With the holiday season in full swing I would like to ask, if you haven’t already, that we each light a candle, say a prayer, make a wish upon a star, hold a moment of silence, put an extra ornament on your tree or do whatever you might find fitting for the families who tragically lost their loved ones last week in Connecticut.

Light a candle at the Chilmark Church on the twenty-fourth. There will be a candlelight service of lessons and carols at 5 pm on December 24. Everyone is welcome to enjoy traditional carols and music by harpist Sandra Attwood. The new minister and his family are settling into the parsonage along with their two children Sean and Victoria who have been spotted frolicking in the yard.

Hope and Chris MacLeod are back from a birthday getaway to Puerto Rico. Yes, a few days on the sand and in the sun was all Hope needed to celebrate the big — I don’t know if I can say? Well, let’s just leave it that it was one of those birthdays that ended in either a 0 or a 5. Yes, those are the big ones. Finnegan and Linden stayed behind with their grandparents, who don’t seem to be any worse for the wear. Happy happy happy to you, Hope. 12-12-12 was quite a day to celebrate.

Cody Coutinho is back in town for the holiday break from Merrimack College and kicking back at his folks house. Linda and Robert will have to make sure there are a few extra groceries in the fridge for their growing boy’s needs. Cody has taken to the sport of rugby and Brooks is quite impressed with how broad Cody’s biceps have become.

Chris, Kendra, Oona, and Emme Carroll took the liberty of bringing great-grandma Bette Carroll her tree this year. She enjoyed an impromptu decorating party surrounded by her family on a rather blustery, on-the-verge-of-winter day.

Don’t forget the book sale is going on right now at the Library. Half price is what you will find through the twenty-fourth. Hardcovers and DVDs for $.50 and paperbacks are two for $.25 — last-minute holiday shopping at its best.

The National Honor Society induction ceremony was held at the high school this past week. A number of members of the junior class that were chosen are Chilmarkers. Jessica Campbell, Mariah Campbell, Bradley Carroll, Thorpe Karabees, Galen Mayhew, and Mikayla Tinus all graduates of the Chilmark School, were joined on stage by Samantha Bunker who attended the West Tisbury School along with senior inductee Nicole Parkhurst.

Birthdays are plentiful this week. Today marks a very special day for mother of three gorgeous babes, Meg Athearn. Also celebrating this week are Jeff Smith, Emily Day, Jirka Pavelka, and Conrad Neumann.

Many thanks to the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighters’ Association for continuing with another year full of holiday tradition. Mulled warm cider, Christmas music, a bunch of hearty ho ho hos, presents galore, and a Community Center full of happy children is what last night was all about. Special thanks to the elven wrappers: David Norton, George Szilassy, Robert and Linda Coutinho, Jeremy Bradshaw, Chris Smith, Ken Cottrill, Linda Thompson, Susan Larsen, Ellen Biskis and Gary Robinson.

Special thanks to Warren Doty for being the man with some mighty big shoes to fill. Heartfelt thanks to not only the fire department members, but to all of the folks who brought a little good cheer to the center of town.

If you have cruised the Bight you have certainly noticed the dock project is in full swing. As sections are removed and tossed in a dumpster I watch with sadness. I never will understand why money — and don’t tell me it was “free” money because there is no such thing unless you are a counterfeiter — had to be put into an unnecessary project. Our solid wood dock, what so many circled to the shore to take a stroll on or to tie up to in a hard blow, was capable of standing tall for many more years. Argue with me all you want, but there is no convincing me that the town made the right decision.