I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and that all who traveled got to their destinations safely and quickly. The Island was quietly festive on Thanksgiving Day, the weather mild, perfect for an almost-winter stroll. (I love Philbin this time of year.) I saw lots of friends on Thanksgiving and I realized, not for the first time and probably not the last, what a great group of people there are here. We had a lovely relaxing day, aided by the facts that we did not have to travel or prepare dinner.

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate the festival of lights.

John Wightman’s holiday show has opened at the Chilmark branch of Bank of Martha’s Vineyard. Titled In Celebration of Winter, it will run through the holidays. It includes more than 30 winter scenes from all over the Island and incorporates sea glass, wampum, clay beads, and fishing flies into the matting. John’s work is lovely and I encourage you to stop by and take a look, there are special holiday prices on some prints.

If you’re in need of some quality culture events for your family this weekend, there are two great options.

The first is Family. Film. Feast. Presented by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival at the Chilmark Community Center on Saturday at 5 pm. There will be dinner by the Scottish Bakehouse and then a series of short films for kids aged 3 to 10. Tickets are $6 for members and $12 for non-members. Dinner is sold separately. You can buy your tickets at the door. This is the second season for this popular family event that began last year and there will be two more screenings, one in January and one in February. Call the Film Festival at 508-645-9599 or go to for all the details.

The second option this weekend is the 13th Annual Nutcracker Gala at the high school Performing Arts Center presented by Children in the Arts of Martha’s Vineyard. Performances are Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. The Nutcracker Gala features the Atlantic Coast Ballet. Also performing are the children from the Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet, including Eleanor and Genevieve Hyland from Aquinnah. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for priority center seating. This year’s Nutcracker will also have a family cap for ticket prices good only on the day of the event — $50 for two adults and three children in the same family. Tickets may be purchased at Alley’s General Store and other locations around the Island. For more info, please call Beth Vages at 508-939-0074. See: You won’t even have to leave the Island.

Congratulations to Jim and Kathy Newman who are grandparents for the third time. Their daughter, Julie, welcomed a son, Quincy Santana Newman, on November 14. He weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces.

This Tuesday at 4 pm there will be cupcake decorating at the library. If you go I suggest wearing something very washable. I have seen young children decorate things before, and even though most of the frosting does get on the cupcake, much of it goes elsewhere.

Happy Birthday to Noni Smith whose birthday was on Monday.

Check out Lisa Vanderhoop’s Seadog calendar for 2011, at

If you are looking for holiday gifts and would like to support the local economy, The Featherstone Holiday Gift Show is still up and running until December 19. It is open daily from noon to 4 pm and includes over 62 Island artists, including many from up-Island. Of course stores all over the Island are offering deals and specials for the holidays. The stores at the Cliffs have officially closed. We will see them next spring, which feels like a long way off.