Ten days until Christmas. Are you ready? I most certainly am not. But I tend to operate in a very last-minute sort of way, not sure why. I like being stressed out and under pressure? I don't really want to be bothered with things I must do only the ones I want to do? I have a faulty understanding of how long it takes to actually do things? Probably all of the above. Can't I just attach a picture of my family to the bottom of this column and consider that sending out a Christmas card?
The strange thing is I do actually like Christmas, just apparently not enough to take timely action on it. We do have our tree up and decorated and a picture picked out for our card but absolutely no gifts bought or any plan made up of who we are actually shopping for. Hmm. Perhaps this should be my resolution this year: Take care of things as they come up, instead of at the last minute. Thank goodness New Year's is two weeks away — plenty of time to put that one off.
Today, December 15, at the town hall the monthly blood pressure clinic will be held from 2 to 3 pm. Free and open to all.
The Martha's Vineyard Film Festival is holding a special down-Island screening of "The Artist" this Friday at the Capawock at 7:30 pm. I have heard nothing but raves about this unique, silent movie.
This Sunday, Dec. 18, is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Worship will be at 9 am at the Community Baptist Church in Aquinnah with Reverend Ellen P. Tatreau. Christmas Eve services will be held on Dec. 24 at 5 pm. For more information, call 508-693-1539.
This is important! Chilmark Chocolates will be closing for the rest of the year on Dec. 18, that's this Sunday; order your holiday chocolates, or your secret stash now before it's too late. Don't disappoint your relatives and show up without them. Christmas goes better with Chilmark Chocolates.
And now the event we've all been waiting for, or rather all of us with small children, the town Christmas Party! It will be held on Wednesday the 21st from 5 to 7 pm at the Town Hall. Santa will arrive on the fire truck at 5:15 pm and give out gifts to all the Aquinnah kids. There will be a potluck supper and lots of neighborly cheer. Please bring a dish to share or if you cannot just bring your cheerful self.
If you still need some Christmas gifts or cards check out Lisa Vanderhoop's website, vineyardseadogs.com for her Vineyard Seadogs 2012 calendar and holiday cards. They are also sold at most stores on the Island.
Saskia Vanderhoop's Sassafras will be holding some great Christmas break workshops for various ages. Crafting and Skills will be on Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 11 am to 4 pm for ages 7 and up (bring a lunch and water bottle). Burn spoons, make a simple bow, or trap; crafts with deerskin (furry pouches), clay and natural face paint. Dress warmly, which applies to any event held at Sassafras which are almost always outside. I think I've only been in the house twice.
On Wednesday, Dec. 28, will be a wild food and open-cooking class from 11 am to 4 pm for all ages including adults (kids under six need to be accompanied by an adult).
Then on Dec. 29 there will be Games and Stories in the Dark from 2 to 6 pm for ages nine and up. Adults are welcome too. Call Saskia Vanderhoop at 508-645-2008 for more information including pricing. Thank you, Saskia, for some great activities over winter break that don't include putting your kid on the sofa and watching a movie.
In other healthy kid news, the Island Grown School Program, in conjunction with many concerned teachers, parents, administrators, students, and townspeople, has been working for nearly two years on making changes to the Up-Island school meals program. They have two priorities at this point: Renovate the West Tisbury school kitchen (this would enable healthy meals to be prepared for both West Tisbury and Chilmark) and transfer the oversight of the meals program to the local school district; it is now under the supervision of Chartwells, a for-profit "food service" corporation.
If locally grown, healthy, non-processed food is important to you, here is an outlet for you. Please contact Nicole Cabot if you would like to become involved, email@example.com.