I am so relieved that the holidays are completely over. Now I can get back to going broke living here in the winter rather than going broke, buying endless gifts for others. The weather was divine here on New Year’s Day and many people started off the New Year in Aquinnah by taking a long walk on the beach. Are we getting set up for a winter smackdown? Are we going to get some horrific cold and snow and will we be completely unprepared? Considering that my down coat has not even seen the light of day this season, I think the answer for me at least is, yes.

We can now safely walk in the woods again: deer hunting season ended December 31.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival will host a screening at the Chilmark Community Center this Saturday as part of its Winter Film Series. At 5 pm there will be dinner and snacks available followed by short films for kids, 6:30 dinner and at 7:30 a screening of “The Hedgehog.” Dinner will be prepared by Chris Fischer of Beetlebung Farms. Go to for prices and more details.

The following weekend at the Community Center, the Yard will host “Public Dancing Allowed,” dancing and desserts to benefit the Yard with Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish. That’s Friday, January 13, from 8 to 10 pm; tickets are $20 at the door and kids dance free. This is just what we need! An up-Island dance party to burn off all the holiday pounds.

I must apologize to Olive and Violet Macphail, it was their sixth birthday on December 30 and I forgot to mention it last week. Please forgive me, ladies. Their grandparents have been visiting over the holidays, so I’m sure they were wonderfully spoiled.

Happy Anniversary to Joanie and Richard who celebrated their 20th anniversary on New Year’s Day.

Jim and Kathy Newman spent Christmas in New York and then New Year’s at home with family including their grandson, Quincy, who is now 13 months old. It seemed like most people had a quiet New Year’s here. There were some dinner parties on the Eve and Penny and Phil Weinstein hosted an open house on New Year’s Day.

Celeste Huff, Whitney Swolinzky, and Ruby Hoy are headed off for adventure in mid January to Peru. Good luck, ladies, and stay safe. Your moms will be here worrying, but don’t let that stop you from having a good time.

And now that the holidays are over, the quiet descends upon Aquinnah. Soon there will be the mass exodus to warmer climes in February and endless, gray days here. Right now though it is warm, windy and sunny; odd weather for winter but more enjoyable than cold and bitter. I’ll take it.