Christmas Day is just one week from Friday but we would never know it around here. The temperature has been in the 60s most of the week, dipping down to the 50s during the night. We had torrential rains on Monday evening but that just keeps the grass green this time of year. Even many of the gardens are flourishing these days with forsythia buds, rhododendron buds, roses in full bloom and a variety of flowers as well as salad greens.

Thank you to Peter J. Laursen, M.D., my friend for 38 years, who has taken care of many generations of our family, and one of my former employers for a few years. He has provided me with a new lease on life. On Monday I received the best news I really needed to hear. After three and a half years of blood transfusions and iron infusions, and daily iron supplements, my laboratory tests have remained stable. After a visit with a second hematologist, Dr. Jeffrey Barnes of Mass General Hospital, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital two weeks ago and a personal telephone call this week, all is well. Very encouraging news, after seeing about a dozen specialists over the course of this illness. Still, I will have to have two minor procedures but nothing as frightful as the word transplant. As we end this year, I am filled with even more gratitude.

The town of Aquinnah’s annual Christmas party will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 5 p.m. at the town hall. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m. sharp aboard his usual Aquinnah mode of travel — the fire truck. Please bring a dish to share.

Community Baptist Church of Gay Head will have the annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Thursday, Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. with worship by the Reverend Ellen P. Tatreau. Rev. Tatreau will celebrate worship at First Baptist Church in Tisbury at 7 p.m. at the corner of Spring and William streets. Martha Mosher Child, organist and choir director, will accompany the congregation.

First Baptist Church will have the annual Christmas Tea Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the parish house at 66 William street in Tisbury. There will be a baked goods table, and reasonably priced crafts and gift items for sale. For information, please call 508-693-1539.

Saturday, Dec. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Aquinnah Public Library there will be story time with reading of Christmas stories. The library staff would like to thank all who participated in the decorating of cookies this past Saturday. Do not forget, Saturday is the Ugly Sweater Day party from 12 to 2 p.m. Enjoy the festive sweets, crafts and fun. All ages are welcome and ugly sweaters are encouraged.

The Gay Head Gallery will have open house from 11 to 4. Art, books and holiday cheer.

Get well wishes to my friend Donna Anderson Barry who is undergoing treatments in Falmouth.

Priscilla Belain has returned home following surgery at Mass General Hospital. Upon discharge, she was accompanied by her cousin Candy Johnson to the home of her mother Connie Johnson for a few days while she regained her strength. Condolences to the family and friends of Rebecca Pachico Greer who passed away at her home on Dec. 4 after a long illness. Services will be held at a later date.

Kate Murphy Kausch and her two boys, Noah and Sammy, will be spending Christmas week with her parents Tom and Chris in Aquinnah. Kate’s husband Timmy Kausch works in the ski industry, so his visits are limited to warmer weather. Her brother Tim Murphy, who works at the Fessenden School in West Newton, will be joining them for a family Christmas.

Welcome to Bill and Joan Kistner who will arrived this week for Christmas with the Manning family.

Condolences to the family and friends of Catherine Lynch who passed away on Dec. 5. Katie was the daughter of the late Kevin and Anne Lynch, having spent her summers vacationing at their Lobsterville Road home.

Susan Lana Shea and Joan LeLacheur will have another open studio Saturday from 10 to 5 p.m. with wampum earrings, necklaces and bracelets, as well as Susie’s art cards.

Carly Simon autographed her memoir Boys in the Trees on Saturday while at Consensus. Congratulations to Carly she is number one on the New York Times ebook best seller list, number four on the combination of ebook and book list, and number seven on the NYT overall book list this past week. She will host a signing at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 4 p.m.

My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Belinda Straight who passed away on Dec. 5 in Maryland following a long illness. Her daughter Dinah was here just four weeks ago and daughter Susan has been at their Chilmark home over the past month. Most of her family spent time at their Chilmark home over the summer.

Congratulations to Durwood and Jamie Sue Vanderhoop on the birth of their third son at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Dec. 8, yet to be named. The infant is the grandson of Roxane Ackerman and the late William D. Vanderhoop, Sr. as well as Ronald and Joanne Spears who were here to welcome him. He was welcomed home by his older brothers Sowanahsh and Kuhpay, as well as many aunts and uncles and cousins galore.

Happy Birthday wishes this week to Injy Farat Lew on Dec. 19. My dear friend Nancy Huntington Nitchie will observe her special day on Dec. 20. Claus Maple Smith will be eight years old on Dec. 20. Max Batzer will undoubtedly party on Dec. 21, as will Molly Fischer.

My most favorite daughter in law Theresa Kistner Manning will celebrate on Dec. 22. My former classmate John Bunker will observe his special day on Dec. 22. Gabi Vanderhoop parties on Dec. 23.