Christmas Eve dinner at the Chappy Community Center saw almost as many attendees as the ferry captains’ dinner. There were lots of kids and plenty of extended family members. We even had folks come over from as far away as North Road in Chilmark. Thanks to all for making it such a wonderful occasion.

The next potluck will be on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Appetizers and gossip start at 6 p.m. and we sit down to dinner at 6:30. Dennis Golden and Nancy Slate will be hosting. Future potlucks are scheduled for the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Please consider signing up to host one of the upcoming potlucks. It’s pretty straightforward and will certainly look good on your resume. You provide beverages and appetizers, make sure that the tables and chairs are arranged and lay out the napkins and utensils. Everybody pitches in to clean up afterwards. Call the center at 508-627-8222 to sign up.

Quite a few Chappy seasonal folks are here for the holidays. It’s nice to see so many lights on along the shore and through the woods. There are a few couples retiring to Chappy this winter and two new families with children settling in. The average age of full-time Chappaquidickers has dropped a few notches in recent years.

My favorite part of the holidays are the light displays. The Memorial Wharf, the Edgartown Lighthouse and the Chappy ferry are all decorated with colorful strings of lights. New this year is a Christmas tree on the pump platform just offshore from the shellfish hatchery. The last house on the left before the Dike Road, known as the Trent House, has a board fence out front with a breaking wave pattern cut along the top. Every year it is adorned with a string of white lights. So if you don’t normally drive that far, make an exception some evening soon to enjoy this lovely sight.

With our recent rollercoaster of temperature extremes we’ve seen a thin layer of ice forming on the ponds overnight several times and melting away the next day. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that our winter will be colder and snowier than normal. Time will tell.

The Fisherman’s parking lot at Wasque is a good place to measure erosion. Remember the stairs and the long boardwalk through the marsh? Of course, they were swept away years ago along with tons of upland. Just a year ago the top of the cliff was still 100 feet from the parking area. Today it is about half that distance.

This is the perfect time for a walk on the beach. You’ll find a wide variety of wildlife, especially birds, but without the stinging and biting flying insects of summer. Most likely you will be the only human out there.

Are you pining away off-Island looking forward to summer? Here’s a suggestion that may help to cheer you up. Go to the Trustees of Reservations website. There you can purchase Over Sand Vehicle permits online. When your new stickers arrive in the mail, won’t it be nice to go out into the chilly air, rub the dirt and salt off of the bumper next to last year’s permit and stick the new one on? Maybe that will help you to recapture some of that Island summer feeling.