Well all is nearly ready in most homes for Christmas next Friday. However there is always time for a tiny amount of last minute shopping. Reliable Market is busy making fruit baskets for last minute gifts. A calendar, like Peter Simon’s yearly masterpiece, always makes a swell gift. The Holiday Shop is selling Island products behind Alley’s General Store and has a nice selection of homemade items. After a month of shopping and a lot of decorating, inside and out, families will soon gather together to celebrate this most blessed day. The boats were packed with people going to and from the mainland to shop for Christmas last weekend. Next Monday we will officially be into the winter season and here is hoping it will be mild.

The 37th annual solstice party held by Katherine Long and the Jacksons was a huge success as always. The wide array of people that attended was very impressive, the conversation was delightful and the food prepared by many chefs was nothing short of superb. A good time was had by all.

Anna Alley made a business trip to Falmouth last Friday and returned home Saturday night. She also found time to visit our grandchildren Robert and Henry. She reports that they are getting excited about the Christmas season.

Rev. Cathlin Baker of the First Congregational Church reports that the choir, led by David Rhoderick and Molly Conole, will perform the fourth annual Christmas concert at the church on Sunday at 4 p.m. The centerpiece of the concert will be a performance of the Christmas Story. The choir will be accompanied by the newly-formed Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Orchestra with trumpets, trombones, woodwind and strings.

The choir will also invite the audience to sing along with holiday favorites. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and admission is $15. All proceeds benefit operating expenses for the church. For more information, call 508-693-2842.

Also you may choose to attend one of the two Christmas Eve services offered by the church Thursday. Music begins at 4:30 p.m. and at 5 p.m. the annual children’s pageant will be held at the Agricultural Hall. Following the pageant, Reverend Baker extends an invite to all those who would like to attend the traditional candlelight worship service at the church at 10 p.m.

Malcolm Hall and his wife Judy and their family of Oklahoma City, Okla. wish all their Vineyard friends a very happy holiday season. Malcolm reports that he will be starting his okra seeds soon after the first of the year.

Bob Luskin of Washington D.C. reports that his wife Charlotte Fallon and her children Nathalie and Miranda and his sons Cass and Peter wish their Vineyard friends all the best for the holidays and good wishes for the New Year.

Don Klepper-Smith reports that he went clamming last Saturday and reached his limit in no time, but it was the first time in December he was able to do so.

Walter Smith, an antique dealer and good friend from Augusta, Ga., and his wife Lisa, daughter Megan, son Bruce and daughter in law Angie send their best to all of their friends here on the Island.

On Dec. 22, 1949 the school presented their Christmas program. The play Mother Goose Land was presented by students Joan Merry, Walter Vincent, Alice Churchill, Virginia Bardwell, Winifred Alley, Peggy Scott, Rita Alley, Constance Morrow, Meg Wilkinson, John Alley, George Churchill, Shirley Burt, Margaret Duquette, Dixon Rogers, Robin Elwell and Veronica Kelly. Miss Helen R. O’Donnell, teacher for all four grades, directed the program with the assistance of Lydia Drew. Refreshments were served by the PTA.

Happy birthday to: Bob Levine, Warren Hollinshead, Sam Griswold and Susan Kaeka Friday; Janice Manter, Jeff Dando, Pat Hughes, Marcy Klapper and Logan Russell Saturday; Rosalie Powell, Ray Gale, Shane Laderoute, Laura Edelman and Sally Huebscher on Sunday; Cathy Weiss, Alex Goethals, Emma Conley and Fausta Edey on Monday, Barbara Silk, Mary Lou Delong and Carol Brown on Tuesday; Mark Clements, Cecelia McCarthy, Wendy Gray and Dr. Caroline Flyer on Wednesday; and Ann Howes, Holly Coyne, Marg Luening and Gabriel Robinson-Lynch on Thursday. Anniversary wishes to Bob Bunch and Sandra Polleys.

Well that is all of the social news for this edition. If you have any news about the holidays and guests at your house please call or e-mail me. We want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Send West Tisbury news to alleys@vineyard.net.