Grazina Biskis, Laila Fenner, Maeve Cook-Martin and Emma Bena sitting on Santa's sleigh waiting for him to arrive for Chilmark Christmas. — Photo courtesy of Ellen Biskis

I guess what made my Christmas day unique was sitting with my back to the tree and looking at the faces in front of me peering wide-eyed and gasping as, yes you guessed it, the tree took a tumble behind me. With a loud thud and crash of ornaments it toppled, fortunately, onto nothing important. The moment was worthy of a belly laugh just like Santa typically lets out as he enters a room full of children.

This week after Christmas allows us time to visit with family and friends, pop off for a much needed break from the norm, some time to fly that new r/c airplane, download music onto a new ipod or apps onto a new iPhone (maybe a 4S with Siri?), play with a new baby doll, or ride a new bike. We all may want to hold off on trying the new clothes until the repercussions of what I refer to as food week wear off a little bit.

Touching base, that is what the holidays are to me.

Mary, Perry and Gabe Ambulos had the opportunity to visit with the Tom Kuh family, including Chloe, Ariela, and Evan. Their day also provided them with a wonderful opportunity to gather with the rest of the local Kuh clan.

Dick and Susan Vincent checked in from their home in sunny Naples, Florida, where the palm trees are decked out in Christmas lights. The balmy 81 degrees made it easy for them to enjoy dinner on the lanai next to the pool.

Sarah Hillliard and Scott Smestad traveled to town to visit with family and have a little get-together with Julie Flanders and Bella Thorpe. While here, Sarah received her gift from Scott. Yes, you guessed it, he got down on one knee along a beautiful stretch of beach and asked for her hand in marriage. Sarah’s hand is now adorned with a lovely, sparkly ring. Congratulations!

John Clarke, Edgartown resident but Island-wide friend of many and the man you turn to when your well has a problem, checked in from sunny Daytona Beach, Florida, where he enjoyed his Christmas holiday, likely in a pair of shorts since the temperature was in the mid-seventies.

Kelly Klaren, a fifth-grader at the Chilmark School, received a whoopie pie maker and has already been in the kitchen baking treats for her parents. I look forward to trying her tasty dessert creations (hint hint, Kelly.)

Caleb, Chris, and Celia Slater were here from Northbridge to celebrate Christmas with Caleb’s parents, Jane and Herb of Basin Road. While in town Chris and Caleb spent some time in the woods trying to scope out the big one to fill their freezer for the winter. Herb and Jane’s daughter Sarah arrived mid-week with her husband, Aaron Bennett, and sons Jack and Scott for some holiday cheer.

The Keene clan; John, Hillary, Adelaide, Thea, Ella and Lathrop traveled to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to visit with the Noyes family. Grandparents Anne and Hal are always up for the excitement their grandchildren bring.

Joanie and Pat Jenkinson went to Logan Airport on Tuesday to pick up daughter Holly along with her husband, Marco Bario, and children Emma and Petey. It is always nice to keep the holiday cheer flowing for the week and what better way to do that than to have family travel from the west coast for a fun visit. Just an aside, Holly’s job at Dream Works landed her the number 40 spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100. Congratulations, Holly: what a cool list to land your name on.

I need to shout out one more generous thank you to the lovely women of Chilmark Chocolates. MaryBeth Grady and Allison Berger are two of the most generous people residing in our community. I walked into the Community Center last week to prepare for Santa’s visit, to find a big box of assorted chocolates to dish out to our town’s kids. I never have to ask. Their kindness and generosity just flow. Many, many thanks to you.

With Christmas under our belts, pine needles all vacuumed up and paper burned in the wood stove, it is time to sort out the New Year’s resolutions and spend time with dear friends reflecting on days past and hopes for the future. Whether you toast with a glass of champagne at a glitzy party or stroll through the woods on a candlelit walk singing Auld Lang Syne at the top of your lungs, may you experience the joy and kind spirit the New Year will bring.