Friday is the traditional start of the Christmas season and considered by retail merchants the busiest shopping day of the year, however Internet shopping with Black Friday deals began a week earlier. Did you know that there are just 32 shopping days remaining before Christmas?

It seems that this month has slipped away in a blink of the eye. When traveling the roads these days, especially at night, be extra careful as you are apt to see more deer than cars.

Please remember the shotgun season for deer starts Nov. 30 and will last for two weeks, so wear bright colored clothing if you walk in or near the woods.

Marilyn and Warren Hollinshead, of Pond View Road, are pleased to have with them over Thanksgiving daughter Ellen with her husband Jeffrey from Breckenridge, Colo. and daughter Anne with her husband Ted and children Emma and Matthew from Arlington. It will be a real Vineyard Thanksgiving with a turkey from Skipper Manter and an afternoon walk at Sepiessa, which will make their cairn terrier Skye happy.

Richard Knabel of Panhandle Road will entertain a gathering of 28 people, family, friends and neighbors, for Thanksgiving dinner at his home.

Allen and Lynne Whiting, of State Road will host 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner at their home. Family members and close friends will be in attendance.

Rev. Cathlin Baker reports that Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. the Congregational Church will hold the first of three contemplative services for the Advent season. The services will have the following themes: Dec. 2, longing and preparing; Dec. 10, waiting and Hoping, and on Dec. 17, healing and transforming. Please join her in the dimly-lit sanctuary to center ourselves during the busy holiday season.

Marian Irving reports that the church will open its doors once again to welcome holiday shoppers to the Annual Christmas Faire on Dec. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Handmade boxwood, evergreen, and grapevine wreaths will be available for sale as well as evergreen centerpieces, small trees, and various small table arrangements. Wreaths and other evergreen items may be ordered in advance by calling the church office at 508-693-2842.

The bakery table will include specialty breads, casseroles, and desserts, which sell out quickly. Very special jewelry will be offered along with framed Island photographs, vintage Christmas ornaments, and several raffle baskets filled with Christmas treats. A mission gift area will feature fair trade items such as coffees, teas, and chocolates, along with fruit jams made by the women of the church. Lunch will be available between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the parish hall. All proceeds help to further mission outreach on the Island.

Katherine Long, of Scotchman’s Lane, has set the date for her potluck Winter Solstice party. That event has become one of the premier holiday parties on the Vineyard. It will be held on Sunday, Dec. 13. Everyone is welcome, no dogs please.

Amy Hoff, over at the library, reports that the library will be closed Friday but Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. they will be hosting the Lego Club for all ages. On Sunday afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. guitarist/bassist Eric Johnson and friends will play jazz standards and original compositions at the library.

The 12th annual Thanksgiving weekend festival will be held Friday and Saturday at the Agricultural Hall on Panhandle Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Happy birthday to: Eleanor Waldron, Cindy Barrett and Erik Vanlandingham Friday, Valerie Becker, Gary Montrowl, Emily Palena and Shannon Carbon Saturday, John Becker, Mary Gould, Emily Wetherall, Tara Whiting and Gene Bergeron on Sunday, Phillipa Monka, Jill Haselman, Ryan Ruley and Colby Gouldrup on Monday, Wendi Farmer, Christina Diaz, Mark Ellis and Lynda Asbridge on Tuesday, Todd Goodell, Ed Konicki, Martha Schmidt, Beth Vages, Michael Gately and Tracey Smith on Wednesday, and Deborah McGoldrick, Eliza Green on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Peter Ochs and Arsen Hambardzumian.

Well that is all of the news for this week’s social column. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.

—The Gazette sends birthday greetings to West Tisbury columnist John Alley on Thursday, Dec. 3.

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