We have one major holiday under our belts — yes, literally not figuratively — and two big ones on the way. I have a seven-year-old who can pretty much tell you how many days, hours, and minutes until Santa will sneak down the chimney to deliver his packages. Needless to say, there is no excitement in my house.

Deb Hancock has kicked the Christmas spirit into gear with her beautifully decorated real estate office at the bottom of North Road. Take the family out for an early evening drive to circle the Bight and you will see her white lights twinkling in the crisp night air. Why not make it a Friday night and grab some dinner at the Cafe?

We have a lot of fun stuff to squeeze in before that day of gift giving and turkey, ham, roast, or goose feasting. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5, Children in the Arts will present the 13th annual Nutcracker Gala at the Performing Arts Center. The closest place to buy advance tickets is at Alley’s, but call Beth Vages at 508-939-0074 with questions or refer to the Calendar section for further information. Just think, you needn’t make the trek to Boston to see a truly classic performance.

Tuesday night is yet another belly warming soup supper at the Chilmark Church.The time to join friends and neighbors for a hearty bowl and some good conversation is 5:30 pm. Also on Tuesday, at 5 pm, you can find Cathy Thompson in her role as Aquinnah Library director enjoying the caregiver and child cupcake cooking program — all about fanciful sprinkles.

Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9 am to 2 pm is the annual holiday flea market facilitated by our very own Coco Adams. The church will fill two tables with holiday gift ideas. If you attended last year’s, you are likely to remember all of the wonderful handmade items created by Kim Cottrill, Linda Coutinho, Kathie Carroll, and others. The beautifully arranged boxwood, holly, and evergreen centerpieces flew off the tables before you could say ho, ho, ho. Ethel Sherman will, of course, present the tastiest homemade jelly this side of everywhere. It is the perfect treat to pair with homemade bread or give as a gift — if you are willing to part with it. In addition, there will be a catered food table, so that you may fulfill those hunger pangs as you shop antiques, art, jewelry, and some real flea market treasures. If you have inquiries, please call Coco at 508-645-3414.

The Chilmark Library will be doing its annual fine amnesty and food drive in December. For the month of December, they will graciously forgive any outstanding fines for patrons who bring in a donation of non-perishable, non-expired food for the Island Food Pantry. It’s an opportunity to help our neighbors in need and start the new year with a fine-free library account. Ebba also encourages patrons who don’t have fines to bring in food donations. What a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit — the gift of giving.

Thanksgiving brought our summer friends out by the bushel. (‘Tis the season to go scalloping. I had to use the word bushel.) The Dunk family graced the Harrison home on Flanders Lane. Three generations of Balabans, with Sophie comprising the third, made Chilmark their destination this past week. Samantha Jason visited her father Dennis and brother Denny. She squeezed in a trip manning the dredge with her brother and some time pushing a paint roller for her dad. Thanks to her, Dennis has made noteworthy progress on his North Road home. Genc Bringa travelled from North Carolina to share a meal with the Carroll family.

The Scott family had a change of plans from the traditional Thanksgiving football match. With Josh in the hospital suffering from another lung injury and Nathaniel overseas, the football game will need to really go into overtime in 2011. From what I hear, Josh is on the mend. Well-wishes to you. The Scott family has a new football player born to youngest sister Andrea. Rupert Sanford Shur will certainly be running out for passes next year.

John Armstrong is back from a whirlwind hospital trip to Boston. They caught his chest pain in the nick of time. He managed to avoid suffering a major heart attack and after surgery was home for the holiday and continues to be on the mend. Thank goodness for that.

Keep your eyes peeled. Roberta Morgan will likely have her Harbor Craft Shop open for some holiday shopping. Scott McDowell has lights dangling in his Copperworks window and some truly unique gift ideas inside. It’s worth the trip.