Did everyone make it through the first of the three brutal holidays, Thanksgiving? Waistline still intact? All family members accounted for? Most people I talked to stayed here for the holiday, some inviting off-Island family and friends and others gathering Island friends together. With the mild weather continuing it’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. Perhaps we can convince Juli to start up pizza night again if the weather stays warm. We could have a holiday pizza night with Christmas-themed toppings. Of course most of the toppings that strike me as Christmas-y are dessert items, but that could work too.

On Saturday, December 3, at 4 pm and Sunday, December 4, at 2 pm, Children in the Arts of Martha’s Vineyard will present the 14th Annual “Nutcracker Gala” at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center. Why on Earth should you travel down-Island to see the one ballet you’ve probably seen 100 times? Well, it is a tradition: for some people it’s just not Christmas without the Nutcracker and this is a really great professional production with dancers from the Atlantic Coast Ballet and the Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet.

Traveling to Oak Bluffs during holiday season sure beats traveling to Boston. Plus it’s a wonderful way to support the arts education on the Island, which I think is so very important for kids. If that’s not enough reason to go, two of the dancers are from Aquinnah: Genevieve and Eleanor Hyland. Tickets ($15 for general admission and $25 for priority center seating) may be purchased at For more info, please call Beth Vages at 508-939-0074.

This Saturday the MV Film Festival will host the first Winter Film Series. The event starts at 5 pm with short films for kids, at 6:30 dinner will be served by Chris Fischer of Beetlebung Farm and at 7:30 the documentary “Farmageddon” will be shown. Go to for tickets and pricing.

The Chilmark Preschool is holding a fundraiser this Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. Get your holiday family photos taken with Island photographer Eli Dagastino. Each session is $65, which includes a high-res copy of all the photos from the shoot. There will be food for sale as well, so you can eat lunch after your shoot. All profit from the event goes to the school’s violin program. Call Emily at 508-645-9323 to reserve your spot.

The Community Baptist Church of Gay Head in Aquinnah will celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent this Sunday. Worship begins at 9 am with Reverend Ellen P. Tatreau presiding. Please call 508-693-1539 for more information.

There will be a Restorative Yoga Workshop on Saturday, December 10, from 3 to 5:30 pm at The Yoga Barn, taught by Cathy Garfinkle. The workshop is $35, and reservations are required. Contact Cat Garfinkle at 508-693-1403 or Fifty percent of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Red Stocking Fund.

On Tuesday, December 6, from 5 to 6 pm, the book discussion group will meet at the Aquinnah Library. The book being discussed is Garth Stein’s “Racing in the Rain, My Life as a Dog”.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will hold its annual Christmas Faire on Saturday, December 10, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. There will be crafts and homemade food to purchase. All proceeds from the Faire help to preserve and maintain the historic building in the heart of West Tisbury. Call Marian Irving at 508-696-8034 with any questions.

The next monthly blood pressure clinic in Aquinnah will be held December 15 from 2 to 3 pm in the town hall. Free and open to all.