Santa baby, it’s still 60 degrees outside, but Christmas time is here. Your jingle bells will be ringing while chestnuts are roasting on an open fire. So many will be home for the holidays so go tell it on the mountain that Grandma got run over by a reindeer as Frosty the snowman decked the halls. Joy to the World, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas because I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus. O come all ye faithful and put one foot in front of the other and march with the little drummer boy to the little town of Bethlehem.

I guess it is officially Christmas season. I have already heard the songs referenced in my crazy sentences, and perhaps I have heard others. Gingerbread houses, wreath-making, Christmas caroling, cookie baking and decorating, shopping locally, and so much more are on the list of things to accomplish over the next few weeks.

Another thing high on my priority list is updating Santa’s list for his upcoming visit to the Community Center. He will arrive to visit with the kids living in town through the age of fifth grade on Dec. 21. Email or call me if you are living here and he might not know it.

Brigida Larsen was lucky enough to see her two sisters, Olivia and Abigail, over the Thanksgiving holiday. Olivia is a student at Lasell College and Abby is at Roger Williams. They, along with parents John and Susan, ventured to Somerset to eat turkey and get stuffed with mashed potatoes and pie with Papa Don Tripp, Steve, Tara and Scott Larsen.

Susan Larsen, through the Martha’s Vineyard Seacoast Defence Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, has organized a way for us to honor and show our appreciation to members of our nation’s armed forces. She is collecting donations of the following items to be distributed at local veterans hospitals: regular size shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, stick deodorant, wash cloths and face towels, XL unused tee-shirts, hats and gloves, notepaper/stationary, pens and/or pencils, stamped envelopes, box set of Christmas cards, and paperback novels for men. The collection is a short one and she planned for it to wrap up on November 30, but the word didn’t get out very well due to the holiday, so let’s take the liberty to give it a few more days. You can drop stuff by the Texaco through Sunday.

The Menemsha Cafe was locked up tight on Thanksgiving Day. Eli needed the undivided attention of his parents and extended family, but Josh and Angela are back ready to serve us from 11 am until 2 pm, Monday through Friday, and again on Friday nights from 5 to 8 pm. The Cafe will continue to be closed on Saturdays and Sundays so Eli can get in some good old-fashioned family time with his mom and dad.

Marina Lent, our dedicated Board of Health assistant, has organized a great way to help out a neighbor in need through The FARM Institute. The basic idea is to purchase and donate a winter meat CSA share to a family you know who needs it. And if you don’t know a family that needs it you can donate to the food pantry. Also, did you know that for every 10 broiler chickens sold from now through Christmas, The FARM Institute will donate a chicken to Island Food Pantry? Now that’s cool.

Tim Walsh took a break from working on his boat Constantino L to visit Lizzie Willette in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. They spent time in Raleigh and in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a highlight being their stop at the Grandfather Wilderness Reserve.

Lauren McDowell, the lovely and charming daughter of Scott and Shakti, just moved from Kauai to Oahu where she accepted a position as an associate attorney at the Honolulu civil litigation law firm Motooka, Yamamoto & Revere.

Other exciting news that pertains to Lauren involves her dear, sweet mom. Shakti Reynolds and John Early were married at their home on November 18. Congratulations to the newlyweds.

Judd and Anne Vail, who typically come by sea in the warm summer months, couldn’t pass up the glorious spring-like weather and decided to visit this past Friday with Paul and Beth Mayhew in their hot red Corvette.

All ten Kurth siblings along with nephews and nieces and significant others gathered at Jeff and Anne’s Saturday night. It was a send-off party for Greg and Berneda Kurth as they embark on their next chapter in life which will take them to Martinsville, Virginia. They will be missed around the homestead but it’s difficult to keep the Kurths apart, so visits are bound to happen.

Keep the news coming, neighbors. Inquiring minds want to know.