Emily Boyd, daughter of Mary (Murphy) and Jonathan, was greeted by the Cape Cod Railroad conductor as she boarded a train this past weekend with Uncle Chris and Aunt Ruthanne. Elves danced, sang and exuded Christmas cheer as cookies and hot cocoa were consumed while making their journey to Christmas Town. It is quite remarkable that a local train can take a child on such a lengthily adventure. Yes, a wonderful time was had by all.

This weekend, Emily and her pals from Island Gymnastics head to the MSGA Shine Bright Invitational in Foxborough. This is her very first USA Gymnastics sanctioned meet. Listen to your coach, point your toes and put a great big grin on your face.

After some time in a Boston hospital and a little more time recuperating in Hyannis, Valerie Murphy is finally home after suffering a fall in September. We are all thankful to have her back under her own roof.

After years in the making, the Nab’s Corner resident homesite lots were awarded. Each qualifying applicant’s name was placed on a chip and one by one they were drawn out of a jar. The four very lucky recipients were Mathea and Chioke Morais, Caitlin Cook and Calder Martin, Denny Jason and Gerry Caton. The roomful of excited onlookers included young Zora Morais and Maeve Cook-Martin.

Shop the Chilmark Church’s Holiday Flea Market at the community center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. This will certainly be a great spot to score some local Christmas gifts peddled by familiar faces. Also, there will be some yummy bites to eat, so do stop in to dine out for lunch.

The Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust will hold its second public meeting next Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Agricultural Hall at 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Topics of discussion will include the scheduled state increase of conch gauge size, an update on what actions have been taken against the proposed sand mining, and an update and sharing of ideas regarding the acquisition of permits. Got questions? Please email mvfishermen@gmail.com.

Congratulations to Gabe Ambulos who travelled to Massapequa, N.Y., with his father, Perry, to participate with his CS United soccer team in the Winter College Showcase. The boys won, tied, and, sadly, couldn’t pull off a win in the semi-finals. Their overall performance was truly spectacular, only losing to one of the top ranked teams.

This past weekend, the Martha’s Vineyard Horse Council held its year end awards at the Ag Hall. Bella Thorpe, daughter of Bart and Julie Flanders, along with all of her fellow riders and horse enthusiast, celebrated the year of the horse in a fun and festive gathering. Bella took home some fabulous awards including pleasure horse on her mother’s horse Sesame Street, reserve on her coach Tracy Amaral Olsen’s horse Reina and, season high point training level rider in dressage. Bella’s time spent at Woodbe Farm on State Road in West Tisbury has really paid off. She has, indisputably, become an exquisite young rider.

What’s that recent hit song? It’s all about the bass? Well, this week it’s all about the pig at the Grey Barn farm stand. Certified organic heritage breed pork chops, hams and scrumptious bacon are all available. In addition to their farm fresh eggs, cheese and milk, Molly, Eric, Noah and Jakie Glasgow have buttermilk in their fridge while supplies last. In honor of the almighty buttermilk, Molly, who originally hails from Houston, and in true southern holiday spirit, whipped up the greatest batch of buttermilk pralines. If you ask her, you can take the girl out of the South but you can’t take the South out of the girl.

According to my niece, Oona Carroll, daughter of Kendra Buresch and Chris, she and her classmates at the Chilmark School have been wrapped up in their studies about whales. The children will put their culinary talents to work by pickling their school garden grown radishes. In the process they will perhaps discuss and answer the question, “What did sailors eat on whale ships?”

According to director Heather Quinn, violins are back in hand at the Chilmark Preschool. Becky Barca-Tinus will be working with our youngest community members, and hopefully, foster their appreciation for beautiful music.

Reaching out to your neighbors who might not be surrounded by family and loved ones during the holiday season is something good neighbors always do. One easy way to do that is to make a dish to share with the servicemen on duty over the holiday at USCG Station Menemsha. Tom Ruimerman and Janet Weidner have taken the lead on this task for the last few years. Give them a call at 508-645-7830 if you would like to bake some cookies, wrap scallops in bacon, mash some potatoes and give the gift of holiday cheer.

Two weeks until those reindeer land on the roof and jolly ole Saint Nick tumbles down the chimney. Thinking about this makes me wonder what sorts of holiday traditions do my friends and neighbors have that might be neat to incorporate into my life. Do tell.

Send your Chilmark news to: squidrow@vineyard.net.