Aquinnah: Shop local

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One holiday down, two to go. I hope everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving and that family members with differing points of view did not ruin everything. Now the Christmas and Hanukkah (first night: Dec. 24) seasons have officially begun. There are many wonderful opportunities to shop local, even here in Aquinnah when all our shops are closed. Remember that we host some of the best wampum jewelry makers anywhere. If you are looking for beautiful gifts, contact Berta and Vern Welch, Donald and Jason Widdis, and Joan LeLacheur. For cards and calendars, contact Lisa Vanderhoop. Pizza night is not happening any longer, but the Orange Peel Bakery is still firing up the oven, and you can special order holiday treats or stop by for some stocking stuffers. There are many wonderful up-Island artists represented in galleries around the Island. And don’t forget about Chilmark Chocolates — they will close the week before Christmas. I know there are many more artisans up here, so if I have not mentioned you here, shoot me an email with what you make and where people can get it and I will put it in the column. Let’s keep our money on the Island for the holidays.

At the library, this week Story Time is Thursday at 3:30 and Saturday at 10:30 am. Also on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm is Kids’ Craft. The theme this week will be Snowmen Catching Snow Flakes. The Afterschool Club is on Tuesday at 4 pm. Food for fines is also happening now, so bring in some nonperishable food items and wipe your slate clean.

Pathways at the Chilmark Tavern will be hosting a Grand Opening Party this Friday, Dec. 2, from 6:30 to 9 pm. There will be many artists working in different mediums, including Aquinnah poet Carol Vandal, who will be reading some of her work. Music by Andy Herr and Neil Howl, digital work by Niki Patton and visual art by Darcy Lee Hanaway and Katrina Nevins. The event is free and open to all, and I’m told there will be cake. What could be better? Lots of art and cake.

The Pathways Living Room Studios is open during the day for anyone to come by and work on a project. There is Wi-Fi, and a computer is available. Pathways is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. They are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

Tri-Town Ambulance is hosting a food and gift collection today through Dec. 15. You can drop off nonperishable food items and new, non-giftwrapped toys at the West Tisbury Fire House on State Road in North Tisbury (next door to the Charter School). Food donations will be distributed to the Food Pantry in Vineyard Haven. Toys will be distributed in the West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah.

The Chilmark School will also be collecting food for the food pantry throughout the holiday season this year. There is a purple food pantry box located in the school foyer where you can drop off nonperishable items.

We have a new baby girl in Aquinnah! Meg and Jay Bodnar welcomed Ryan Mae on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The labor was quick, and Ryan is healthy. Everyone is doing well, and Malia looks like she is going to make a fine big sister. Congratulations. Happy birthday to Margie Spitz, who celebrates on Dec. 7.