As Christmas and Hanukah approach, so does perhaps the best gift of all as news tells us that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this month. What a gift that is to so many residents of this country.
Shoppers are starting to create lines at the stores and especially the post offices as they prepare for the holidays, so people seem to be getting more optimistic about the economy but are still being a bit cautious. If you are still puzzling over what to give to that person on your list who "has everything" perhaps you should consider a donation in their honor to one of the Island's many charities. That way your one gift goes two places and can really make a difference in someone's life.
We send sympathies to the family of Arthur Pye, who died last week. Services will be held this Friday at the funeral home. We are so very sorry.
Now here are many events that can keep you entertained almost every day or night until Christmas. "As A Witness, a Christmas pageant for the 21st century," will be performed at the Old Whaling Church on Sunday, Dec. 18 and Monday, Dec. 19. The production includes a number of Oak Bluffs residents. The cast features a wide variety of ages from preteens to retirees and members of at least three different churches. Jason Davey and Ellie and Robert Hanjian are three of the four children who are swept into the action from the seats in the audience. Pastor Richard Rego, minister of the United Methodist Church of Martha's Vineyard, will represent King Herod "who is troubled" by the arrival of the Magi and the infant Jesus. Kate Murray, theater teacher at the regional high school, will make a cameo appearance as the mother whose child is killed by King Herod. Narrators are Barbara and Bo Fehl. Performances are at 6 pm. A $5 free-will offering is requested. For further information, you may call Liz Villard at 508-627-8619.
This holiday season, Island Alpaca will be once again collecting donations of gifts for needy children, or non-perishable foods (value of $10 or more) at the farm, now until Dec. 24. Bring your unwrapped gift, or you may buy one at the Island Alpaca Farm Store. Last years' Gift-Drive was a huge success! With every donation, Island Alpaca will enter a ticket to win two $50 gift certificates to the Island Alpaca Gift Shop. Drawings for the winners will be held on Dec. 24.
The Vineyard Playhouse will present "It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play" this Christmas season. The play by Philip Grecian is based on the film by Frank Capra. This live radio play will be performed on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8 pm and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 1 pm. Since the Playhouse is currently undergoing construction, performances will be held at the Performing Arts Center at the high school.
The MVNAACP will be celebrating Kwanzaa on Dec. 26 at the First Baptist Church on William Street in Vineyard Haven from 4 to 6 pm. Please bring a dish to share or $5. All are welcome.
Silent Night, an evening of folkloric, literary, and autobiographical Christmas Stories will feature storyteller Susan Klein in concert on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 pm at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven. There is a $15 suggested donation, which will benefit Spice of Life, the Memoir Organization's Scholarship fund. Traditional Wassail refreshments will follow the performance which is appropriate for audiences 8 and older.
Our Oak Bluffs Library is holding a Hot Chocolate Social on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 10 am to 12 noon. Join us for a design-your-own Hot Chocolate Social. Fun and crafts with Sondra. All ages. Free.
We send birthday smiles to Mike Marchand on Dec. 15, Bill Jones on Dec. 21, and Rae Carter, Sandra deBettencourt, Bertie Madeiras, and Marie Fisher on Dec. 22.
Enjoy your week.