Santa was met by a large crowd of happy Island children when he came off the ferry last Sunday afternoon. In true Vineyard style the little ones followed him along the beach to the Black Dog for a magical visit with the jolly old fellow. Each child was given a photo with Santa by photographers Bob Gothard and Cathy Tate. The Black Dog provided cookies, hot chocolate, and cider. All this was followed by the lighting of the tree by the Country Store and the Minnesingers.

The Tisbury Business Association also plans a major donation to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger and on Sunday local businesses will call the winners of the holiday raffle which benefits the Family to Family food basket program. On Saturday, Fred Fisher’s horses will delight children with wagon rides through the Vineyard Haven between 11 am and 2 pm.

Everyone was talking about the Beatles show last weekend to benefit the MV Film Center. The Daytrippers, a band of seasoned musicians, was spectacular and very well received. Kudos go to Brian Weiland, Shelagh Smilie, Doug Brush, Eric Johnson, Boaz Kirschenbaum, and Charlie Esposito.

Author Joan Druett is a friend of ours in New Zealand. She called our attention to a recent blog where she quoted some choice Santa letters for our amusement. “Dear Santa, I am a good boy,” one asserts. “I always am. It’s not true what you hear.” Another writes, “I have been really naughty this year so I’d understand if you didn’t get me anything, but I still love you, Santa, and I think that’s more than a lot of kids these days.” Girls are not immune from moments of guilt. “I have been a good girl most of the time. But sometimes I forget,” one confessed. “But then I remember.”

Joan also noted some unusual requests: “Please may I have a present. I would like a blue one.”

“This year can I please have a real tiger and a real dog. I promise I will look after the tiger and won’t let it eat my cats.”

Grace Episcopal Church invites you to the family service at 5:30 pm on Christmas Eve. Special guest Susan Klein will share Christmas stories. There is a carol sing at 8:30 pm and a candlelight eucharist at 9 pm, followed by a champagne reception. On Christmas morning the service is at 10 am. From noon to 2 pm all are welcome to a free Community Christmas Dinner in the parish hall. For more, call 508-693-0332.

The West Tisbury Church welcomes everyone to the Christmas Eve services. Music begins at 4:30 pm in the Ag Hall for the 5 pm service. This is a rare opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus in a barn. A candlelight service in the church will be at 10 pm.

The Vineyard Haven Library will close early at 1 pm on Monday and will be closed on Tuesday. On Thursday morning the West Tisbury elves will visit the Vineyard Haven Library for story time with little ones.

Drop-in help is available at the library on Saturdays from 10 to noon with eBooks and downloadable audiobooks. You might want to remember this next week in case you really were not ready for that present.

Celebrate the New Year at the Vineyard Haven Library on Sunday, January 6. Performance on the mini-grand concert harp by Nathaniel Horwitz will begin at 4 pm. Start the new year off right with a beautiful concert and refreshments.

If you’ve managed to capture a perfect misty morning ferry crossing or prize-winning pies at the Ag Fair, now is the time to submit your entry for this year’s photo contest sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. Deadline for entries is New Year’s Eve. Photos must be around Martha’s Vineyard, original work, and not digitally altered nor previously published. Prizes will be awarded for the three best photos which will be published in the May 2013 issue. See www.mvmagazine.com for details.

Happy anniversary to Fred and Jill LaPiana on Saturday.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out on Saturday to Vera Shorter.

Liam Patrick Bruni celebrates his birthday the day after Christmas.

Heard on Main Street: Remember that Santa can appear in mysterious disguises, even in the uniform of Fed Ex or UPS or even the Post Office.