Edgartown: Don’t stress

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We are heading into that perilous time of debating whether or not we are really ready for Christmas. If you’re like me, I always start to panic right about now. Did I buy enough gifts? Whom did I forget? Did that package come yet? I do realize that the season isn’t really about the gifts and money spent. But it sure feels good when you find the perfect present for someone you love. I think I’ve done quite well this year in terms of clever ideas. And I started earlier than normal, in hopes that I won’t be rushing around like a crazy person right before. I am excited to have an entire weekend just before the holiday to gather up any loose ends. I’m more excited than the kids this year, I think.

Christmas in Edgartown was a delight this weekend. The less than perfect weather didn’t seem to cramp anyone’s style, and everyone seemed to be enjoying all of the festivities. Amelia took part in the Rise Dance Studio float, as the girls danced their way through the streets of town. After two years of injuries, surgeries, and recoveries, it sure was nice to see her back with her peeps having a great time.

We spent today off at Massachusetts Maritime Academy for the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Gosnold Division biannual awards ceremony. My boy ranked up to Petty Officer 3rd class, and received several ribbons and medals, including the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Outstanding Cadet Medal, for which we are most grateful and proud. One of Riley’s greatest friends, Alex Vasiliadis, recently joined the group as well, and earned his Fitness Achievement Award for outstanding physical fitness achievement, as well as the Academic Achievement Award. Congratulations to both of these young men. We’re all so proud of both of you.

This week’s happy birthday wishes go out to Dave Pizzano on Dec. 10, Cindy Andrews and Alley Ellis on Dec. 12, and Alex Vasiliadis, who turns (gulp) 18 years old on the 16th.

On Sunday, Dec. 24, the Edgartown Federated Church will hold two services: 10:30 am, for the fourth Sunday of Advent, and the Christmas Eve candlelight service at 10 pm. The morning service will include participation by the Christian Education Committee and Sunday School, along with the Rev. David G. Berube, for the lighting of the Candle of Joy, scripture readings, and music by the Federated Church Choir under the direction of Peter R. Boak, minister of music. The evening service will include music by the Federated Church Choir, and readings from the Bible, telling the Christmas story. The service concludes with the lighting of candles and the singing of “Silent Night.” For more information, call 508-627-4421, email admin@federatedchurchmv.org, or visit their website at federatedchurchmv.org.

Friday night is “Polar Express” night at the Edgartown School. Families can enjoy cookies, cocoa, popcorn, and the movie in the school cafeteria at 6:30 on Dec. 15. Kids 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $5 each, or $20 for a family. The money will support the eighth grade trip to Washington.

The Rise Vineyard Performing Arts eighth annual holiday dance show, “Season’s Greetings,” takes the MV PAC stage on Dec. 17 at 1 pm, and again at 6 pm. This is always a great show, and this year will be particularly bittersweet for me as Amelia will take the stage with the rest of these amazing dancers for the first time in two years.

MV NAACP is holding its annual holiday bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center from 10 am until 3 pm. There will be vendor tables, a silent auction, raffles, and bake tables.

By the time you read this, there will be about a week and a half left until Christmas. Where does the time go? I’d swear we were just sitting on the beach yesterday. It’s funny. The harder I try to slow things down, the faster they seem to go. You all know that I’m not a fan of winter, but I’d still like it to move a little slower while I relish time with Riley before he heads to college. Just the other day I received a letter from the high school detailing how his name would appear on his diploma. Even though we’ve been working on college applications and taking SATs and all those other things one does when they are a senior, I was ill prepared for the reality that letter brought with it.

Enjoy the week ahead. Enjoy doing some shopping and baking, and whatever other traditions you may have. But don’t stress. While you prep and do all the things that need doing, remember that the most important “things” aren’t things at all. Love, family, friends, joy, relaxation. Those are the true gifts of Christmas.