The winter season officially begins on Wednesday, the winter solstice and shortest day of the year. So we must think positively as the days will be getting a tiny bit longer starting on Wednesday and seed catalogs have begun to arrive in the mail. All types and sizes of decorations, wreaths, outdoor lights and Christmas trees are being put up and decorated around town. The spirit of the holiday season is upon us. A large congregation turned out Sunday to welcome the Rev. Cathlin Baker back to the pulpit after a sabbatical in Scotland.

I am sure most of you have your shopping mostly done and are well prepared for Christmas. Some have everything all wrapped and cards sent, like Jane Konicki and Judy Hall have done. However, some of us are just beginning that frantic scramble to get it all together for the holiday. We promised ourselves we would not let it slide after last year but once again are working against the clock with just 12 days remaining before the big day.

Katherine Long, of Scotchman’s Bridge, cordially invites you to the 38th annual Winter Solstice party on Sunday from noon until 9 p.m. She will be assisted by Glenn and Rosemary Jackson of Stoney Hill and her sister, Mary Ruth. All ages are welcome. The party has become one of the highlights of everyone’s holiday season. Katherine says come when you can and leave when you must just don’t bring your dog along!

Jen Wool up in Burlington, Vt. sends her best to her many Vineyard friends for the holidays. Dr. Gabrielle Walker, author and environmentalist from London, England extends her best wishes as well. Cousin Millie Fodor and Sarah Noggle in Ohio extend holiday greeting to everyone back here. Toni Kurash and Simi Horwitz send greetings of the season from New York city, and so do the Plakins sisters, Ava and Naomi, from Doylestown, Pa., and Shannon Burke down in Dripping Springs, Tex. Malcolm and Judy Hall of Oklahoma City, Okla. wish all their Vineyard friends a very happy holiday season.

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. So do Don Klepper-Smith and his wife. Walter Smith, the premier antique dealer and good friend from Augusta, Ga., his wife, Lisa, daughter Megan and son Bruce and his wife Angie send along their best to all of their friends here on the Island.

Marian Irving reports that last Saturday’s church Christmas Faire was a huge success as they netted nearly $8,000. She wants to thank everyone for their participation and help in the event. She also says that the church will hold their sixth annual Christmas concert on Sunday at 3 p.m. The choir will invite the audience to sing along with holiday favorites, and proceeds benefit the church.

The Christmas Eve pageant and service at the Agricultural Hall will begin at 5 p.m. on the 24th. Marian thinks it best to arrive by 4:30 and enjoy the caroling. The candlelight service at the church begins at 10 p.m. There will also be a Christmas morning service with Christmas music at 10 a.m. at the church. For more information, call 508.693.2842.

Ann Quigley, over at the library, reports that on Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. you are invited to the library’s annual holiday party. Enjoy delicious refreshments, make holiday swag, and listen to the sounds of the Vineyard Classic Brass Band. Winners will be announced for a silent auction and raffle held by the West Tisbury Library Foundation. A selection of wonderful auction items and prizes are on view at the library, and bidding is open until the 19th. If anyone has extra greenery, vines, or berries in their yards or from their own gathering expeditions the library will gratefully accept donations for their holiday party swag-making table. Greenery can be dropped off at the library up to and during the party.

On Dec. 22, 1949 the school presented their Christmas program the same afternoon it closed for the holidays. As the school was without heat due to an electrical failure the exercise was held in the Agricultural Hall. 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. Christmas carols were sung by the entire school and recitations given by the students. Miss Helen R. O’Donnell, teacher for all four grades, directed the program with the assistance of Lydia Drew. Refreshments were served by the P.T.A.

Happy Birthday to: Jason Ling, Sue Hruby, and Benjamin Rossi Friday; Amy Eisenlohr, Lynne Demond, Ann Holmes, Austin Racine, Amy Raines, Abby Webster and Peter Farley Saturday; Irene Tewksbury, Melanie Miller, Sam Griswold, Nyama Wingood, Bob Levine, and Warren Hollinshead on Sunday; Janice Manter, Carl Alwardt, Pam Putney, Pat Hughes, John Thurber, Allison Carr, Logan Russell, and Marcy Klapper on Monday; Rosalie Powell, Ray Gale, Laura Edelman, Gary Kurth, and Sara Roan on Tuesday; Emma Conley, Cathy Weiss, Alexander Goethals, Rick Karney and Fausta Edey on Wednesday; and Barbara Silk, Dr. Caroline Fyler, Wendy Gray, Cecilia McCarthy and Carroll Brown on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Lisa Smith and Anne Howard and anniversary greetings 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.

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