Holiday activity is humming at a fever pitch around town. Folks are gathering for Thanksgiving, coming from near and far to be with family and friends. The Steamship Authority and Cape Air will be real busy starting Tuesday transporting people to and from the Island.

All town buildings, post office, bank and 7a foods will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, creating a long weekend for many of us. Next Friday is the traditional start of the Christmas season and considered by retail merchants as the busiest shopping day of the year. Can you believe that there are just 33 shopping days remaining before Christmas?

Our friend and summer resident Judy Hall, who lives in Oklahoma City, will have her husband Malcolm put up their tree on Dec. 1 following a family tradition. They will entertain about 40 people for Thanksgiving dinner and Malcolm is still cleaning up the place. Unlike Jane Konicki, Judy has not completed her shopping.

Fire chief Manuel Estrella reports that the Fireman’s Civic Association will be distributing at least two dozen food baskets to the elderly in town for their Thanksgiving holiday.

Marian Irving of Old County Road wants to remind you of the early date of the church Christmas Faire. It will be held on Dec. 7. Also, the Island Community Chorus will hold its holiday concert that evening at the Whaling Church at 7:30 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Deborah Pigeon of New Lane returned home on Sunday after a three-week vacation in Greece. She reports having a wonderful time.

The school reminds all parents that school will be dismissed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend after classes on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

After 15 years of hospital chaplaincy, Marcia Klepper-Smith, a seasonal resident of Old County Road, is completing her career at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Manchester, Conn. This means she finally has time for a much-needed sabbatical and plans on wintering in Bonita Springs, Fla,, with her husband Don, who is chief economist for DataCore Partners based in New Haven. Marcia and Don are also new grandparents and plan on spending time early next year with daughter Lee Chometa and her husband Chris and 6-month-old granddaughter Brynn in Orlando, Fla. Marcia’s sabbatical will offer more time on the Vineyard next summer, and at some point she hopes to establish a pastoral counseling practice on the Island.

Linda Alley reports that there is another Winter Farmers’ Market tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall — just in time for everyone to pick up their Thanksgiving Day fare. From this town, you can choose between New Lane Sundries (that’s her), Vineyard Herb Tea and Apothecary, Beth’s Bakery, and the following farms: Flat Point, Whippoorwill, Ghost Island, Breezy Pines, Cleveland, Black Water and the Good Farm.

Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop will be having another year of Island artisans selling their products at the old Green Room in Vineyard Haven. It opens tomorrow until Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. They will have over 20 participants.

Old friend Alma Benson of Lambert’s Cove died earlier this week. She came to town as a teacher in the elementary school. In fact, she was a substitute teacher when I was in grade school. She was active in town and the senior member of the Grange. She will be laid to rest next to her husband Franklin on Saturday afternoon in the Lambert’s Cove cemetery. Our condolences to her many friends and family members.

Margaret Spokus reports that the Peacecraft Holiday Sale will open on Wednesday and run until Dec. 24. Peacecraft, a nonprofit all-volunteer project, offers crafts and holiday goods from Haiti and self-help projects from other countries. Proceeds from the sale benefit these countries. Peacecraft will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 30 Main street behind the Beach House in Vineyard Haven. For more information or to volunteer, please call 508-687-9709.

Veronica Modini reports that Featherstone is excited to open its 11th Annual Holiday Gift Show with dozens of Island artists selling unique gifts. All the artists offer affordable gifts ranging from $5 to $250, including artwork, cards, calendars, soaps, jewelry, pottery, quilts, photography, ornaments, paintings, posters and even chocolate! The Holiday Gift Show preview party will be held today from 6 to 8 p.m. All items will be for sale at the preview party. The gift show starts tomorrow and will run until Dec. 19. They will be open every day from noon to 4 p.m. except Thanksgiving.

This year marks the 111th anniversary of the first electric Christmas ornament and it would be well worth it for you to drive by the Gatchell residence on County Road in Oak Bluffs to view their superb display of Christmas lighting. They will be turning them on Thanksgiving night and every night until New Year’s Day. Bob reports that they have been hard at work decorating their yard hanging almost 25,000 lights for the past few weeks. He will unveil a new surprise or two that he has been working on for several months.

Alison Enos reports that a holiday fair will be held tomorrow from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Trinity parish house. They will be selling baked goods, holiday items, advent calendars, personalized ornaments, refreshments and jewelry. They also will host an Interfaith Thanksgiving service on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Trinity worship center sponsored by the Island Clergy Association.

Mrs. Bradlee Martin of Tiah’s Cove set out to bake a custard pie on the morning before Thanksgiving Day in 1939. The ingredients were 18 turkey eggs from the nest out in the barn, fresh milk and cream from the famous Martin Jersey cows, granulated sugar, Sumatra spices, the finest that SM Mayhew Co.(now called Alley’s) had in stock. The mixture was beaten, whipped and blended. Mrs. Martin placed the dish in the oven and in due time it would emerge a beautiful browned custard pie. At the appointed time she went back to the oven, opened the door and removed her culinary delight, but to her amazement the crust was on top and the custard was on the bottom of the pie. Her husband Bradlee immediately suspected it was the pure vanilla extract that she had used to flavor it. Why, that stuff is 40 per cent alcohol and is enough to turn anything upside down!

Happy birthday to Dan Cabot, Nancy Dole, Sagitta Woodman, Deborah Forest Hart, and Matthew Merry today; Jim Barrett, Paddy Moore, Richard Greene, Corinna Parker and Robert Julier tomorrow; Nick Bayer, Teddy Karalekas, Paul McMahon and Ken Belain on Sunday; Dan Waters, Dana Anderson and E.J. Sylvia Jr. on Monday; Maria Gaskill, Arsen Hambardzumian, W Arthur Bingham and Owen White on Tuesday; Cindy Barrett, Joe Amaral, Sarah Powell, Eleanor Waldron, Micheline Sonia and Whitney Moody on Wednesday; Valerie Becker, Shannon Gregory Gary Montrowl and Edward Zlotkowski on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Teresa Nelson, Donald Rose and Peter Ochs. Anniversary wishes to Otis and Mary Rogers, and happy 34th wedding anniversary greetings to Allen and Lynne Whiting.

Well, that is all of the news for this week’s social column. If you have any news please don’t hesitate to email me The column will be done somehow. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Have a great week.