I know, I know, many of you have your lights up and trees have taken center stage in many a living room but, what really marks the season for me is the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighters' Association Christmas party. A sleigh to sit in, hot mulled cider, snacks and sweets, and excited faces on small children makes me realize how lucky we are to call Chilmark home. It doesn’t matter what faith you are nor does it matter if you believe in Santa, but what does matter is that you believe in community and keeping up with tradition. Last night's gathering at the center was nothing short of spectacular.

Heartfelt thanks need to be extended to not only the fire department members, but also to all of the folks who brought a little good cheer to the center of town. David Norton, Janet Weidner, Tom Ruimerman, George Szilassy, Robert and Linda Coutinho, Jeremy Bradshaw, Chris Smith, Alysha Norbury, Mary Boyd, Holly Norton, Ken Cottrill, Jenny Christy, Mary Ambulos, Jennifer LoRusso, Matt Tobin, Bradley Carroll, Marshall Carroll, Brooks Carroll and those of you I may have inadvertently left off the list. A jolly thanks to Warren Doty for being the man with some mighty big shoes to fill.

Pam Goff reminds us all that there will be a traditional candlelight service of lessons and carols at Chilmark Community Church on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. The children will fill the crèche, carols will be sung, stories will be told and as always, all are most welcome. Additionally this year, there is no lapse planned for soup suppers so you will find a warm meal right through the holidays each Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Don’t forget to reach out to Janet Weidner and Tom Ruimerman at 508-645-7830 if you are interested in contributing to our U.S. Coast Guard Station Menemsha family’s Christmas Eve dinner. Contributing some tasty food and good cheer will certainly boost the morale of those who stand watch on Dec. 24. Just a little aside, did anyone see the helicopter land at the station over the weekend? The man in the red suit made a pit stop to visit with the offspring of the folks stationed here.

Jerry Tingle of Station Menemsha recently graduated from the monthlong U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C.

College kids are trickling back to the nest after a fall semester of higher education. Mariah and Jessica Campbell are home from the University of Massachusetts. Katy Smith is back under her Crossroad roof. Samantha Bunker is reconnecting with family after a few months at University of New Hampshire. Thorpe Karabees is telling stories of University of Vermont. My own daughter, Bradley, has returned from the University of Tampa with some great stories and, yes, a tan.

It’s not just the college crowd that has make its way back for the holidays. Billie Hancock, who always ventures north from her Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home, rapped on her grandson Christian Carroll’s door just the other day and said something along the lines of “Look who’s here!” Christian, and his parents Buffy (Knight) and Gil, are certainly going to have some fun times with Ms. Billie in town.

Jennifer Iacopino, a childhood friend of Julie Flanders, traveled from her New Hampshire home this past weekend to not only to catch up with Julie and Linda (Maida) Coutinho, but to get in the holiday spirit by enjoying the Christmas in Edgartown festivities. Those gals always make the most of their time together.

The mention of Linda is the perfect segue to Margaret Maida’s front lawn. Margaret always has beautiful twinkling lights adorning her house, but this year there’s a big Santa holding a Merry Christmas sign in front of her home. Rumor has it he tried to make a getaway in the wind the other day, but now he is firmly affixed to the ground.

It sounds as though Sarah (Mayhew) Shipway’s back surgery went well last week. I’ll bet fifth grader Tyler is happy she’s a-okay and that they managed to get their tree up. Well wishes to you, Sarah.

Candy Shweder has her pottery on display and for sale at the Chilmark branch of Santander Bank. Her pieces will be on display through Dec. 26. If you can’t make it by, she’s happy to open her studio by appointment. Yes, folks, this is another shopping opportunity without having to leave 02535.

Say, do any of you ever peruse the pages of Feast Magazine? Summer resident Johnny Graham is featured in the latest issue.

Tomorrow night, Louis’ Tisbury Cafe and takeout will reappear at the P.A. Club at a fundraiser for the Beatrice Bennett scholarship fund. The new scholarship, administered through the Permanent Endowment of Martha’s Vineyard, is a beautiful way to keep Beach’s memory alive. Tickets are available at Conroy’s, Midnight Farm and through Bella Bennett (bellabennett2@gmail.com).

Chris Stien has brought in the last of his lobster gear. The weather this past week was conducive to going around the head, hauling and bringing pots back to the dock. Commercial scallopers have also made the most of the weather. Wayne and Vinny Iacono were back at the dock and ready to shuck by 9 a.m. Well, they were ready after their cup of coffee and a few cookies at the Texaco.

Cookies. Delicious holiday treats. Enjoy them along with a crackling fire, good friends and good cheer. Merry. Merry.

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