I have officially begun decking the halls, and the Thanksgiving turkey has barely cooled. My tree is up; my holiday shopping is nearly done; and though I love these 55- to 60-degree days as much as the next person, I’m really ready for crisp December air and — you guessed it — SNOW.

Congratulations to Amy Bates, a 2010 graduate of Northeastern University, who returned to Chicago in September after training at the Counselors in Training at Fleur de Lis Camp for girls ages 8 to 16 in Fitzwilliam, N.H. Amy now continues her work in human services with the Peer Health Exchange, a nonprofit organization addressing health problems in today’s youth. Amy will train volunteers from Chicago colleges to teach public high school students health education.

This holiday season wouldn’t be complete on the Island without experiencing the classic ballet of “The Nutcracker.” On Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 pm, and Sunday, Dec. 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. Performers from Edgartown include Sarah Pertile, Addy Hayman, Alexis Condon, Mackenzie Condon, Tatum Thomas, Genevieve Hyland, Eleanor Hyland, Hannah Murphy, Annabelle Viera, Piper Okan, Evelyn Brewer, and Shealyn Smyth. The kids are accompanied by adult performers, including Carlene Gatting, Lauren Oskan, George Oskan, Darren Belisle, and Lucia Hayman. Be a part of the magic as you witness the Nutcracker Prince’s triumphant battle with the Mouse King. Experience the beauty of darting Snowflakes, Arabian and Spanish dancers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Delight in the sight of Mother Ginger, and feel inspired as you watch Clara’s dreams come true. For more info, please call Beth Vages at 508-939-0074.

I provided a little shout-out to Willy Bishop last week for his birthday. This week one of my “little birdies” has informed me that Willy was spotted celebrating his day at the Wharf with three of his friends. Willy is quickly becoming a fixture in this column, what with the house-buying and birthday-celebrating and the reporting of my “birdies.” Funny to think that a year ago he had stopped me to ask what he had to do to get into the column. Well, friend, you’re doing it!

The Anchors is as busy as ever, hosting an art exhibit that features the work of two artists: Kay Bettencourt shares her cross-stitched holiday and winter scenes, and Susan Sellers, her beautiful landscape paintings. Stop by any Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday to see the exhibit. Other Anchors offerings this month include Light Swedish Massage with Linda Doane on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm; manicures with Linda Doane on Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 to 11:30 am; a discussion of Women in History with Nancy Lotz on Friday, Dec. 2, at 10 am, in which Nancy will talk about Mary Queen of Scots, heir to the thrones of France, England and Scotland; and finally, Holiday Crafts with Cookie Perry on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 1:30 pm. For info about these and future events, call 508-627-4368.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Danielle Pendergraft, Mark Smadbeck, and Willie Bailey, who celebrate Dec. 1. A special birthday hot fudge brownie sundae with a cherry on top goes out to Thayer Whipple, who celebrates Dec. 4. Have fun!