So what exactly is “figgy pudding” anyway? Is it yummy, or does it fall under a similar classification as fruitcake: somewhere in the world this is a tradition though part of the tradition involves a garbage can at some point? Well, I have recently learned that my husband actually likes fruitcake, so if you have some to spare, I suppose it won’t go to waste in my house. I’m certainly not making any.

Ellie and Caroline Dolby led their parents, Chris and Liza, on a grand adventure to the Big Apple this past weekend. They visited with cousins Adeline and Andrew Smith and aunt and uncle, Shannon and Andy. The group took in a show, namely the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, and made the requisite trip to the American Girl Doll store, where they enjoyed a lady-like brunch among their bendable plastic counterparts. I still remember Ellie’s first trip to New York, when we turned the corner on I-195 to see Providence rise in front of us and, thinking we were already there, she exclaimed, “I see big buildings!” No one had the heart to tell her we had another four hours or so to drive.

This weekend marks the annual Christmas in Edgartown celebration, which includes so many festivities it is hard to keep track. Among them are Teddy bear and Christmas village displays, carols, lighting of Edgartown Lighthouse, horse and buggy rides, parties, dinners, chorale performances, workshops, book signings, shopping, and of course, the Christmas parade, anchored by none other than the Big Man himself — Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. Santa and his helpers can be spotted in various locations throughout town for autographs and photo opportunities. I just don’t know how that guy does it. With all those flashbulbs, you’d think he’d have turned into a Kardashian by now, but year after year, he handles the paparazzi with such grace.

Mary Edwards reports that daughter, Lizzie, recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps in Oyugis, Kenya, as a public health volunteer. She will once again be selling hand-made jewelry and purses/bags made by two women’s groups she worked with in Kenya at the Edgartown School Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday, December 10. All the profits from the sale economically empower these women. Since Lizzie has been selling their crafts, these women have paid fees for their children to go to school, buy medicine for their families, pay off loans, and buy food, shoes, and goats (for milk). Stop by and catch up with Lizzie and support her project. For info, contact Mary at 508-627-5976.

Stop by NRO on Friday evening, December 9, between 5 and 9 pm for some shopping fun, where in addition to the store’s usual offerings, stylist Jane Ford will be selling Stella & Dot jewelry. Also at the event there will be a drawing for a one-hour at-home massage with Jennifer Rankow Klein LMT, and a drawing for a “date night” blow dry and makeup application with Tracy Briggs from Panache salon in West Tisbury.

Ayn Chase invites one and all to celebrate her 85th birthday on December 11 with a discount on her handmade items. For over 55 years, Ayn has been creating hand-crafted pierced and painted lampshades depicting the Island, lighthouses, ferries, mermaids, floral motifs, and more. She still weaves placemats, runners, potholders, etc. on two looms set up in her home. For years she owned and operated Ayn’s Shuttle Shop on upper Main Street in Edgartown (in the location of the Dairy Queen). Currently she offers her beautiful items at Rainy Day in Vineyard Haven and Secret Garden in Oak Bluffs. A great way to get some holiday shopping done while sharing some birthday cheer. For further information, please contact Ayn at 508-693-0134.

The United Methodist Church of MV will host a Christmas in Edgartown Shoppers’ Luncheon, Saturday, Dec. 10, from 11 am to 1 pm in the Baylies Room of the Old Whaling Church. In addition to lunch offerings, the Youth Group will hold a bake sale at the luncheon, with the proceeds going toward purchasing gifts for children in need. Call 508-693-4424 for more information.

St. Andrew’s Church is having an Open House in conjunction with Christmas in Edgartown — stop by Saturday, Dec. 10, between 10 am and 4 pm for hot chocolate and goodies.

Stop by Sharky’s Edgartown on Saturday, Dec. 10, between 4 and 6 pm for wine tasting, Kahlua and coffee, and hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds from the $10 door charge benefit NetworkofNeighbors.com, an online [still under construction as of Dec. 5] forum where the needs of Martha’s Vineyard neighbors are filled by neighborly acts of kindness. What could depict the holiday season better than that?

Hey MVRHS students, it’s time to preorder your 2012 yearbooks. Order before January 1 for $45. After January 1 the book will cost $65. It’s a no-brainer. Contact Sandy Mott in the high school library at 508-693-1033, ext. 124, for questions or more information.

Healing thoughts for a speedy recovery go out to Neal Condlin as he bounces back from knee replacement surgery that took place on November 21. He is home from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston after spending two days there and working on physical therapy.

Belated birthday wishes go out to Joel DeRoche, who celebrated his day December 7. Hope you find yourself with a freezer full of venison — and don’t forget to share! Also, Ava Townes celebrated her day November 28. Hope you had fun, little one.

Birthday wishes also go out to Polly Toomey, December 8; to Galen Brew, December 10; to Cindy Andrews, December 12; to Denis Toomey and Tommy Smith, December 13; and to Jennifer Freeman, December 14. Hope you all enjoy your days.