Edgartown: It's called 'break' for a reason

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As I sit down to write, I’m attempting to relish my last day off before returning to work Monday morning. As usual, I had a long, long list of things to accomplish over the break, and as usual, I only got about half of them done. But the holiday break isn’t about working. It’s about being present with our loved ones, whether that is family or friends or both. And I definitely had lots of quality time with the people I love most, so I’d say I managed my time perfectly. No one ever looks back on their deathbed and wishes they spent more time working, right? I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and had some special time with loved ones.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury’s annual Christmas Faire will be on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 until 2:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to pick up handcrafted, festive holiday decorations and gifts for friends and family.

Purchase decorated boxwood, evergreen, and grapevine wreaths. There will be decorated holiday evergreen centerpieces, small trees, and other table arrangements, too. Wreaths and other evergreen items can be ordered in advance by calling the church office at 508-693-2842.

The Bakery Table will offer specialty breads, casseroles, and desserts, but they’ll sell out quickly. There will also be vintage jewelry, framed Island photographs, and gift items, as well as several raffle baskets donated by local merchants, filled with Christmas treats.

A Mission gift area will feature fair-trade items: coffees, teas, chocolates. Lunch will be served from 11:30 to 2 in the Parish Hall. All proceeds of this fundraiser support the historic church and its work in the community.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Heidi Vought, who celebrated on Nov. 27, and to Alex Schaeffer, who celebrates on Dec. 2.

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, on Saturday we lost the coveted Island Cup to Nantucket in the traditional Island-rivalry football game. Our young Martha’s Vineyard team was battling injuries and a rough season when they faced the Whalers at 1 pm on a cold and dreary afternoon. They fought hard and left it all on the field, coming up short for the first time in many years. Congratulations to the team for playing tough, sticking with it, and giving it their all as the underdogs. I’m sure that the Cup will return to us before long!

It’s never too soon to remind you of the annual Holiday Craft Fair at the Edgartown School, which will be be in the school gym on Dec. 10, from 10 until 4. There will be artisans selling their wares in the gym, and the eighth grade will be selling food and beverages in “the link” to raise money for their trip to Washington, D.C.

Also happening at the Edgartown School is the annual Winter Concert on Dec. 8, starting at 6:30. This is always a great show put on by Kelly Sullivan and her amazing musical students, so mark your calendars and head on over for some music and holiday spirit.

Don’t forget, the Federated Church’s seventh annual Festival of Wreaths on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 5 until 7 pm, in the Parish House and Meetinghouse, at 45 South Summer Street, Edgartown.

Visit the Meetinghouse to see the 75 hand-decorated natural wreaths, for home or business. Try to get there early to see them before they are all sold, and enjoy the wonderful smell of fresh-cut evergreens. If you decide to purchase one of the wreaths, they are for sale for $45, $55, and $65, depending on your generosity. The proceeds from this event help maintain and preserve the 1832 Sara Mayhew Parsonage, an important home in the Edgartown Historic Preservation District.

If you wish to just socialize, please stop by the Parish House for hors d’oeuvres and beverages, or to sing Christmas songs around the piano. While there, you may want to take a look at a number of items which will be raffled, and some really great items in the silent auction.

It has been a little challenging to hold onto some of the thankfulness and spirit of the holidays this year, what with the state of the world and the struggles of family members and friends on the local level. Today I’ve been off kilter as news spread of the passing of John VanPutten, husband of my friend and colleague Channon Capra. John was much too young, and it’s a big loss for our community. Simple words on a page like this can’t do much of anything, but my thoughts are with Channon and the rest of John’s family during this sad time.

I wish you all a good week ahead. Find love and support in those around you. And lift others up when you can.