‘Tis the season for open houses, eggnog, shopping local, and surrounding ourselves with friends.

This Friday and Saturday, Scott McDowell will host his annual open house at the Copperworks. Basin Road will be the place to shop and be merry from 11 am to 6 pm. Stop in for some light refreshments and let the spirits get you in the spirit for a little holiday shopping. Copper hammered out in the shape of swordfish, bluefish, bass and lobsters to adorn your home, light fixtures, nautical antiques, artwork, handcrafted jewelry, and more are all readily available. If you are at work all day swing by just after dark and check out Everett’s lobster pot tree in front of the Chandlery. It is something truly spectacular.

Ready folks? Here’s the update from Hannah Kahl. She and longtime friend Lila Fischer will depart in January for a six-month work adventure at Earth Birth in northern Uganda.

Situated near the southern border of Sudan, Lila will, as Hannah calls it, be catching babies and peer-leading with practicing local midwives. Her plan is to share skills and return having learned a little something from her peers in Uganda. Hannah will be working on community wellness projects. Her goal is to teach leadership skills and empower the local women. She will initially play the role of listener/observer and find out what the women need most and what they want to sink their energy into. They will mainly serve women in a nearby IDP (internally displaced people) camp.

The duo has been actively trying to raise money for their service-oriented adventure. A Flatbread pizza night, yoga classes, and more have been some of the fundraising events they have hosted recently. But their financial goal has yet to be met. The Earth Birth directors have identified an emergency vehicle/ambulance as the greatest need, so the very enthusiastic pair of young women hope to bring enough money to buy a new one. They are still accepting donations; checks made out to Local Women Global Mission can be sent to PO Box 238, Chilmark, MA 02535. They would also like to fulfill the need for supplies such as red raspberry tea, nettle tea, pre-natal vitamins, vitamin C, and any homeopathic medicines readily available. If you are interested in speaking with Hannah she will be working at Chilmark Chocolates all week. There is a donation basket there as well. Many thanks to MaryBeth Grady and Allison Berger for their generosity.

The Ruimerman/Weidner family hosted their holiday open house this past weekend at their Menemsha Homestead. Lights were strung, the tree was decorated, and the place was full of friends, food, and good cheer. Peter and Andrew hosted a band of boys and spent the majority of the evening outside in the cool night air while the adults chatted over some holiday spirits. Fran Flanders looked lovely in her holiday red velvet dress and Everett Poole, as always, was dressed in his high-style fashion. Bette Carroll, Buddy Mayhew, Chris and Evan Fielder, Joe and Lara Uva, the Goodells, Julie Flanders and childhood friend Jennifer Iacopino, Gary Fudem, Catherine DeGrandpre, Bob and Irene Hungerford, the Hansen family, and so many more felt welcome in their home.

Just up the road there was yet another Menemsha home full of warmth, laughter, and good cheer. Becky Mayhew Hewitt and Sarah Mayhew Shipway hosted a 50th wedding celebration for their parents. I am not quite sure just how many people filed into the home of Judy and Ted to honor them and enjoy their smiling faces, but it was certainly more than I could count. I spotted a few of the same faces that I had seen at the Homestead, but also had a chance to catch up with Kathie and Emmett Carroll, Tim Carroll, Wesley Cottle in his trouble-making glory, “old man” Pat Jenkinson and Wyatt, Paul and Beth Mayhew, Judy and Graeme Flanders and a whole host of other friendly folks. Scrapbooks and photos were organized and put on display for all to enjoy. Food and drinks were bountiful, and the cake that Becky created was a true centerpiece.

Wednesday, December 21, is going to be a busy one in the center of town. That is the evening Santa will visit with all of the young children in town. Thanks to the Chilmark Firefighter’s Association for continuing with the half-century tradition of coaxing Santa away from the North Pole for a little hometown holiday cheer. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call. I am likely to have the answers.

Not only will Santa be at the CCC, but the Vineyard Haven Band will share their holiday spirit through music. Hosted by the friends of the Chilmark Library, admission is free, but a donation of a nonperishable food item for the Food Pantry would be greatly appreciated. The concert will take place from 6 to 7 pm.

Josh, Angela, and Eli Aronie will serve their last meal (yes, you heard me correctly) at Menemsha Cafe tomorrow night. Circumstances have changed, and they hope you will keep an eye open for them sometime in the near future in a new but undetermined location. They would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the community that embraced and supported them in their edible adventure. Swing by for a great meal and think of it as a going-away party for friends that are embarking on a new adventure. Smiles only. Check your sad faces at the door.