The Aquinnah Christmas party will be held at the Aquinnah town hall on Monday, Dec. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. All Aquinnah residents are encouraged to attend whether you have little children or not. There will be a potluck dinner including roasted turkey and ham, so side dishes would be appreciated as well as juices, desserts, salads and breads. Santa will arrive by the Aquinnah fire department truck and it has been rumored that he has a gift for each child in attendance. Santa’s elves have been very busy planning the evening and will look forward to seeing you there.

The Christmas Eve candlelight service at Community Baptist Church will be conducted by Rev. Ellen Tatreau. The service is at 5 p.m. and all are invited to attend.

Gingerbread men will be decorated on Saturday, Dec. 21 at the Aquinnah library for your young ones to decorate and take home with them.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will have a solstice celebration at the lighthouse at Aquinnah Circle on Saturday. Open house is from 3 to 5 p.m. at the lighthouse with free food, drinks, music and fun.

Are you interested in serving on the Aquinnah finance committee? If so, please submit your letter of intent to Aquinnah moderator Michael Hebert at 65 State Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535. Those eligible are Aquinnah registered voters.

The Aquinnah housing committee is gathering information about the need for affordable housing in Aquinnah, both home ownership and rentals. New affordable homesite lots are being developed for the next lottery and the committee would like to develop a list of possible interested parties. For further information, please contact Aquinnah housing committee administrative assistant Carolyn Feltz at 508-645-2304.

Max and Cheryl Batzer and their sons Travis and Lucas have learned from Rob Bierregaard that the annual data on their ospreys has been analyzed. The Batzer osprey pair continue to rock! They have been active for all 16 years that Rob has been counting and they have fledged an amazing 35 young over that time, five more than the second-place pair at Mink Meadows. The Batzer pair are the only birds averaging over two young fledged per year.

Get well wishes to Ted Leslie who was transferred from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to Massachusetts General Hospital where he remains a patient. He anticipates being home by the first of the week.

Get well wishes to Christy Vanderhoop who underwent surgery at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

This has been a very sad past few weeks with the loss of so many people who touched my life over the past half-century and more. Our MVRHS Class of 1964 fellow classmate John Hoyt Hathaway passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford on Saturday. A dear friend to many across the Vineyard and retired DQ owner Richard C. Brown passed away on Nov. 27. Alma Benson and Mabelle Medowski, ladies of Lamberts Cove, died recently. Paul Conroy, from a fellow fishing family, died on Dec. 2. Friend to many Karen Berube died this week. She was one of the fastest scallop shuckers around and a favorite wait staff member at the Square Rigger. Sincerest condolences to their families and their many friends whose lives they have touched.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and be mindful of those less fortunate, those away from home and their families, and those who may be alone at this time of year. Share your Christmas spirit; sometimes it can be infectious!A few of my favorite charities to consider donating to as the year draws to a close, and in merely in alphabetical order: Friends of Up-Island Council on Aging, Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Martha’s Vineyard Museum and YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you for your consideration.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Sacha Gerhard.

Happy birthday wishes this week to Max Batzer on Saturday as he shares the day with Molly Fischer. A very special happy birthday wish to my daughter in law Theresa Kistner Manning who will celebrate on Sunday. Former classmate John H. Bunker Sr. will also party on Sunday. Gabi Vanderhoop celebrates on Monday. Christina Montoya will celebrate on Christmas Day. Naushon Vanderhoop and WIlliam Kestenbaum share the day on Dec. 26.