Candlelight services will be at Community Baptist Church of Gay Head at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve with services conducted by Rev. Ellen Tatreau and with traditional lessons, Christmas carols and lighting of candles. Rev. Tatreau will then conduct candlelight services at First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven at 7 p.m, which includes A Simple Christmas, a cantata by Lani Smith, and ending with a traditional lighting of candles.

Let’s roll out some paper and stamp it for cards, gift tag, and wrapping paper at the Aquinnah Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 22 from noon to 2 p.m. All skill levels welcome and materials will be provided. For even more holiday fun, decorate a cookie to take home. For questions, please call the library at 508-645-2314. Barbara Lampson still has story hour on Thursday afternoons at 3:30 p.m.

Santa arrives between 4:30 and 5 p.m. at the Aquinnah town hall on Sunday, Dec. 23 during the annual holiday party which is from 4 to 7 p.m. Potluck dinner will be served, so please bring a dish to share. If you would like to assist Santa’s elves, please call Noni Madison at 508-645-2304.

Martha’s Vineyard Magazine submissions for the photo contest is Dec. 31 at midnight. Last year, more than 200 people entered the contest. Photos must be from scenes around the Vineyard not previously published. For more information, please go to mvmagazine.com. Prizes will be awarded for the three best photos overall: first prize is $100, second is $50 and third is $25. Winning photographs will be announced in the May/June Martha’s Vineyard Magazine.

Bill and Joan Kistner arrived this week to spend the Christmas week with our grandson, Noah, and to join in the festivities at Paul and Theresa Manning’s home for the next few days.

There will be a lot of excitement around Aquinnah over the next few weeks with everyone traveling home for the holidays. Mike and Carol Mayrand are delighted to have their children Sonya from Colorado, Noah from San Francisco and Alyssa home.

Phil and Penny Weinstein will have their family home filled to the brim for the holidays with their children and grandchildren.

Elsie Fantasia, daughter of Edward and Fawn (Vanderhoop), will arrive from her second year studies at Mount Ida College.

Molly Fischer, daughter of Albert and Linda (Baci) Fischer, has arrived home from her sophomore year studies at Ithaca College.

Samuel Scott, son of Francis and Linda (Garvin), has arrived home from his senior year studies at Nichols College.

Faith Smalley, daughter of Jay and Millicent, has arrived home from her first year of studies at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Mass.

Naushon Vanderhoop arrived from her Brooklyn home with her six-week-old daughter Nanawusuwee Roxane, who will be making her Vineyard debut.

Giles Welch, son of Vern and Berta, has arrived home from his studies at Haskell Indian College in Lawrence, Kans. He is already out on the pond scalloping.

Condolences to the family and friends of Arthur Perry, who passed away on Dec. 6 in Reno, Nev. He was a long time employee of Commonwealth Electric.

Condolences to the family and innumerable friends of Oliver Hazard Perry, aka Johnny Seaview, who passed away in Malden on Dec. 12. He would have loved to have played that 12-12-12 possibly as a trifecta. He would find his own hiding place at Suffolk Downs, and if you went there with him for the day, he was never to been seen again while at the track. Many of us enjoyed being the recipient of one of his rosebuds. We also enjoyed his fascinating tales, mostly about horse racing, but also his reminiscing about World War II, his service and that of his friends. Some of the best summertime afternoons were spent at the Seaview with Johnny and his dear friend, Loretta Balla, in the old ballroom listening to music in the 1970s. He will never be forgotten, especially by the community.

Beverly Wright and her husband, Robert MacDiarmid, will have their children and grandchildren visiting over the holidays. Beverly and Bob have recently returned from spending time in Gig Harbor, Wash. with their cousins Deborah Russell and husband, Kendall, and family, Brooke McKillop and her husband, Denis, and family, and Leslie Begert and husband, Richard, and family. Deborah, Brooke and Leslie are the daughters of Ronald Taylor and the late Barbara (Vanderhoop) Taylor. They often visit their Aquinnah cousins throughout the year.

Our hearts and our minds have been on the Newtown, Conn. community over the past week. After hearing the news on the radio on Friday evening, it took me until Monday to process the enormity of the tragic events in their community. Such a loss of young loved ones, students and teachers. May their families find peace and some semblance of joy over the holidays and into the future, while the nation mourns with them. They are now 26 innocent angels not to be forgotten.

Thank you to Lang Gerhard, his wife, Irena, and their daughter Sacha (with the assistance of Spa Tharpe) for lighting the peace sign over Menemsha Pond on Tuesday evening. It is such a welcoming sign as you enter Aquinnah. PEACE.

Merry Christmas to one and all as you spend time with your family and friends over the holiday. Think of those less fortunate. Be mindful of those serving our country to protect our freedom far from home and their families at Christmas, and the outpouring of generosity of the up-Island community for those at the Menemsha Coast Guard station. Pray for the families and the community of Newtown, Conn.

Happy 61st anniversary wishes to Walter and Nancy Delaney, as they observe their special day on Dec. 23.

Happy birthday wishes to my daughter in law Theresa Kistner Manning, as she celebrates her special day on Dec. 22. Gabi Vanderhoop will celebrate on Dec. 23. Christina Montoya will party on Dec. 25. Naushon (Beth) Vanderhoop will party on Dec. 26, and shares the day with William Kestenbaum. Lang Gerhard, Barbara Sundy Smith and Paul Vandal share the day on Dec. 28.