amy Houghton, over at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, reports that their annual “Jewelry Jingle” will be held tomorrow from noon to 4 p.m. at their headquarters at 59 School Street in Edgartown. Also, the Museum and gift shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They held the annual wreath lighting at the Edgartown light house last night.

The school library’s annual book sale for the benefit the Red Stocking Fund ends next Friday. School will be dismissed at noon on Monday the 22nd. Students and teachers will enjoy a ten-day recess. School will not open again until the New Year on Jan. 5, 2009. Michael Halt, principal, Bob Lane, Gloria Sylva, Judy McCarthy and Sue Merrill wish everyone a very happy holiday season.

Erik Claussen and Rebecca Palmer, formerly of Edgartown, moved into the Betty Knox house on Music street last week. Welcome!

Dr. Gabrielle Walker, of London, England and Lyon, France has been the guest of Fred and Jeanne Barron, of Campbell Road, this past month. She was here for a number of professional reasons, promoting her latest book, Hot Topic, about the environment and climate change; spent several days in Los Angeles, California and Woods Hole with the BBC radio service; recorded at the MBL, and the results of her work will be broadcast on NPR radio next year. She also assisted Fred in writing a romantic comedy television program. She wishes everyone a happy holiday season and plans to return in the spring.

Old friend Janice Hull, of Edgartown Road and Florida, passed away last Thursday. Our condolences to her family and sister Bobbie.

Herb Ward’s reports that his quilt Island Daylilies will be drawn as part of the Federated Church Choir An Old Fashioned Christmas raffle on Sunday. Raffle tickets will be on sale before the concerts at the Federated Church Meetinghouse on Sunday, at 3 p.m. The drawing will take place during the concert.

Kara Merry reports that the Plum Hill Preschool annual fund-raiser will be held during the Christmas in Edgartown festivities tomorrow. The Elves’ Faire will be located at the Federated Church’s parish on Summer street.

Happy Birthday to: John Thurber, Brian Bilsback, Lauren Withers and Alan Reekie today; Susie Trees, Barry Rosenthal and Jan Schulze tomorrow; Kathleen Gibbs, Catherine Brennan, Elizabeth Specht, Leonard Bedford III and Brett Fisher on Sunday; Michelle Brescia, Nicholas Thayer, Rachel Schubert and Tim Sylvia on Monday; Deborah Vincent-Coutino, Jon Fragoza, Ben Rossi and Sue Hruby on Tuesday; Anne Holmes, Ian Warner and Amy Eisenlohr on Wednesday; Howard Borggaard, Nyama Wingood, Warren Hollinshead, Susan Kaeka and Carol Brandon on Thursday.

Belated anniversary wishes to Jeremy Berlin and Chantale Légaré and belated birthday greetings to Jim Barrett.

Well, that is all of the news for this week’s column. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week and start your shopping now.